TWO FINALISTS NAMED FOR LSC PRESIDENT. Chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges, Tim Donovan, announced that the Lyndon State College Presidential Search Committee has advanced two names for consideration by the Vermont State College (VSC) Board of Trustees. Dr. Joe Bertolino and Dr. Michael Sonntag have accepted invitations to return to LSC on February 15 for final interviews with the Board. The President is responsible for executive leadership and the operation and management of the College within the policies of the VSC Board of Trustees.
“Each of the candidates has extended his gratitude for the opportunity to engage with the college…in each case noting that his excitement and interest about Lyndon increased over the course of their visit,” Donovan said. “In the end, there was remarkable consistency from all quarters and in the Search Committee for the selection of Drs. Sonntag and Bertolino as finalists. The Search Committee is pleased to have two such qualified and inspiring candidates as finalists for the 15th president of Lyndon State College.”
Bertolino is Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs and Executive Assistant to the President at Queens College. Queens is one of the senior colleges of the City University of New York. Bertolino earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and Organizational Leadership from Columbia University.
Sonntag is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. He was a member of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation team that recently granted LSC reaccreditation. The first in his family to attend college, Sonntag earned his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Arkansas.
Both candidates are deeply committed to Lyndon’s mission to serve first-in-family and modest income students. Both seek to build stronger bridges with the extended public as well as strengthen the bonds within the college. Both are effective and dynamic communicators.
The new President takes the helm just months after Lyndon State’s successful completion of a $10 million fund-raising campaign. The Second Century Campaign commemorated the College’s centennial in 2011, while looking forward to Lyndon’s next hundred years.
The 13-member search committee was chaired by VSC Trustee Martha O’Connor and was made up of LSC faculty, staff, students, VSC Trustees and members of the Lyndon community at-large. The committee launched a national search in October 2011 and ultimately pared the list to four semi-finalists. These four candidates each spent two days meeting with faculty, staff, students, and the external Lyndon community during the week of January 23. Each held separate town hall-style gatherings with employees and students to consider the results of collegewide vision workshops to spur discussion about the College’s future course. Employees and students were able to provide opinions and rank the four semi-finalists online. The Search Committee then narrowed the list to the two remaining names.
The incoming President will replace Steve Gold who has served as Lyndon’s interim President since 2011.