Middlebury

College receives $200,000 award to promote career flexibility for faculty

September 16, 2009

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-The College has received a $200,000 award to enhance the associate status program for faculty, offer new opportunities for faculty within the broader Middlebury "universe," improve employment prospects for faculty spouses and partners, and promote greater balance between the personal and professional lives of faculty.

Middlebury was one of six colleges selected in a nationwide competition to receive the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibility for 2009. The others were Albright, Bowdoin, Mount Holyoke, Oberlin, and Washington & Lee. The awards program, sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and conducted by the American Council on Education, recognized the schools for their leadership and accomplishments in implementing groundbreaking policies and practices supporting career flexibility for tenured and tenure-track faculty. Two other colleges, Dickinson and Smith, received $25,000 awards in recognition of their innovative practices in career flexibility.

Jim Ralph, Middlebury's dean for faculty development and research and a professor of history, led a team effort that resulted in the creation in June 2009 of a detailed, 10-page "accelerator plan" for Middlebury's undergraduate faculty. The document was then entered in the Sloan Awards competition.

"The Sloan Award represents an influx of new resources to the College at a time of economic uncertainty," Dean Ralph said. "And while the target of the award is faculty career flexibility, many of the enhancements that will flow from this award will benefit the entire community."

The College's accelerator plan also calls for the creation of a new Web page to increase the faculty's accessibility to career flexibility opportunities.