Presidential Transition

President Don LaackmanInterim President Dr. Laurie QuinnAfter completing five years of service, Champlain College President Don Laackman has decided to step down, effective June 28, 2019. 

Dr. Laurie Quinn, Champlain's Provost and Senior Vice President for Academics, has been appointed Interim President, effective July 1, 2019. 

The communications shared with the community about this transition can be found below.

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To the Champlain Community,

I am proud of what we have accomplished in the past five years. Under my leadership, this community has worked together to lay the foundation critical for Champlain's future success. Together we have accomplished so much, including:

  • Improving retention, thereby increasing our traditional student six-year graduation rate from 57 percent to 64 percent.
  • Growing our Champlain College Online enrollment over 300 percent.
  • Increasing the focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, including the establishment of the Women's and Gender Center and expansion of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Maintaining our stellar track record of 94 percent or greater career success.
  • Maintaining our traditional student enrollment during a period of declining demographics.
  • Building the Communication and Creative Media academic center and 194 St. Paul residence hall—both of which were completed on time and under budget.
  • Improving our financial situation and positioning Champlain to be able to weather challenges in the coming years, by:
    • Instilling a sense of fiscal discipline and strategic budgeting that resulted in consistently delivering annual surpluses in excess of four million dollars.
    • Growing our net assets by 70 percent.
    • Restructuring our debt, enabling us to avoid a potentially crippling series of balloon payments and adding predictability to our debt repayment. Standard & Poors reaffirmed our BBB rating, with a stable outlook, last week.
  • Launching new industry-relevant majors and programs.

These accomplishments, along with the thousands of other achievements by members of our community and our leadership team, give me confidence in Champlain's future.

Over the past several months, our community—faculty, staff, students, our leadership team, and the board of trustees—has engaged in conversations regarding the future of Champlain at a time of disruption in higher education. In response, we have drafted Champlain 2025. This plan will ensure Champlain once again reinvents itself to succeed in coming years.

While I am confident in my ability to continue to lead Champlain through these challenges, I have decided that the time is right for me to step aside. I will be at Champlain through June 28 and will be assisting with transition matters through the end of the year. I look forward to working with Dr. Laurie Quinn, who will serve as Interim President, and the Cabinet to ensure a successful transition. The Board will launch a national search for a new president.

I am deeply grateful for the privilege of leading Champlain College and will forever hold this community close to my heart. I am confident in your ability to thrive into the future.

Audeamus!

Don

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Dear Champlain Community:

On behalf of the Board of Trustees I'm writing today in follow up to the letter you received from Don Laackman regarding his decision to step down as President of Champlain College effective June 28, 2019.

Don has made significant contributions during his five years of service to Champlain, especially in building the College's financial strength and sustainability and increasing graduation rates. Under Don's leadership, the college has improved graduation rates, increased diversity and inclusion, tripled online enrollment, increased the endowment 70%, maintained traditional undergraduate enrollment, restructured debt and instilled fiscal discipline.

We look forward to coming together to honor Don's leadership of the College in the weeks ahead and will share details as they are finalized. We invite faculty, staff, students and community members to join us in thanking Don and Allyson for their time, talent, and energy and wish them well.

Dr. Laurie Quinn has been appointed Interim President effective July 1, 2019.  It is anticipated that Laurie will serve in this capacity until a new permanent President begins. We are fortunate that Laurie has agreed to apply her many talents and skills to serving Champlain as Interim President and look forward to working with her in this capacity.

Trustee Neale Lunderville has agreed to serve as Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, working with the campus community to select Champlain's next President. We will share specifics regarding the search process over the coming months.

On behalf of the Board we are grateful for the contributions made by faculty and staff in support of Champlain's students and alumni. Champlain has a long history of reinvention and we remain confident in Champlain's ability to succeed into the future.

Sincerely,

Scott Carpenter
Chair, Board of Trustees

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Dear Champlain Students:

I am writing to share with you that I will be leaving the Presidency of Champlain College on June 28. I have cherished my role at Champlain, especially getting to know many of you over lunch at IDX, during my office hours, at career-related events, and at the many celebrations I've attended with you in your time and mine at the College.

