Middlebury

 

Progress Report: May 2012

President Liebowitz, in a memo to the College community on May 22, 2012, provided an update on the status of the 2006 Strategic Plan:  “…During the first year of my presidency, we undertook a strategic planning process, culminating in the 2006 Strategic Plan, Knowledge Without Boundaries.  That document articulated our priorities as an institution, and included a lengthy list of recommendations for advancing the College’s mission.  We made swift and significant progress in acting on many of those recommendations, implementing 23 recommendations that involved specific initiatives or policies; we also made significant progress in addressing another 46 that represent continuing institutional commitments (e.g., “Cultivate and support creativity and innovation.”).  As a result of the economic challenges of recent years, we decided that we would no longer commit to 6 of the original recommendations, leaving 7 remaining items in the Plan on which we have not yet made progress but which we still intend to pursue… 

Now it is time to turn our attention once again to planning for the future.  Starting this summer, staff at the College will be participating in an annual planning effort to ensure that all College offices are working in concert with the institution’s strategic directions.  These strategic directions, born out of the values and institutional goals articulated in the 2006 Strategic Plan, will help us continue to seek new ways to build upon and enhance our status as the global liberal arts college for the 21st century.  Similarly, in the coming academic year faculty will also be engaged in further discussions about innovation and curricular planning, prompted by ideas generated by the Curricular Task Forces.  Both these processes will replace monitoring of the specific recommendations of the Strategic Plan.”

Below is the complete list of the recommendations outlined in the 2006 Strategic Plan, organized by their current status:

Completed (23)
#1: Adopt a new mission statement that reflects our aspirations and future directions.
#3: Implement an academic rating system for all applicants.
#5: Move gradually toward a voluntary February admission program.
#6: Increase the grant component in our aid packages.
#10: Create an admissions advisory committee.
#11: Create a financial aid advisory committee.
#15: Clarify and enhance the status of the Commons Heads.
#16: Further integrate the Commons system and the curriculum.
#19: Enhance educational opportunities for staff.
#20: Support staff matriculation at Middlebury College.
#32: Recognize “Community Partners”
#37: Eliminate triple majors and reduce the number of double majors.
#44: Promote student research through a day-long research symposium.
#45: Increase funding for student internships.
#48: Develop a more flexible approach to faculty leaves.
#51: Establish a Board of Trustees subcommittee devoted to the summer program, schools abroad, and affiliates.
#54: Strengthen financial aid for the Language Schools.
#55: Expand the scope of the Language Schools curriculum by integrating broader cultural content in Language School courses.
#60: Develop stronger ties between the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and our academic year programs.
#62: Establish a liaison group to explore programmatic connections between the Monterey Institute of International Studies and Middlebury programs.
#63: Revise and expand the campus master plan to reflect the strategic plan.
#65: Equalize housing opportunities for seniors.
#67: Create more space for the arts.
 
Initial Progress Made and/or Ongoing Mission of the College (46)
#2: Seek more applicants with special academic talents.
#4: Identify and recruit more top-rated academic applicants.
#7: Increase the socio-economic diversity of the student body.
#8: Enhance recruitment and retention of students of color.
#9: Maintain our strong international enrollment.
#12: Continue to offer leadership in addressing the relationship between intercollegiate athletics and academic mission.
#13: Establish a systematic procedure for consultation between coaches and other faculty members about the balance of athletics and educational mission.
#14: Cultivate leadership qualities that address societal needs.
#17: Expand opportunities for staff involvement in the Commons.
#21: Increase professional development opportunities for staff.
#23: Encourage staff in intellectual life.
#24: Strengthen supervisory training programs.
#25: Promote greater work-life balance.
#26: Encourage a culture of collaboration.
#27: Cultivate and support creativity and innovation.
#28: Increase recognition of employees' accomplishments.
#29: Expand the ways we engage alumni in the life of the College.
#30: Re-examine and strengthen our communications both within and beyond our campuses.
#31: Expand and support diversity in the staff and faculty.
#38: Streamline departmental major requirements.
#39: Highlight the strengths of the sciences and arts at Middlebury.
#40: Strengthen Winter Term.
#47: Make better use of current teaching resources with a goal of achieving a more competitive teaching load for faculty.
#49: Provide more centralized staff support to reduce administrative burdens on faculty.
#50: Increase collaboration across Middlebury programs.
#52: Strengthen connections of alumni from the Language Schools and the Bread Loaf School of English with the Middlebury alumni community.
#53: Ensure that the needs of the College's summer and auxiliary programs are represented in committee and administrative structures that are responsible for operational planning.
#56: Consider adding summer graduate programs in languages that are currently taught only at the undergraduate level.
#57: Explore possibilities for adding new sites abroad that support the undergraduate curriculum.
#59: Upgrade facilities at the Bread Loaf campus to ensure longevity of its historic buildings and allow for support of new teaching technologies.
#61: Explore opportunities for future collaboration with the Monterey Institute of International Studies.
#66: Improve space for departments and programs.
#68: Strengthen our environmental leadership and reputation.
#69: Pursue alternative environmentally-friendly energy sources.
#70: Design energy efficient buildings and operations.
#71: Consider the various impacts of development on the College campus and the natural environment.
#72: Support sustainable agricultural practices.
#73: Continue to manage College lands responsibly.
#74: Continue making alterations to facilities that improve their accessibility for those with disabilities, and work toward universal access.
#75: Better utilize existing facilities through efficient scheduling and management.
#76: Increase availability of alternate forms of transportation.
#77: Search for creative ways to reduce reliance on private vehicles.
#79: Explore ways to support development of a Cornwall Path.
#80: Cultivate open dialogue with the Town.
#81: Limit the use of community housing by students.
#82:  Address traffic and commuting concerns. 

