Green Mountain College President Paul J. Fonteyn announced at a meeting of faculty and staff yesterday that he will step down as president at the end of the 2015-16 academic year.
“The accomplishments I have achieved during my tenure as president have only been possible because of the vibrant, creative, and dedicated faculty and staff composing the Green Mountain community,” Fonteyn said. “It has been an honor to serve as president for the past seven years. I will miss a lot of things, but especially the students.”
The seventh president in GMC history, Fonteyn was appointed in June, 2008.
Dr. Anthony D. Cortese, chair of the Board of Trustees, stated: “Paul Fonteyn has done an immense job over the past seven years that we on the board greatly appreciate. He led us in becoming one of the nation’s top colleges in environmental, social and economic sustainability and greatly expanded cutting- edge online graduate programs. Dr. Fonteyn achieved this during one of the most difficult times in higher education history beginning with the 2008 recession. He has been Green Mountain College’s greatest champion and a model for loyalty, public service and sustainability—the hallmarks of the College’s mission. The College owes him our deepest gratitude for his service and legacy. We wish him the best in the next chapter of his personal and professional life.”
During Fonteyn’s tenure, GMC was ranked in 2010 as the number #1 environmental school in the nation by Sierra Magazine, the #2 Greenest School in 2015 by the Princeton Review, and one of the top fifty excellent yet affordable colleges in the nation by Forbes magazine in May 2015. In 2011, GMC became the first college in the nation to achieve carbon neutrality through a combination of campus-wide efficiency, adoption of clean energy, and purchase of local carbon offsets.
GMC students now routinely get accepted into highly competitive National Science Foundation (NSF) summer internship programs (10% acceptance rate), receive Morris K. Udall & Stewart L. Udall Scholarships, and are accepted into top-flight graduate programs with financial support from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.
Fonteyn has also served as a leader in higher education at the national and local level. He has served for three years as chair of the board of Vermont Campus Compact, is the current chair of the board of the Association of Vermont Independent Colleges, and serves on the national steering committee of the American Colleges and Universities Presidents’ Climate Commitment.
Fonteyn and his wife Marsha plan to split their time between Ojai, Cal., and their home on Lake Bomoseen.
Cortese announced that a search committee, consisting of trustees, faculty, staff, alumni, and students will be formed with the goal of installing a new president by the end of June, 2016.