There’s a shakeup in the leadership ranks at Vermont State University. Embattled VTSU President Parwinder Grewal has resigned and is stepping down immediately for personal reasons. The news was announced by The Vermont State Colleges System following a meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Former Vermont Agency of Human Services Secretary Michael (Mike) Smith will assume the role of interim president beginning next week. 

Vermont State University Interim President Mike Smith (Courtesy: VSCS)

Grewal was less than a year into the job. He was appointed last July to oversee the launch of Vermont State University this coming July 1. Vermont State would be made up of Castleton University, Northern Vermont University and Vermont Technical College. Grewal faced controversy and a no-confidence vote over proposed to the universities’ libraries and athletics.

VSCS Chancellor Sophie Zdatny said in a statement, “none of this work is simple or easy but we are making steady progress and will be ready to launch Vermont State University in July.” She added “We are grateful to Dr. Parwinder Grewal for stepping into the role of President and bringing his skills and expertise from a similar higher education unification at this important time, and we appreciate his service.” 

VSCS says Interim President Smith will serve for six months. It has asked him to hold off on implementing the proposed initiatives around athletics and the libraries until a comprehensive set of recommendations can be developed.

In as statement, Interim President Smith said “it is an honor to take on this role at such a critical time and I am committed to giving this my all to ensure the overwhelming success of Vermont State University.” He adds, “I am excited to work with the faculty and staff and welcome the inaugural class who will help chart this new path forward. Together, we are making history and securing a legacy that will serve generations of Vermonters.”