Dr. Elaine C. Collins came to the Vermont State Colleges System in 2015 as the president of Johnson State College after serving as dean and chief operating officer of the College of Education at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. On July 1, 2017, she assumed the role of president at both Johnson State and Lyndon State colleges, the first step toward the colleges becoming Northern Vermont University.
During her professional career, she has served as president of the Michigan Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and as a member of various boards including the Literacy Center of West Michigan, Women’s Center, and West Shore Chapter of the American Red Cross. She currently serves as a vice president of the Lamoille Economic Development Corporation.
A first-generation college student, Elaine holds a Ph.D. in education policy and leadership. During her time at Grand Valley State University, she strengthened academic programs, galvanized faculty, increased financial support, improved the physical plant, embraced an inclusive vision of shared governance, and expanded external programs. Her research interests focus on arts and education.
In her first two years at Johnson, Elaine secured national recognition for Johnson State’s liberal arts programs from the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, resulting in the college being designated Vermont’s Premier Public Liberal Arts campus. Additionally, she oversaw Johnson’s successful reaccreditation process, helped secure a major grant from the Davis Educational Fund to support general education curriculum development for Northern Vermont University, successfully advocated for increased funding from the state legislature to support the colleges’ transition to Northern Vermont University, and has led the ongoing effort to unify the administrations, policies, and processes of Johnson and Lyndon.