I am proud that during my leadership of Champlain we have maintained our stellar career success track record with a focus on helping you connect your college experience and your future to your meaning and purpose in life. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion has grown stronger in the past five years. As a Presidential transition begins, Champlain is financially strong and sustainable. The College has achieved the vast majority of the ambitious goals set forth in its 2020 plan, and as our community looks ahead to implementation of the College's next strategic plan, I decided it was a good time to step aside.

Dr. Laurie Quinn, whom many of you know as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academics and who has been a member of my team since 2014, will serve as Interim President beginning in July. A national search is planned for the upcoming year.

I will forever hold this community close to my heart, and I know that you, our students, will continue to inspire future leaders to bring their talents to Champlain College.

Audeamus!

Don

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Dear Champlain College Online Students:

I am writing to share with you that I will be leaving the Presidency of Champlain College on June 28. I have cherished my role at Champlain, and have been especially proud to lead the College over the past five years when our online enrollment has more than tripled and our truED workforce partnership program has brought new levels of access to so many adult learners.

You represent Champlain's national and even international presence, a network extending out from our Vermont campus as you pursue studies throughout the United States and beyond. The commitment to quality higher education that Champlain College Online stands for remains unwavering. Champlain has achieved the vast majority of the ambitious goals set forth in its 2020 strategic plan, including strengthening our financial sustainability and increasing our commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. As the College looks ahead to the next strategic plan, I decided to step aside.

Dr. Laurie Quinn, who has led Champlain College Online team during a period of unprecedented success, and who has served on my team as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academics since 2014, has been appointed Interim President beginning in July. A national Presidential search is planned for the upcoming year.

I know that you, our students, will continue to inspire future leaders to bring their talents to Champlain College. Thank you, and I wish you continued success.

Audeamus!

Don

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Dear Champlain Alumni Community:

On behalf of the Advancement Team, I'm writing today to share a message from Don Laackman regarding his decision to step down as President of Champlain College effective June 28, 2019.

During his five years of service to Champlain, Don made significant contributions in building the College's financial strength and sustainability and increasing graduation rates. Under Don's leadership, the College increased diversity and inclusion, tripled online enrollment, maintained traditional student enrollment, increased the endowment 70%, restructured debt and instilled fiscal discipline. Throughout Don's tenure, Champlain has maintained its stellar career success track record with a focus on helping you connect your college experience and your future to your meaning and purpose in life.  

We invite faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members to join us in thanking Don and Allyson for their time, talent, and energy and wish them well. If you wish to be in touch, Don can be reached at don@champlain.edu through the 28th.

Dr. Laurie Quinn has been appointed Interim President effective July 1, 2019.  It is anticipated that Laurie will serve in this capacity until a new permanent President begins. We are fortunate that Laurie has agreed to apply her many talents and skills to serving Champlain in this new role.  

Trustee Neale Lunderville has agreed to serve as Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, working with the campus community to select Champlain's next President. More specifics will be shared regarding the search process over the coming months.  

The College is in a position of strength with respect to Champlain's students, career-focused mission, and financial stability. Champlain has a long history of reinvention and we remain confident in Champlain's ability to succeed in the future.

Sincerely,

Sarah Boston Andriano
Director of Institutional Advancement


To the Champlain Community,

I am proud of what we have accomplished in the past five years. Under my leadership, this community has worked together to lay the foundation critical for Champlain's future success. Together we have accomplished so much, including:

  • Launching new industry-relevant majors and programs. 
  • Improving retention, thereby increasing our traditional student six-year graduation rate from 57 percent to 64 percent.
  • Growing our Champlain College Online enrollment over 300 percent.
  • Increasing the focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, including the establishment of the Women's and Gender Center and expansion of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Maintaining our stellar track record of 94 percent or greater career success.
  • Maintaining our traditional student enrollment during a period of declining demographics.
  • Improving our financial situation and positioning Champlain to be able to weather challenges in the coming years, by:
    • Instilling a sense of fiscal discipline and strategic budgeting that resulted in consistently delivering annual surpluses in excess of four million dollar
    • Growing our net assets by 70 percent.
    • Restructuring our debt, enabling us to avoid a potentially crippling series of balloon payments and adding predictability to our debt repayment. Standard & Poors reaffirmed our BBB rating, with a stable outlook, last week.

