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The Board approved the FY2020 budget at their May meeting.

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Board of Trustees Approves FY2020 Budget

May 15, 2019

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The Middlebury Board of Trustees, at its annual meeting May 10–11, approved an expense budget of $272.5 million for fiscal year 2020, which begins on July 1, 2020. That represents a 1.4 percent decrease from the current fiscal year’s projected expense budget. 

Executive Vice President for Finance David Provost told the trustees that the drop represents an important part of the plan to return Middlebury to an annual operating surplus, a goal that in 2016 was projected for fiscal year 2021 but which will now be achieved one year early in the upcoming fiscal year 2020.

The board also approved a capital budget for the year of $19.5 million.

The budget encompasses the operations of Middlebury College, the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, the Middlebury Language Schools, the Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad, the Middlebury School of the Environment, the Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English, and the Middlebury Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences. 

The board chose a new slate of officers for the 2020–2021 year that begins July 1. George C. Lee II ’88 will serve up to two terms of three years each as chair. Karen A. Stolley ’77 and William F. Truscott ’83 will serve as vice chairs.

The trustees elected a new term trustee, Alice J. “AJ” Poor Murphy ’98, and two new alumni trustees, Denver Edwards ’88 and Anne Davis Peterson ’85, effective July 1. All three will serve five-year terms.

The board also approved tenure recommendations for two members of the College faculty, effective July 1:

  • Keegan Callanan, associate professor, political science
  • Daniel F. Silva, associate professor, Luso-Hispanic studies

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of the College Baishakhi Taylor and four students—John Gosselin ’20, Helene Rowland ’20, Zahrrah Ahmed ’19, and Robbie Kelley ’19—updated the board on How Will We Live Together, the first comprehensive review of Middlebury’s commons residential life system since its inception in 1998. The project’s steering committee identified both the strengths and challenges of the current system in its report. Taylor said that starting this summer, her office will begin implementing the committee’s short-term recommendations and lead community discussions about how to better engage faculty in student life outside the classroom. Several positions have also been added to the Health and Wellness Office and the dean of students staff as a result of the report’s findings.

During the next academic year, Taylor will involve students, faculty, and staff in a series of conversations about the recommended long-term goals, such as the possible construction of a new student center by 2030, and short-term steps that can improve student life more quickly, including the creation of additional lounge space where students can socialize in residence halls. Trustees will continue to consider the long-term projects at future board meetings.

The board also heard from President Laurie Patton, who announced the creation of the Global Citizen’s Award, an honor that will be presented for the first time at Middlebury’s Commencement on May 26. The inaugural recipient of the award will be Adul Samon, one of 12 boys who, along with their soccer coach, were rescued from a Thai cave last year. The award is given annually to a person who, through selflessness, compassion, and commitment to open and generous communication, is able to change the world to better serve others. Patton stressed that it was important to offer something in return from Middlebury to Samon’s school, the Baan Wiang Phan School. As a result, the College has established a three-year summer internship program where two Middlebury students will teach English at the school.

In other board-related news, the trustees in January approved an increase of 3.25 percent, or $2,261, for annual tuition and room and board charges for the 2019–2020 academic year. The increase will bring the cost for a year at Middlebury College to $72,256 including $55,790 for tuition and $16,040 for room and board. An additional mandatory student activity fee will increase by $8 to $426.

In the Boards of Overseers meetings Friday morning, the boards discussed a number of topics and initiatives, including the following:

  • An introduction of Sujata Moorti, who will be the new dean of faculty as of July 1.
  • The strategic plan for student housing at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • The access students at the College have to Middlebury’s global network, from the Language Schools to the Middlebury Institute, which offers experiences in different cultures, internships, accelerated graduate study, and other opportunities. Administrators want to explore how best to strengthen the pathways of this network to increase the value of the undergraduate experience.

At committee meetings in the afternoon, topics of discussion included the following:

  • A regular review of the performance of the endowment and the current investment strategy of Investure, Middlebury’s investment manager.
  • The next steps in Middlebury’s Energy2028 initiative regarding solar and biomethane projects.
  • An update on operational risks related to technology and cyber security.

On Saturday morning, the Board of Trustees covered a number of topics, including:

  • An update on the conclusion of the financial sustainability phase of workforce planning. A communication about the process will be forthcoming.
  • Progress toward enrollment growth at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. The Institute will see increased enrollments for the 2019–2020 academic year.
  • Enrollment updates for summer programs at the Language Schools, Bread Loaf School of English, and School of the Environment.   

The board also named members to additional terms and honored others.

Current trustees Kirtley Horton Cameron ’95, George C. Lee II ’88, Caroline Sneath McBride ’75, Karen A. Stolley ’77, and William F. Truscott ’83 were named charter trustees. Each has served a minimum of five years and now will serve an additional five- to 10-year term, depending on the number of years previously served.

Frank W. Sesno ’77 was named a trustee emeritus.

The board honored outgoing trustees Steven B. Peterson ’88, Elisabeth B. Robert ’78, Linda Foster Whitton ’80, Deborah G. Thomas ’75, and Kim Collins Parizeau ’79, former board chair, whose terms will end on June 30. Various trustees read the board minutes for their outgoing fellow board members thanking them for their service.

The trustees also named three partner overseers: Chuck M. Gately ’62 will serve as a member of the Schools Board of Overseers, John C. Elder P’04 for the College, and Richard Wolfson for the Middlebury Institute. Gately will serve his second term and Elder and Wolfson their first.

The board named six constituent overseers: Varsha Vijayakumar ’20, incoming president of the Student Government Association, and Jami Black, College staff member, for the College; Jaewon Oh ’13, incoming president of the Institute’s Student Council, and Ashley Arrocha, Institute staff member, for the Institute; and Cara Levine ’20, who attended the Arabic School, and Ilaria Brancoli-Busdraghi, lecturer in Italian, for the Schools.

The Middlebury Board of Trustees will meet again Oct. 17–19.