To Be Completed (7)
#33 Increase faculty resources and enhance student-faculty interaction.
#34: Consolidate the College's distribution requirements.
#36: Enhance academic advising.
#41: Reinforce the first-year seminar program.
#42: Explore possibilities for Commons-based courses.
#43: Require senior work in all majors.
#78: Convert Old Chapel Road into a pedestrian-friendly campus artery.

Removed (6)
#18:  Initiate a weekly College-wide convocation.
#22:  Create a staff professional development leave program.
#35:  Institute a laboratory science requirement within the new distribution requirements.
#46:  Create a database for service learning projects.
#58:  Integrate the Bread Loaf School of English into the College’s international focus by considering further expansion beyond the U.S. borders.
#64:  Complete the Commons physical infrastructure.

Progress Report: February 2010

In May 2006, the Middlebury Board of Trustees voted unanimously to endorse a strategic plan, Knowledge Without Boundaries. The plan is available on the Middlebury College Web site. The strategic plan serves as the foundation for the Middlebury Initiative, launched in October 2007.

As can be seen in the progress report provided below, we continue to pursue many of the initiatives recommended in the Strategic Plan. We remain committed to the strategic goals outlined in the plan, which included the need to strengthen support for a diverse student community, foster close student-faculty interaction, and reinforce our commitment to bringing academic and residential life together. In addition, the financial challenges of the last twelve to eighteen months have highlighted the addition of another strategic goal, namely achieving financial equilibrium and transparency. Although the reported updates below do not focus on these issues, we have achieved much in the way of gathering and disseminating information about our financial status as an institution and in arriving at levels of staffing that we believe are sustainable into the future. We expect that the success of many of our financial efforts will allow us to now refocus our attention on the many issues left to address from the Strategic Plan, as well as on new initiatives consistent with the goals of the plan.

The present report outlines progress made with the strategic planning agenda in the period May 2009 through February 2010. For convenience in reviewing the planning recommendations in their own context, this report identifies items by referring to numbered recommendations in the strategic plan. Although progress is ongoing on many of the strategic plan recommendations, there were no significant changes in recommendations not reported on below.

Shaping the Student Body

Implement academic rating system. (Recommendation #3)
Recent research conducted by the Admissions Advisory Committee shows that our academic ratings are the most effective predictor of academic performance at Middlebury, surpassing the predictive value associated with SAT scores.

Identify and recruit more top-rated academic applicants. (Recommendation #4)
Plan to develop targeted electronic mailings to our prospects with information about Middlebury based on the academic interests that they have indicated, highlighting the undergraduate research and other opportunities available here.

Move gradually toward a voluntary February admission program. (Recommendation #5)
This year 88% of the students enrolling at Middlebury in February 2010 had expressed a willingness to be considered for that possibility, up slightly from last year's 85%.

Increase the socio-economic diversity of the student body. (Recommendation #7)
With about 42% of the student body currently receiving grant aid, we have achieved our goal as reflected in the Strategic Plan. To accomplish this, we successfully maintained the reduced loan expectations of several years ago and responded to the wide range of financial circumstances confronting our grant-eligible families.

Enhance recruitment and retention of students of color. (Recommendation #8)
Our applicant pool of U.S. students of color increased this year by 16%, totaling 1245 applicants. We attribute this to improving our accessibility by simplifying and streamlining our application process. Another factor has been our increased presence throughout the Southwest, an increasingly important part of the country for us. Our counselor visit program in the summer and our Discover Middlebury program in October continue to have an impact on our diversity efforts as well.

Maintain our strong international enrollment. (Recommendation #9)
With 40 international incoming students from United World Colleges this year, Middlebury has enrolled the highest number of UWC students of any college in the nation. That, combined with 29 other international students who enrolled this year, maintained our international enrollment in the first-year class at 10%.

The Admissions Office and the Advancement Office are also working jointly to develop an overall strategy to raise Middlebury's profile abroad, particularly in Asia, and support both our recruitment and fundraising efforts.

Create an admissions advisory committee. (Recommendation #10)
The Admissions Advisory Committee (AAC) divided itself into three sub-committees to study in detail three specific issues: 1) More closely defining the best predictors for academic success at Middlebury, 2) Recommended strategies for further analysis of academic performance of special sub-groups within the applicant pool, and 3) Other strategies for improving the yield of the academically strongest admitted students. These sub-committees meet monthly and present their findings and recommendations to the full AAC at our full committee meetings.

