Middlebury

 

Note to the Middlebury campus community from President Ron Liebowitz

— June 21, 2010

On July 1 the Monterey Institute of International Studies will become part of Middlebury College, and will be known officially as "The Monterey Institute of International Studies: A Graduate School of Middlebury College." This is the culmination of a process that began with the Middlebury and Monterey affiliation, nearly five years ago. With the official event just 10 days away, I would like to share my thoughts on what this means for Middlebury College and for our students, faculty, and staff.

As I pointed out in my address to the campus in February, Monterey was in tenuous financial shape when we began our relationship, but since then has undergone an effective reorganization and found a new focus under the presidential leadership of our colleagues, first Clara Yu and, since 2009, Sunder Ramaswamy. In addition, for the past three years, Monterey has been in the black, contributing to the College's bottom line at a time when our own wealth took a serious hit. Monterey's most important mission will continue to be serving a population of about 750 graduate students from around the world; 36 percent of Monterey's students are international. The institute's two main emphases are languages (translation, interpretation, and second-language acquisition) and policy studies (international policy and management, international environmental policy, and nonproliferation and terrorism studies).

Looking forward, the overall goals of this integration are: to enhance our collective programmatic offerings at the undergraduate and graduate level in international studies and language education; to establish a stronger Middlebury presence on the Pacific Rim; to strengthen our international networks, particularly in Asia through Monterey's existing academic ties to China, Japan, and Korea; and to expand the educational opportunities of our undergraduates across a range of curricular areas.

Monterey and Middlebury share not only a common interest in cross cultural communication but also a commitment to making a difference in the world. Together we provide a bridge between critical thought and applied learning, encouraging new opportunities in international and language education; innovative global research; faculty collaborations and teaching exchanges; and the continued development of programmatic ventures such as the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy, the intensive summer language program for pre-college students now entering its third summer.

We expect to have in place for the 2010-11 academic year several accelerated dual-degree offerings, in which students earn, in just five years, 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 at the Monterey Institute. 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 Languages, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Each degree has specific requirements at Middlebury to qualify for admission at Monterey, as well as requirements at Monterey.

What we will not see following integration is a change in Middlebury's focus on its core enterprise—the undergraduate, liberal arts college in Vermont. This is in keeping with what we call "the Middlebury Model," which foresees that Monterey, like our Language Schools, Schools Abroad, and Bread Loaf programs, will complement rather than compete with the undergraduate college, enhancing the range of academic opportunities available to our undergraduates in ways that no other liberal arts college can match.

For example, we anticipate that some Middlebury juniors will eventually be able to spend a semester in Monterey taking graduate-level courses in areas that complement their undergraduate studies. Students who major in international politics and economics, international studies, and environmental studies will be able to take courses in the School of International Policy and Management. Similarly, students majoring in a foreign language, or those interested in linguistics, might very well spend a semester at Monterey and take courses in linguistics, language education, and, for the truly advanced students, translation and interpretation. And students from a wide range of majors who are interested in the scientific or policy aspects of biological, chemical, and nuclear nonproliferation will be able to study at the Institute's renowned James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

In addition to the increased curricular opportunities for our students, the College and its extended family will see the career-related benefits of a larger and more interconnected global alumni network, including the 28,000 living alumni of the undergraduate college, the more than 10,000 advanced degree holders from the Language Schools and the Bread Loaf School of English, and Monterey's 8,400 alumni.

Another result of our affiliation has been a successful, ongoing lecture program, "Global Vision-Global Reach: The Middlebury/Monterey Lecture Series," which we established last year. The continuation of the series will be part of a year-long celebration of the integration, in Middlebury and in Monterey.

We will have more news soon on further events, and you will find additional information about the integration at the Web site: http://www.middlebury.edu/international/middlebury-monterey. For now, I hope you will join me in celebrating this transition, and officially welcoming the Monterey Institute of International Studies into Middlebury's constellation of extraordinary graduate and special programs.

Best,

Ron