Castleton University is eliminating two prominent positions as part of the university’s budget restructuring process.
University spokesman Jeff Weld said Scott Dikeman, Dean of Administration and Lyle Jepson, Dean of Entrepreneurial Programs will both lose their positions.
The cuts are part of a restructuring effort the university recently announced in light of an expected operating loss of $1.5 million this year.
Jepson’s termination is having ripple effects in the Rutland business community because he also heads up the Rutland Economic Development Corporation.
“Jepson will remain in his current role through a 90-day transition period as the University moves away from its formal partnership with REDC,” Weld said in an email.
That partnership began just over two years ago when REDC moved into space leased by the university and tapped Jepson to lead the organization.
Jepson, REDC board members felt, would be in an ideal position to both promote manufacturers and businesses in the region, but also harness his university connections to grow the local workforce, something seen as a critical need for the region.
John Russell III, President of the Rutland Economic Development Corporation’s Board of Directors says there are a lot of questions right now as to how the group will move forward and he says they held an executive board meeting just this morning. Russell says they’d love to have Jepson stay on as director but will need time to formulate a plan.
Reached by phone Thursday, Jepson says Castleton’s decision took him and the REDC Board by surprise.
He says he has no plans to leave Rutland and says the momentum REDC has created with a new makerspace and the Real Rutland marketing efforts will continue.
“There’s an attitude now that can’t be stopped,” said Jepson. “And there are going to be situations like this that come up and we need to not be gloom and doom. We need to figure out a different way to continue to get to the finish line that we’re all pulling in the same direction to reach.”