Intercollegiate athletics and academics. (Recommendation #12)
The Athletic Policy Committee submitted a proposal increasing coaches' access to their athletes' academic information. If adopted, this proposal would allow coaches to be a more effective partner in academic advising.

Enhancing Community

Clarify and enhance the status of the Commons Heads. (Recommendation #15)
We continue to explore ways in which the Commons Heads' role in residential life can be strengthened. Current discussions focus on how best to augment the Heads role while also streamlining the office of the Dean of the College.

Expand the ways we engage alumni in the life of the College. (Recommendation #29)
Middlebury Online, our new online community for alumni, was officially launched in October. This effectively expands the alumni community to include the graduate programs and offers more services to all alumni to help them stay connected with each other and the College. Middlebury Online is integrated into the new Web design, to providing a seamless interface and direct access to class notes, events, registration, and reunion information. This complements our use of other social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to disseminate videos, news stories, appeals, and gratitude for alumni support.

Re-examine and strengthen our communications both within and beyond our campuses. (Recommendation #30)
In February 2010, we launched a new College website that will enhance our communication efforts on all fronts. We have also reorganized the Communications Office, appointing Tim Etchells '74 as Executive Director of Communications.

Curriculum and Faculty

Increase faculty resources and enhance student-faculty interaction. (Recommendation #33)
Require senior work in all majors. (Recommendation #43)
Eliminate triple/reduce double majors. (Recommendation #37)

All three of these recommendations were focused on the allocation of resources so that they might best support close student-faculty interaction, especially through the implementation of a senior work requirement. The originally planned 25 incremental positions may now be impossible in light of the financial challenges we face, and thus the Educational Affairs Committee (EAC) is exploring alternative ways to achieve the original plan to implement senior work with fewer resources through streamlining curricular requirements, for example by limiting double majors. (Triple majors were eliminated in 2007.) Any new proposal devised will likely be sufficiently different from that approved by the faculty in 2008 that a new vote of the faculty will be required.

Meanwhile, some departments are continuing to consider how they might structure senior work, or, in the case of departments who already have a senior work requirement, how their current programs might usefully be revised. Other initiatives are also helping to support the focus on enhancing senior year opportunities for students. The College recently received a four-year $700,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation to support student research abroad, faculty mentoring of that research (while students are abroad and when they return to campus), and the development of new, senior-level courses.

Highlight the strength of the sciences and the Arts at Middlebury. (Recommendation #39a)
Bob Cluss was appointed as Director of the Natural Sciences at the onset of the 2009-10 academic year. His team is working to boost understanding and awareness of science programs at Middlebury among the Admissions Office staff and among prospective students.

A Science Planning Committee met during the fall semester to and discussed ways to increase communication among science departments and programs while also increasing publication student and faculty accomplishments to the greater community.

Strengthen Winter Term. (Recommendation #40)
Notable new courses offered include two WT 2010 courses supporting the engineering and design portions of 2009 grant proposal to the Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon Project to design and build an energy efficient home. The student-initiated proposal has advanced beyond the initial stage of review with the final decision due in April 2010. Also, courses on epidemiology and in public health were offered in response to student interest in global health. Enrollment included four graduate students from MIIS. Rich Wolfson (Nuclear Science for Policymakers, Science of Climate Change) and Russ Leng (Diplomacy) taught courses at MIIS.

Student Research Symposium: (Recommendation #44)
The Student Research Symposium will be expanded this year and students excused from class on Friday, April 16 so they can participate.

Increase funding for student internships. (Recommendation #45)
The Career Services Office continues to find ways to support students participating in unpaid internships. With the creation of communication tools like the new "Education in Action" website, a partnership between multiple offices, students will also have greater awareness of funding available from other campus sources as well.

Middlebury Graduate and Specialized Programs

Increase collaboration across Middlebury programs. (Recommendation #50)
The recent $700,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation helps to integrate the work of Middlebury students while studying abroad and their senior-level projects when they return to Middlebury.

We recently received a $200,000 award from the ACE/Sloan Foundation competition on faculty career flexibility to explore ways to enhance faculty career flexibility. One aspect of this grant focuses on enhancing faculty development opportunities through programs with our graduate and special programs.

Connections across alumni groups (LS & BLSE). (Recommendation #52)
We have increased school-specific alumni communications, which resulted in a significant increase in giving, hosted a 90th anniversary event for the Bread Loaf School of English and alumni weekends for both programs.

Strengthen financial aid for the Language Schools. (Recommendation #54) The Jones scholarship endowment and the Davis Fellowships for Peace provide generous financial support for students studying at Middlebury's Language Schools.

Expand the scope of the Language Schools curriculum by integrating broader cultural content in Language Schools courses. (Recommendation #55)
New courses in European social/political issues were added to Mediterranean Studies M.A. program.

Add summer graduate programs in languages that are currently taught only at the undergraduate level. (Recommendation #56)
We are currently exploring the possibility of offering graduate studies in Arabic.

