MONTPELIER, VT – Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) President Leslie Ward today announced her decision to step down from VCFA, effective December 23, 2023. In a message to the VCFA community, President Ward stated that she was leaving in order to focus on her family and that Trustee Andrew Ramsammy was appointed by the Board of Trustees to serve as Interim President of VCFA. President Ward has agreed to rejoin the Board of Trustees.
“Serving as President of VCFA for the past four years has been a true privilege,” said President Ward. “I have witnessed and celebrated the extraordinary talents and passion of the VCFA community and the collective commitment to our beloved institution. I am incredibly proud of all we accomplished together. With Andrew stepping into the interim President role, VCFA could not be in better hands, and I look forward to supporting and assisting him through this transition.”
Mr. Ramsammy is a highly accomplished creative professional and advocate who has long demonstrated his dedication to VCFA’s mission, having served on its board since 2021. He has more than 20 years of global experience in creative, content, and production, and has committed much of his career to expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion within the field of journalism. Mr. Ramsammy most recently served as the Local Media Association’s Chief Impact Officer where he led Word In Black, a groundbreaking digital collaboration of the nation’s leading Black news publishers, and the Knight x LMA BloomLab, a sustainability initiative in support of a free and independent Black press. He’s a drama graduate of NYC’s LaGuardia High School, a film graduate of the School of Visual Arts, and he was a 2022 Sulzberger Fellow at the Columbia Journalism School.
“VCFA is known for its enduring commitment to, and excellence in, teaching the arts and cultivating artistic talent. Under Leslie’s leadership, the College expanded on that mission and creatively addressed challenges that are common to institutions of higher education today,” said Andrew Ramsammy, interim President of VCFA. “I am honored to lead VCFA through this exciting chapter.”
“Leslie will be greatly missed, and the value of her contributions cannot be overstated,” said Michael Goldstein, Chair of the VCFA Board of Trustees. “During the past four years, VCFA successfully navigated the pandemic, tripled annual fundraising, enhanced diversity and equity initiatives, and most importantly, introduced a reimagined residency model to provide our students across our six disciplines with a uniquely integrated experience.”
Mr. Goldstein added, “Andrew is a natural leader and has long been a champion of the arts and equity. We are deeply grateful for his commitment to ushering the College through this transformative period as we approach our first-ever winter residency at Susquehanna University,”
The Board will begin a collaborative process with the VCFA staff and faculty to identify the next leader in January following the winter residencies.