When I last wrote to you in these pages, Woodbury Institute had only recently become part of Champlain College. Today I am pleased to note, with even greater confidence, that bringing Woodbury and Champlain—two career-focused colleges—together was a wise decision, particularly in these challenging financial times.
This past July saw the last stand-alone graduation for Woodbury students, with both President Finney and I jointly celebrating the success of the graduates. Our student speakers talked passionately about the importance of their Woodbury educations and were welcomed into the Champlain family.
Woodbury’s graduate programs are thriving at Champlain. The master’s degree programs in Law and Mediation, in particular, have become especially valuable components of the Champlain community, blending well with the College’s established programs geared toward adult learners. In addition, the director of the Mediation master’s degree program, Julian Portilla, has been helping individuals across all campus use conflict resolution skills to explore difficult issues through constructive dialogue. At the same time, Mediation master’s students have trained resident assistants in conflict resolution. Mediation students and faculty also created a training for 30 foreign students attending Vermont high schools and brought them to campus for a daylong workshop on exploring conflict resolution processes in different cultures.
The Woodbury Institute further enriched the campus culture by hosting Chinese
law professor Wang Canfa for a public lecture and forum on how mediation and dialogue techniques are used to address conflicts in both the U.S. and in countries around the world (see article). Wang’s visit to North America was made possible through a collaboration between the Woodbury Institute of Champlain College and Montreal’s McGill University.
Several changes in the Woodbury programs have been reviewed and approved by the Champlain faculty senate. The Master’s of Science in Law program has grown from 30 to 42 credits and now includes a short residency on the Burlington campus. The Master’s of Mediation & Applied Conflict Studies has reduced the number of times students must visit Burlington and has created a part-time degree option. The program continues to include a graduate certificate; as you can see in an article on the facing page, one certificate grad, Ross Schifo, is using his skills to help his company build strong relationships. The undergraduate program will end this academic year.
Finally, Woodbury College grads and friends, if you have not seen the beautiful Champlain College campus, please consider coming up “the Hill” for a visit. Contact me or Dannah Beauregard from the Development office to
Executive Vice President