Offer new languages and explore possibilities for new sites abroad that support the undergraduate curriculum. (Recommendation #57)
A new site in Japan will be operational in fall 2010. New sites in Beijing and Kunming, China are up and running. Our school in Alexandria, Egypt has been sufficiently successful that we are also exploring possible sites in Jordan and Israel.

Upgrade facilities at the Bread Loaf campus to ensure longevity of its historic buildings and allow for support of new teaching technologies. (Recommendation #59)
We have begun improvements to the Bread Loaf campus with the transformation of three Barn classrooms to "smart" classrooms. This spring, we will improve ADA access to focused areas of the Bread Loaf campus.

Collaboration with the Monterey Institute of International Studies. (Recommendation #61)
Middlebury College and MIIS collaborated on the Salzburg Global Seminars faculty fellowship program.

Campus, Infrastructure, and Environment

Strengthen our environmental leadership and reputation. (Recommendation #68)
We have several items to note regarding our efforts to strengthen our environmental reputation and promote environmental leadership:
•President Liebowitz was named one of top ten college presidents in Time magazine for his commitment to carbon neutrality.
•Environmental Affairs, the Environmental Studies Program and the Sustainability Integration Office sponsored a faculty development workshop for 11 non-ES faculty to integrate sustainability topics into their courses. The program will be continued in 2010.
•Environmental Affairs, the Athletics Department and a Middlebury student athlete presented a panel on the groundbreaking topic of greening of athletics at Middlebury at the national Greening of the Campus conference.
•The Dean of Environmental Affairs presented Middlebury's pilot of the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) for higher education institutions in a national webinar at American University. The College is also a Charter Participant in the launch of this new system.

Pursue alternative environmentally-friendly energy sources. (Recommendation #69)
The College is exploring biomethane from Vermont dairy farms as a potential renewable energy source.

Design energy efficient buildings and operations. (Recommendation #70)
Sunderland Hall roof was insulated to improve long-term energy performance as one of many buildings on campus that require upgrades in roof insulating. Four projects were also implemented in 2009 with Efficiency Vermont for $159,000 that will yield $104,000 per year in electricity and fuel savings (biomass boiler plant, conversion to CFL lighting in Robert A. Jones House, McCollough and Proctor renovations).

Support sustainable agriculture (Recommendation #72)
We are assisting the Scholten Family Farm, an organic dairy on college land, to start their cheese business. A new gift to the Organic Garden will support management and operations of the garden for four years, beginning in FY10.

Continue to manage College lands responsibly. (Recommendation #73)
A Lands Advisory Group that consists of faculty and staff, including Facilities, was formed to advise the administration on land use issues related to College lands outside of the campus. The group meets on a several times per year with the EVP. The group is the offshoot of a Lands Stewardship Initiative produced and adopted by Environmental Council.

The College received a $50,000 grant from LZ Francis Foundation and $2500 from Environmental Council to support the college lands initiative. Faculty and students have been working to update the College's GIS database to include ecological attributes to provide more data to inform lands-related decisions. Middlebury also obtained $250,000 with Senator Leahy's assistance to study feasibility of a biomass energy district with the town and Porter Hospital, including research into the potential of college lands for greater carbon sequestration from land management practices.

Continue making alterations to facilities that improve their accessibility for those with disabilities, and work toward universal access. (Recommendation #74)
ADA Committee established on campus. Work continues on improving the accessibility on the main campus and the Bread Loaf campus, but is limited by availability of funds. Using FY09 funds, we completed ADA Restroom and entry work in Sunderland. FY10 projects focus on improvements at the Bread Loaf campus scheduled for Spring 2010. In the college library, public ADA access is now available and new ADA-compliant signage will be installed in the building stairwells. In Proctor Hall, signage and a phone will be added to allow interior access between the bookstore and the servery. We are also working on evacuation plans for major college buildings, with current work focused on MCBH.

Increase availability of alternate transportation. (Recommendation #76)
SGA has used the new student parking fee disbursement to partner with Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) in increasing Saturday bus service to Burlington and transportation options around Middlebury; to expand and lower the cost of shuttles to NYC and Boston at academic breaks; and to research options for local vendors to provide lower priced Burlington airport shuttles. In March, ACTR will also provide new direct service between Vergennes and Middlebury.

Old Chapel Road to become pedestrian friendly. (Recommendation #78)
Incremental improvements for pedestrians were made with the addition of a sidewalk along the east side of OCR and a reduction in the number of parking spaces. The alignment of walks on the east and west side produced more sensible crosswalks and speed bumps added slow the rate of car traffic.

"Middlebury Initiative" to support Plan: (Recommendation #99)
As of January 15, 2010, $315M has been raised toward our $500M goal.

 

Progress Report: May 2009

In May 2006, the Middlebury Board of Trustees voted unanimously to endorse a strategic plan, Knowledge Without Boundaries. The plan is available on the Middlebury College Web site. The strategic plan also serves as the foundation for the Middlebury Initiative, a fund-raising campaign that began in October 2007.

This report outlines progress made with the strategic-planning agenda during the period December 2008 through April 2009. For the sake of convenience in reviewing the recommendations, this report identifies items by the number they are identified with in the recommendations section of the strategic plan. Although progress is ongoing in many areas, there were no significant changes to report for those recommendations that are not listed below.

