Note to the MIIS community from President Sunder Ramaswamy

— June 21, 2010

Members of the Monterey Institute Community,

On July 1 the Monterey Institute of International Studies will complete the process of integration with Middlebury College, and become known officially as "A Graduate School of Middlebury College." In some ways, July 1 will be a day like any other on our campus: students will attend classes, faculty will teach and research, and the staff and administration will continue to work on writing the next chapter in our 55-year history.

We in Monterey have been living the experience of integration with Middlebury for several years now, essentially since the two institutions first signed an affiliation agreement in 2005. We have adapted systems and processes, adjusted responsibilities, developed relationships, and learned how the two campuses can leverage one another's resources to deliver new opportunities for students and faculty on both coasts. But, looking beyond the day-to-day changes we have implemented, I think it's appropriate to consider for a moment the broader significance of July 1 for this institution.

When it became apparent early in the last decade that the Monterey Institute would need to find a partner institution in order to grow and thrive, it was equally clear that, in order for the partnership to be successful, it would have to benefit both institutions. It was important that the two schools complement one another in terms of curriculum and interests, but also that they complement one another in terms of character and aspirations.  Most of all, it was vital that both schools be prepared to roll up their sleeves and aim to achieve a union that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

Today, after many months of work on reorganizing the Institute and integrating functions with Middlebury, we have begun to realize that vision in concrete and meaningful ways.

As many of you know, we expect to have in place for the 2010-11 academic year five integrated degree programs in which students can earn, in just five years, both a B.A. from Middlebury and an M.A. from the Monterey Institute. These programs will include four years of undergraduate work at Middlebury in a variety of majors, plus development of language proficiency, followed by one year of graduate study here in Monterey. These programs are retroactively available to all Middlebury alumni who qualify, assuming they apply to and are accepted at Monterey through the normal admissions process. The five integrated degree programs are: International Environmental Policy, International Policy Studies, Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies, Teaching Foreign Language, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

At the same time, we continue to work on creating opportunities for students here in Monterey to take advantage of Middlebury's Language Schools and network of Schools Abroad in 34 cities in 13 countries.

We will also continue the very successful Monterey/Middlebury Lecture Series established last year, with this year's events becoming part of a year-long celebration of integration on both campuses.

And with the Institute's financial position stabilized, we have been able to develop and launch homegrown initiatives such as our new Master of Arts in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies degree, and new advanced-entry and certificate options for several other programs.

These are some of the changes we've seen in the past 18 months. One change you will not see as we move beyond integration is a change in our focus on training the next generation of global professionals to be the solution to some of the world's most pressing problems. That is what the Monterey Institute of International Studies has done so well for the past 55 years, and what we aspire to do for many years to come.

Today, I want to thank and acknowledge the leadership of President Ron Liebowitz and the Middlebury College Board of Trustees, as well as our own board of trustees, which on July 1 will become the Monterey Institute Board of Governors. (And I hope you'll read Ron's message to the Middlebury campus community today regarding the integration.) I also want to thank and acknowledge my predecessors, Steve Baker and Clara Yu, for their vision and loyal stewardship of this institution.  But most of all, I want to thank every member of the Monterey Institute faculty and staff for your hard work and dedication to our students, to one another, and to this institution. Integration with Middlebury positions us to do great things together—and I know we will.