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In sudden, shocking twist, Anarumo departs as NU president

In+sudden%2C+shocking+twist%2C+Anarumo+departs+as+NU+president

Note to reader: The story has been updated to include Tuesday’s announcement from the Norwich Board of Trustees.

Norwich University’s popular president, Mark Anarumo, has surprisingly announced his resignation less than a week before the start of the Spring 2024 semester.

Norwich’s Board of Trustees met Tuesday and released a statement to the university community. On Nov. 29, according to the board, it was “informed of some actions by Dr. Anarumo that may have violated University policies,” the statement said.

“Board leadership immediately initiated an independent outside investigation. When preliminary findings from the investigation were available and it was clear he violated Norwich’s core guiding values and University policy, Dr. Anarumo was placed on paid leave.”

The statement didn’t elaborate on what values and policy it said Anarumo violated.

Before the investigation report was finalized, the statement said, Anarumo “tendered his resignation, effective January 4, 2024, which was accepted by the Board of Trustees on January 9, 2024.

“This semester will be different without President Anarumo,” said Rodion Pedyuk, 21, junior Corp of Cadets, CSIA major from Ukraine.

“He ensured students’ security during challenging times, and his support will be greatly missed.”

Mark Anarumo, a retired colonel in U.S. Air Force, arrived at Norwich in 2020, succeeding long-time president Richard Schneider, who had served the university since 1992.

The announcement of Anarumo’s resignation reverberated as a profound shock within the Norwich community, sparking a cascade of inquiries and uncertainties. The timing of his departure has raised several concerns and questions amongst the community, given that this was announced only a few days before the spring semester was scheduled to begin.

“I am in shock. President Anarumo was a staple to the growth of the Guidon. I still remember cutting the cake for our 100th year anniversary together,” said Aira Yzabel Manampan, Editor for the Guidon 21, senior Corps of Cadets, Psychology major from Belleville, New Jersey.

“His support meant the world to our team. I just wonder what’s going to happen now that he’s leaving his position.”

The unexpected departure was communicated on January 5th via an email from Provost and Dean of Faculty Karen Gaines, who has assumed the role of acting president.

“President Anarumo is on leave and may not return to work,” said Gaines.

“Personnel matters are confidential.  We will provide information on an as-needed basis. Most importantly, we will continue focusing on doing the necessary work to educate our students.”

Anarumo was placed on paid administrative leave at 12 pm on January 5th, followed by his official resignation at 6 pm the same day.

The Board of Trustees will convene on January 9, 2024, to address the matter and issue a public statement.

VTDigger reports that Anarumo described his departure as a “mutual” decision and expressed the need for continuity at Norwich.

Challenges arose due to declining birth rates affecting student recruitment in Vermont’s higher education sector.

Anarumo, in a statement to VTDigger, denied a specific incident prompting his departure but acknowledged demographic pressures during his tenure.

The Guidon attempted to reach Anarumo through email but received no response.

Despite his departure, Anarumo affirmed his support for Norwich and plans to release a statement to the community soon.

The Board of Trustees meeting on January 9th will determine the university’s next steps after Anarumo’s resignation. Until then, Dr. Karen Gaines, now acting president, will lead the institution through this transition.

The Guidon attempted to contact Dr. Karen Gaines over the weekend however, she was not available.

“The Norwich University community will feel the absence of President Anarumo’s leadership,” said Pedyuk. “His commitment during challenging times leaves a lasting impact.”

According to an open letter from Alan DeForest, Chairman of the Norwich University Board of Trustees, Broadmeadow recently became aware of an emerging medical concern. He will undergo a series of medical tests to determine the extent of the diagnosis, treatment plans, and the anticipated start date for assuming the presidency.

Broadmeadow’s decision to be transparent about his health led to postponing scheduled town hall events and meetings.

The Board of Trustees, after discussing this matter, decided to continue with Broadmeadow’s nomination, expressing confidence in his ability to lead the university given his military and leadership experience and dedicated service as a member of the Board of Trustees.

Acting President Dr. Karen Gaines will continue in her role until at least the spring, providing stability during this period of uncertainty.

Note: Information from Vermont Business Magazine (https://vermontbiz.com/news/2024/january/22/norwich-university-puts-hold-naming-new-president#:~:text=As%20you%20know%2C%20the%20Board,next%20president%20of%20Norwich%20University. was used in this article.

Note: Information from VTDigger (https://vtdigger.org/2024/01/05/norwich-university-president-out-calls-decision-mutual/)  was used in this article.

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About the Contributor
Andrii Shadrin, Campus Life Reporter
Andrii Shadrin is the Gudion's Digital Reporter. He is currently a civilian student, graduating with the class of 2026. He is majoring in English, Communications, and International Business. Outside of school, Andrii immerses himself in the community by being the president of the Slavic Club and Student Ambassador for the Admissions Office.
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