While we continue to reprioritize different aspects of the strategic plan in light of the current financial climate, the implementation of the strategic plan continues. However, the pace of implementation in some cases is directly affected by the availability of resources.


Recommendation #2: Seek more applicants with special academic talents.

Recommendation #4: Identify and recruit more top-rated academic applicants.

This year, as in the past three years, part of admissions’ decision-making process was to identify early possible recipients of an “Early Notification Letter” from us, applicants who are particularly compelling in the overall Regular Decision pool and who receive their offer of admission several weeks earlier than the rest of the admitted group. This year, we identified 122 such applicants, and shortly after receiving their offers of admission, faculty from the departments in which they are most interested began contacting them by e-mail and telephone. Grant-eligible applicants within this group also received an offer of financial assistance for travel to Middlebury to attend one of our Preview Days programs.

 


Recommendation #5: Move gradually toward a voluntary February admission program.

In our preliminary application, we ask students to indicate their preference for enrollment date: September only, February only, or both. Increasingly, and thanks to the publicity that we have given to the February admission program in our literature and on the admissions Web site, we have received more and more applications from students who are willing to be considered for either enrollment date, which has enabled us to offer February admission to more applicants who have expressed that willingness. This year, approximately 85 percent of the applicants who were offered February admission were open to that possibility. In addition, that was true of all of the applicants who were admitted under the Early Decision program, which accounts for almost half of our targeted February enrollment of 90.


Recommendation #7: Increase the socio-economic diversity of the student body.

 

Our financial-aid policies, including reducing the loan component of our financial-aid packages from their previous levels, remain competitive with most of our peer institutions. Many of the adjustments that have been made to our need-analysis policies have also remained intact, and we are still committed to meeting the full demonstrated need of any student who is admitted.

 

However, given the current economic climate and the necessity of staying within the overall grant budget, it is likely that the percentage of first-year students who are eligible for grant assistance will decrease this year. To some extent this will be a result of having admitted a higher percentage of the incoming class in ED, and, this year, we saw a decrease in the percentage of those students who were eligible for grant assistance. If we use the waitlist this year, it is likely that we will have to be need-aware for at least some of those decisions.

 


Recommendation #8: Enhance recruitment and retention of students of color.

Our efforts to recruit talented U.S. students of color have continued to attract a large and diverse pool of applicants. Despite an overall decline of 12 percent in the total applicant pool, our pool of U.S. students of color declined by only 6 percent, and we were able to admit almost the same number as last year, while maintaining higher admissions standards than we have in the past. We have maintained close connections with many college-access organizations around the country, and that has resulted in many new applicants who might not otherwise have been aware of the educational opportunities at Middlebury. Our summer-visit program with counselors (especially those from urban schools), which we do jointly with Williams, and our October multicultural program for prospective applicants who have been identified by their counselors have continued to be very successful initiatives for us.

 


Recommendation #9: Maintain our strong international enrollment.

Despite the financial challenges that confront the enrollment of an internationally diverse student body, Middlebury still has very high visibility abroad, and we believe that we will be able to maintain an enrollment of approximately 10 percent international students in the newly admitted incoming class. Our close relationship with the Davis United World Scholarship program continues to be one of our greatest advantages in this effort, and we are hoping to enroll about 30 of those students this year. In addition to focusing our recruiting efforts on those UWC schools around the world, we also travelled to other areas abroad where it is more likely that we will find higher numbers of less financially needy students. Overall, our international applicant pool decreased this year by 9 percent, and we admitted 26 fewer international students than last year.

 


Recommendation #10: Create an admissions advisory committee.

The Admissions Advisory Committee has continued to meet monthly during the past academic year, and we have been focusing on Early Decision policies, the use of the SAT/ACT in our decision-making process, athletics, and the accuracy of various predictors for academic success at Middlebury. This group will continue to meet as a standing committee at least quarterly in the future and make recommendations on these and other topics.

 


Recommendation #13: Establish a systematic procedure for consultation between coaches and other faculty members about the balance of athletics and educational mission.

 

The Athletic Policy Committee reports that most teams have strong faculty liaisons.

 


Recommendation #14: Cultivate leadership qualities that address societal needs.

 

Each fall semester, the Center for Campus Activities and Leadership (CCAL) coordinates trainings for Middlebury College Activities Board, the Student Government Association (beginning in fall 2009), and the Inter Commons Council. Training topics focus on team building, goal setting, motivation, group dynamics, time management, general leadership styles, program planning, and meeting facilitation.

The Emerging Leader Program (ELP) is an eight-part, noncredit course designed to help students develop their leadership skills by identifying their personal leadership style, working with others in a group, and developing a greater understanding of leadership concepts. ELP ran in 2007 with 10 participants and in 2009 with 15 participants.

CCAL offers regular workshops designed to strengthen the development of organizations and their members. Available workshop topics include assertiveness, team building, goal setting, motivation, group process, listening, time management, conflict management, leadership theory, program planning, diversity, self-esteem, meeting facilitation, and stress management. CCAL offers a biweekly series conducted by members of the CCAL team, student affairs staff, and Middlebury College faculty.