These accomplishments, along with the thousands of other achievements by members of our community and our leadership team, give me confidence in Champlain's future.

Over the past several months, our community—faculty, staff, students, our leadership team, and the board of trustees—has engaged in conversations regarding the future of Champlain at a time of disruption in higher education. In response, we have drafted Champlain 2025. This plan will ensure Champlain once again reinvents itself to succeed in coming years.

While I am confident in my ability to continue to lead Champlain through these challenges, I have decided that the time is right for me to step aside. I will be at Champlain through June 28 and will be assisting with transition matters through the end of the year. I look forward to working with Dr. Laurie Quinn, who will serve as Interim President, and the Cabinet to ensure a successful transition. The Board will launch a national search for a new president.

I am deeply grateful for the privilege of leading Champlain College and will forever hold this community close to my heart. I am confident in your ability to thrive into the future.

Audeamus!

Don

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Dear Parent or Guardian:

Summer greetings from Burlington, Vermont! I am reaching out to you today to share the message below from President Donald J. Laackman, which Don sent to our current students earlier today, announcing his upcoming departure from Champlain College's Presidency and my appointment as Interim President by our Board of Trustees.

As Champlain's Provost and Senior Vice President for Academics on President Laackman's leadership team since 2014, I have had the pleasure of meeting many of you as you explored the College with your incoming student; arrived for the important transitional time of first-year move-in and orientation; and, for those of you whose students are further along at Champlain, attended academic and career-related events along the journey. I look forward to seeing many of you again soon as I lead the College as Interim President beginning in July.

I honor President Laackman for his extraordinary service to Champlain, and I appreciate the confidence that the Board has shown in me with my appointment. I see my new leadership role as a privilege through which I can help to advance the transformations that a Champlain College education makes possible. Together with a talented faculty and staff dedicated to our professionally-oriented mission, we will continue to thrive by focusing on our students as the heart of our institution. 

With my very best regards,

Laurie Quinn, Ph.D.


To the Champlain Community,

I am proud of what we have accomplished in the past five years. Under my leadership, this community has worked together to lay the foundation critical for Champlain's future success. Together we have accomplished so much, including:

  • Launching new industry-relevant majors and programs. 
  • Improving retention, thereby increasing our traditional student six-year graduation rate from 57 percent to 64 percent.
  • Growing our Champlain College Online enrollment over 300 percent.
  • Increasing the focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, including the establishment of the Women's and Gender Center and expansion of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Maintaining our stellar track record of 94 percent or greater career success.
  • Maintaining our traditional student enrollment during a period of declining demographics.
  • Improving our financial situation and positioning Champlain to be able to weather challenges in the coming years, by:
    • Instilling a sense of fiscal discipline and strategic budgeting that resulted in consistently delivering annual surpluses in excess of four million dollar
    • Growing our net assets by 70 percent.
    • Restructuring our debt, enabling us to avoid a potentially crippling series of balloon payments and adding predictability to our debt repayment. Standard & Poors reaffirmed our BBB rating, with a stable outlook, last week.

These accomplishments, along with the thousands of other achievements by members of our community and our leadership team, give me confidence in Champlain's future.

Over the past several months, our community—faculty, staff, students, our leadership team, and the board of trustees—has engaged in conversations regarding the future of Champlain at a time of disruption in higher education. In response, we have drafted Champlain 2025. This plan will ensure Champlain once again reinvents itself to succeed in coming years.

While I am confident in my ability to continue to lead Champlain through these challenges, I have decided that the time is right for me to step aside. I will be at Champlain through June 28 and will be assisting with transition matters through the end of the year. I look forward to working with Dr. Laurie Quinn, who will serve as Interim President, and the Cabinet to ensure a successful transition. The Board will launch a national search for a new president.

