We’re running into problems getting information from the Vermont State College administration.

They’ve been lording over public records with an arrogance and ignorance we thankfully don’t suffer every day.

Incoming Chancellor Sophie Zdatny, for instance, is refusing us basic information that she is providing other media organizations, reasoning “it seems inappropriate to share the material provided in response to their requests with a rival news organization.”

Guess what Chancellor, it’s not for you to decide. That information is public. When the public asks to see it, you have to show it, by law.

But as the story unfolds, we’ve come to realize something. It’s not just that the VSC educrats are mean, we don’t think they have any idea what’s going on.

We want to see, for instance, what it would take to make the NVU-Lyndon campus profitable. But the VSC can’t supply figures broken down by operation. They can only provide a system-wide financial picture, they insist.

How can that be?

We run a shop smaller than they do but with only slightly fewer accounting demands. We can explain every dollar that passes through our organization. Like the VSC, our accounting efforts often hue red. But we know how and why. That allows us the knowledge to strategize and adjust in an informed and focused way.

Not so at NVU, it appears.

We know the VSC schools face very real market challenges. To overcome them, they’re going to need real leadership. You can’t manage an operation you don’t understand.

We don’t think Jeb Spaulding was a good leader. From what we’ve seen so far from Zdatny, we’re not optimistic that she will be, either.

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