CCAL also offers seminars for students to explore and further develop their skills in outdoor leadership through Middlebury Outdoor Programs. Seminar topics include the philosophical foundations of leadership, facilitation skills, motivation techniques, and outdoor skills.


Recommendation #15: Clarify and enhance the status of the Commons heads.

The changes that were implemented in 2007–08 are working well. Heads, deans, the associate dean of the College, and the dean of the College held two joint meetings in the 2008–09 academic year. The Commons heads now oversee all Commons budgets.

Commons heads have taken on additional responsibility and visibility as a result of the Sophomore Experience. Additionally, they have assumed the role formerly played by the dean of advising and will play a critical role in advising students whose regular nonmajor advisers are on leave.


Recommendation #16: Further integrate the Commons system and the curriculum.

Broadly defined, the integration of the Commons and the curriculum continues to flourish. The Sophomore Experience connects professors in a range of disciplines with sophomores through programming known as “Commons Conversations.”

Connections are being encouraged between first-year Common Reading, first-year seminars, and other courses offered to first-year students.

Additional programming (campus-wide, through all Commons) that ties back to the Common Reading was offered this year in the form of the performance of Howard Barker’s Plevna.

Orientation is being reconceived as an integral piece of the First-Year Experience, which encompasses the first-year seminar program; advising; optional programming in Commons that connects students with Alliance for Civic Engagement, the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research; and the Career Services Office, etc


Recommendation #18: Initiate a weekly College-wide convocation.

The convocation series continued this year with a talk by John Francis.


Recommendation #23: Encourage staff participation in the intellectual community.

Departments in Dean of the College division are actively encouraging their staff to pursue the intellectual life of the College through participation in courses, book groups, attendance at lectures and presentations, and are participating in the Commons as Commons affiliates in a variety of ways

 


Recommendation #28: Increase recognition of employees’ accomplishments.

Faculty and staff accomplishments are listed in MiddPoints, and MiddPoints features stories on employees, such as: Coast Guard reservist Lisa Hoff (HR); ACE staff, Special Olympian Tammie Mashteare (Dining); and EMTs Howie McCausland (LIS) and Ed Sullivan (Business Services).

 

Web stories recognizing faculty and staff are also published, for example: Tom McGinn (the biomass opening), Ashley Calkins (MLK Day of Service), Dave West (Perkins Award), and Jeremy Ward (NSF grant).

 


Recommendation #29: Expand the ways we engage alumni in the life of the College.

The launch of a new, robust online community for alumni, parents, friends, students, faculty, and staff is scheduled for May 2009. The activity generated from the community will be complemented by the redesign of the Middlebury.edu Web site, scheduled for January 2010. A complete analysis of our alumni constituency, sponsored by the Board of Trustees, will help inform future decisions regarding program emphasis and communications.

 


Recommendation #30: Re-examine and strengthen our communications both within and beyond our campuses.

The Communications Office developed “markers” to guide story selection and the messages within the stories and other coverage. Markers can also be used for measurement purposes. The markers are used for recruiting students, fund-raising, supporting faculty efforts, strengthening community, and reputation management. The concept of Middlebury as the Global Liberal Arts College of the 21st Century pervades the College’s communications channels, e.g., admissions publications, the Initiative Web site, MiddTube, press releases, and Web news stories.


Recommendation #31: Expand and support diversity in the staff and faculty.

Regarding faculty diversity, we just concluded a hiring season in which we recruited a director for the new Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity. During this recruiting season, we approved additional interviews for departments who were able to identify diverse candidates for faculty positions.


Recommendation #33: Increase faculty resources and enhance student-faculty interaction.

Middlebury will be receiving $4,000 from the Mellon 23 Assembly to foster faculty-student collaboration.

The dean of faculty and the Educational Affairs Committee (EAC) continue to examine ways to implement the senior work requirement, even with the slowed pace in the expansion of the faculty. Departments and programs held retreats during the winter to formulate their plans for implementing the senior-work requirement.


Recommendation #35: Institute a laboratory science requirement within the new distribution requirements.

The recommendation for a lab-science requirement is on hold until we implement the new teaching-load guidelines (currently planned for fall of 2010), as these will impact the teaching resources available in the sciences. The Educational Affairs Committee and Curriculum Committee will take this issue up in 2009–10 to see whether such a requirement would be both desirable and feasible with current resources.


Recommendation #36: Enhance academic advising.

This year we have focused on advising, and it was the topic for the small-group discussions at the Bread Loaf faculty meeting. Minutes of those discussions were distributed to all faculty members, and the Academic Council (a group of academic deans and student-life staff) has continued these conversations. As a result of these discussions, we have developed and clarified advising resources in the Commons, and we will be enhancing the advising resources available online.


Recommendation #38: Streamline departmental major requirements.