I am deeply grateful for the privilege of leading Champlain College and will forever hold this community close to my heart. I am confident in your ability to thrive into the future.

Audeamus!

Don

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PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Leandre Waldo, lwaldo@champlain.edu

CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE PRESIDENT DONALD J. LAACKMAN TO STEP DOWN

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academics Laurie Quinn to serve as Interim President June 12, 2019,

June 12, 2019, BURLINGTON, VT - After completing five years of service, Champlain College President Don Laackman has decided to step down, effective June 28, 2019. The Board of Trustees has accepted his resignation as announced in a letter to the college community today.

Dr. Laurie Quinn, Champlain's Provost and Senior Vice President for Academics, has been appointed Interim President, effective July 1, 2019. It is anticipated that she will serve in this capacity until a new permanent President begins.

"I am deeply grateful for the privilege of leading Champlain College and will forever hold this community close to my heart," said Don Laackman. "I'm proud of what we have accomplished together over the last five years. Of particular importance to me has been delivering on Champlain's career-focused mission and connecting students' professional focus with their meaning and purpose in life. It has been gratifying to me to spend time with students as they are beginning their journeys, and to meet with Champlain alumni at many of our corporate partners to see their success thanks to their experiences at Champlain. I have great confidence in Laurie Quinn as Interim President and in Champlain's future success."

Trustee Neale Lunderville has agreed to serve as Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, working with the campus community to select Champlain's next President. More specifics will be shared regarding the search process over the coming months.

Scott Carpenter, Chair of Champlain College's Board of Trustees, said, "On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I'd like to thank Don for his significant contributions to Champlain. His efforts and accomplishments in service to Champlain's students, career-focused mission, and financial stability leaves the College in a position of strength. We are fortunate that Dr. Laurie Quinn has agreed to apply her many talents and skills to serving Champlain as Interim President and look forward to working with her in this capacity. Champlain has a long history of reinvention and we remain confident in Champlain's ability to succeed into the future."

Dr. Laurie Quinn joined Champlain College in 2014. Dr. Quinn has provided leadership focused on academic excellence and innovation, supporting students, faculty, staff as Champlain's Chief Academic Officer and managing the successful growth of Champlain College Online. Before her arrival at Champlain, Dr. Quinn held leadership roles at Granite State College in New Hampshire, in public humanities programming and as a grants officer. Quinn earned her PhD in English Literature at the University of New Hampshire and her master's and undergraduate degrees at Boston College. She presently serves as a member of the Board of Generator. She lives in Burlington with her husband Peter Sutherland and their son.

Dr. Quinn said, "I honor President Laackman for his extraordinary service to Champlain, and I appreciate the confidence that the Board has shown in me by appointing me Interim President. I see my new leadership role as a privilege. It is an honor for me to advance the extraordinary transformations in students' lives that a Champlain college education makes possible. Together with a talented faculty and staff dedicated to our professionally focused mission, we will continue to thrive by serving our students in Burlington, online, and abroad."

Don Laackman joined Champlain College in 2014 as the College's 8th President. Under his leadership, the College grew the endowment by 70%, instilled financial discipline, more than tripled the size of the online student body to 3,500, and brought a collaborative approach to governance of the College.

About Champlain College

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is one of the most innovative, regionally accredited, not-for-profit colleges in the United States. Located in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland, Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain. In addition, Champlain College Online serves more than 3,000 students through undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates in high-growth fields like cybersecurity, healthcare administration, and human resource management. It is one of the oldest online institutions in the United States and consistently ranks as a leader in online higher education by U.S. News & World Report. The College's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" 2019 regional rankings, and listed among The Princeton Review's "The Best 384 Colleges" in 2019. Champlain is also featured in the 2019 Fiske Guide to Colleges as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain as well as recognized as a 2019 College of Distinction for its "Engagement, Teaching, Community and Outcomes." For more information, visit www.champlain.edu.

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