LYNDON’S PRESIDENT REFLECTS ON THE COMING ACADEMIC YEAR. On July 5, 2011, Steve Gold took over the reins as Lyndon State College’s interim president. Now a little over a month into his tenure, Gold is excited to be on the job. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to help guide Lyndon through this transition. The College plays a vital role in the Northeast Kingdom and I am committed to working with the entire Lyndon community throughout the coming academic year to ensure its ongoing success.”
Gold spent his first several weeks at Lyndon getting to know the College and its people better. On his second day on campus he hosted a barbecue lunch for the entire college community, meeting and talking with many faculty, staff, and students. During his first weeks on campus he is meeting individually with campus leaders to hear first-hand what they think is most important for the College as a whole, for themselves in their professional roles, and to learn what they expect from their president in the coming year.
In early August Interim President Gold officiated at the graduation of the first class of machinists trained as part of the Northeast Kingdom Manufacturing Training Program (NEK MTP), an initiative of the College’s Center for Rural Entrepreneurship in partnership with Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC), Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA), two regional Career and Technical Education Centers (Lyndon Institute and St. Johnsbury Academy), White Mountains Community College, local manufacturers, and the Vermont Department of Labor.
This intensive eight-week training program is an important component of the College’s growing mission to be a driving force in regional economic development by educating a “21st century workforce.”
Prominent on the Gold’s radar in the coming year are new degree programs in Criminal Justice and Radio Production, the second full year of the College’s competing in intercollegiate athletics in the NCAA, and working to successfully complete Lyndon’s $10 million “Second Century Campaign” to coincide with the conclusion of the College’s Centennial Celebration this December. This fall the College is also celebrating near-record enrollment for the incoming freshman class—figures buoyed by the popularity of a number of professional programs with out-of-state students. Gold notes, “It’s exciting to see so many students from outside Vermont recognize what we have to offer here at Lyndon. I am especially enthusiastic about the partnership between the liberal arts and professional studies here at Lyndon.”
The campus itself has some new touches—some more visible than others—ranging from a new elevator adjacent to the College’s television broadcast facility to the most exciting project for students, the construction of a new 6,000-square-foot skatepark, scheduled for completion during the fall semester.
When describing his management style, Gold says, “I think listening is much more important that talking. I think that working together collaboratively and recognizing and using each person’s unique strengths is the way to accomplish extraordinary things. Effective leadership is not about you; it is about what you enable others to do.” He also believes in service. “A college, like a government program, exists for the people it is designed to serve; that needs to be in the forefront of all our thinking and doing.”
Interim President Gold has been a familiar face in Vermont State government. Over the course of his 35 years of service to the state he has worked at the Commissioner and Deputy Secretary level in two administrations. During the last four years of Governor Howard Dean’s administration, Gold served as Commissioner of the then Department of Employment and Training. Under Governor Jim Douglas, Gold served in multiple capacities, including Commissioner of Corrections, Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Human Services, and Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Administration.
Gold retired from state government in 2007—remaining active as a part-time consultant to the Legislative Joint Fiscal Office. The 66-year-old Massachusetts native came out of retirement to accept the post at Lyndon. “It was truly an offer I could not refuse. While I have enjoyed retirement very much, I could not resist the opportunity to be a part of the Vermont State Colleges system, for which I have great respect and with which I worked closely in two of my State jobs.”
Gold’s interim presidency is expected to last one year and comes in the wake of President Carol A. Moore’s retirement after thirteen years of service at Lyndon. The Board of Trustees of the Vermont State Colleges is expected to designate a search committee to begin a national search for a new president of Lyndon State College early in the fall.