Last year’s EAC worked with departments to encourage reassessment of major requirements, and a number of departments and programs reduced and reconfigured their requirements in anticipation of implementing the new senior-work requirement and new teaching-load guidelines. As we move toward that implementation, it is likely that some additional departments and programs will do so as well.


Recommendation #39a: Highlight the strength of the sciences at Middlebury.

The DCUR and science chairs, along with Franci Farnsworth and Alison Darrow from Sponsored Research, met in March to discuss federal programs to strengthen education and training in science and engineering (STEM) disciplines. The funding for some of these programs has been expanded through the stimulus package. Several opportunities of interest were identified, and we are working with specific chairs to set an agenda for proposal writing.


Recommendation #39b: Highlight the strength of the arts at Middlebury.

The College moved forward in the fall of 2008 to establish a new venue at the Old Stone Mill to house projects that are related to the Project on Creativity and Innovation in the Liberal Arts—these projects will be programmatically tied to 51 Main Street. The Old Stone Mill is a place where student projects are developed and created, and 51 Main serves as a venue for student performances, exhibits, and presentations. These two venues have been generally successful this year. Given the economic situation, we will be taking steps this summer to clarify staffing responsibilities across the arts.


Recommendation #40: Strengthen winter term.

At the M2 meeting that took place in April at MIIS, a winter term task force was established. Rich Wolfson hopes to teach a course at MIIS (logistical details are being worked out), and we are identifying MIIS faculty to offer courses in Vermont.


Recommendation #41: Reinforce the first-year-seminar program.

For the first time this fall, we affiliated every first-year seminar (FYS) with a Commons. This move, which means that all first-year seminars will be housed by Commons (that is, seminar participants will live together in the same residence hall), will augment the learning experience for first-years and enhance the advising they receive.

The strategic plan recommends a comprehensive review of the FYS program to insure consistency of advising and writing across the program. We have had discussions this year about the academic advising system, which is closely tied to our FYS program. We believe these conversations and the enhanced advising resources that will result from it will help to accomplish the goal of more consistent advising in FYS and beyond.

Regarding the writing component of FYS, Kathy Skubikowski is leading a Teagle-funded, portfolio-based assessment of student learning that begins with the FYS experience and tracks student progress forward. This research is particularly focused on student writing and will allow us to assess the effectiveness of the writing instruction that students receive in their FYS.


Recommendation #42: Explore possibilities for Commons-based courses.

All first-year seminars are now Commons-based. Occasional J-term courses are offered in a particular Commons, with an affiliation modeled on that of the first-year seminar program. It is difficult to limit these offerings to just the students of one Commons, both in terms of ensuring enrollment and because it conflicts with the equal-access model we currently have in place for J-term courses.

This year, Associate Dean of the College Katy Smith Abbott worked with the Commons heads to establish a “Sophomore Experience” that includes a range of programs to help expand students’ understanding of the curriculum—so they can make more meaningful decisions about what to study—and strengthen links between the academic program and the “real world.” These efforts will continue in the 2009–10 academic year.


Recommendation #43: Require senior work in all majors.

The faculty voted to approve a new senior-work requirement, which is currently planned to begin with the graduating Class of 2013. The EAC has worked with departments and programs this year to develop specific plans for senior work within their curricula, through questions posed to faculty about the role of senior work in their curricula and through various presentations and workshops. A general outline of the requirement for each department and program will be included in the 2010–11 catalog, and more specific requirements will be in place by the following year.


Recommendation #45: Increase funding for student internships.

Efforts to coordinate internship opportunities across campus will help inform fund-raising focus and future direction.


Recommendation #47: Make better use of current teaching resources with a goal of achieving a more competitive teaching load for faculty.

Last year’s EAC developed guidelines for a reallocation of teaching load as recommended by the strategic plan. These guidelines were accepted by the administration. Implementation of these new teaching loads is dependent in part on the addition of new faculty positions (as recommended in the strategic plan). Given the current economic climate, the EAC is working to determine whether it is possible to adopt the new teaching loads with fewer than the recommended 25 new faculty positions. The committee will present a report summarizing its conclusions to the administration by the end of the academic year.


Recommendation #49: Provide more centralized staff support to reduce administrative burdens on faculty.

This recommendation has not been addressed yet, as the economic situation has limited hiring options. However, Faculty Council is currently reviewing plans to lighten the workloads of department chairs.


Recommendation #50: Increase collaboration across Middlebury programs.

With Mellon 23 Assembly funding, a retreat was held for members of interdisciplinary programs early in 2009; each program has also been given Mellon money for collaborative programming.

We have moved into the second phase of an Alfred P. Sloan Award for Faculty Career Flexibility application. (Six $200,000 grants will be awarded.) As part of our application, we will note the unique nature of Middlebury’s many academic operations—e.g. “One Middlebury”—and our desire to offer more movement of faculty across those operations.

Rich Wolfson hopes to teach a course at MIIS (logistical details are being worked out), and we are identifying MIIS faculty to offer courses in Vermont.


Recommendation #51: Establish a Board of Trustees subcommittee devoted to the summer program, schools abroad, and affiliates.

An ad-hoc Trustee Committee on Graduate and Special Programs was formed in October 2007. The committee includes the vice president for the Language Schools, schools abroad, and graduate programs. The committee is reviewing the mission, program policies, market, etc. of the College’s various graduate and affiliate programs. The committee will make recommendations regarding the role, value, and potential of these programs.


Recommendation #53: Ensure that the needs of the College’s summer and auxiliary programs are represented in committee and administrative structures that are responsible for operational planning.

The Master Plan Committee has been formed with the charge of ensuring that future construction, renovation, and landscape projects comply with the principles of the 2008 Campus Master Plan. One of the 10 goals of the plan is to “foster the 12-month campus.”


Recommendation #54: Strengthen financial aid for the Language Schools.

The Davis Fellowships for Peace program has been funded at $1 million per year through FY13. Additionally, we have dedicated more existing resources to the assessment and cultivation of our Language Schools constituents. Conversations with individuals about the need for financial aid are ongoing, and annual giving efforts largely focused on the need for financial aid will be directed specifically toward each of the Language Schools in FY09.


Recommendation #55: Expand the scope of the Language Schools curriculum by integrating broader cultural content in Language Schools courses.

The MA in Mediterranean studies, to be introduced at the Language Schools in 2009, will enable students to develop insight into the history and culture that have shaped a vital region, helping them to interpret and address the complex issues of today’s world in the age of globalization. This innovative MA program requiring master’s-level competency in two languages (French, Italian, or Spanish) is designed for students seeking a career in international affairs, economic development, diplomacy, politics, economics, journalism, or education.

A new course in Mediterranean Culture and Civilization is to be developed by faculty in the French School; also a new course is planned on Politics in a Unified Europe.


Recommendation #56: Add summer graduate programs in languages that are currently taught only at the undergraduate level.

Middlebury’s affiliation with the Monterey Institute of International Studies has provided an option for students pursuing the Chinese MA degree. Candidates spend an academic year on the Monterey campus between their initial and final summers at Middlebury, thus completing the degree in a little over two years. Thus, in addition to the immersion experience at Middlebury, students can take advantage of the Institute’s expertise in second-language acquisition, pedagogy, and applied linguistics.

Middlebury’s first MA in Chinese was awarded in August 2008.


Recommendation #57: Offer new languages and explore possibilities for new sites abroad that support the undergraduate curriculum.

Last year, Middlebury College and Brandeis University announced the establishment of the Brandeis University-Middlebury School of Hebrew, which was launched in the summer of 2008. As Middlebury’s 10th Language School, it is the newest summer program since the Portuguese School was inaugurated in 2003, with 27 students enrolled.

The curriculum of the seven-week session focused on Modern Hebrew, with optional course work for qualified students interested in developing their linguistic skills in Classical Hebrew also available.

Middlebury College established the C.V. Starr-Middlebury School Abroad in the Middle East, the first of the Middlebury Schools Abroad in this region. Located in Alexandria, Egypt, and affiliated with Alexandria University, the school began offering classes in the fall of 2007, with 12 students enrolled in the first year, and with 36 students going this fall.

In conjunction with CET Academic Programs, Middlebury College has been operating the C.V. Starr-Middlebury School in China, since 2004, at Hangzhou.

Two new sites in China, Beijing and Kunming, will be online in 2009–10. In Beijing, Middlebury will be at Capital Normal University, and in Kunming, at Yunnan University.

In Japan, students have been attending the Associated Kyoto Programs. Planning is now underway for development of Middlebury’s own program in Japan, and several potential sites in Japan were visited in the fall of 2008.

A Korean language program is in the early stages of consideration.

n.b. In response to increasing demand for admission, a Language Schools second site, at Mills College in Oakland, California, is to open in June 2009. Middlebury at Mills provides a unique opportunity for students from the West Coast to experience the Language Schools closer to home, and for students from the East Coast to explore the cultural diversity of the Bay Area. As of 2009, all students admitted to the Arabic School will study at Mills. Students in French, Italian, and Spanish may choose either the Middlebury or Mills campus.


Recommendation #58: Integrate the Bread Loaf School of English into the College’s international focus by considering further expansion beyond the U.S. borders.

Discussions about a possible program in Africa started, with a target date of 2012 under consideration. A number of students from Africa (Kenya and Tanzania in particular) have attended the Bread Loaf School of English, and two graduated last summer, with several still in the program.


Recommendation #59: Upgrade facilities at the Bread Loaf campus to ensure longevity of its historic buildings and allow for support of new teaching technologies.

The foundation study was completed in 2005. Building conditions assessment was completed in 2006 (which was a study on the architectural, structural, mechanical, and electrical needs of the buildings)

An implementation plan, building on these studies, for the long-term phased rehabilitation of the Bread Loaf campus and infrastructure was completed in the fall of 2008. This plan compiled studies of the foundations, building conditions, ADA needs, and site and infrastructure needs. The implementation plan provides scenarios for the rehabilitation of the campus over a minimum period of 12 years. Two new buildings are proposed in the plan to allow rehabilitation of the Inn and the Barn. These buildings would be a new maintenance facility and a new residence hall that would also house the bookstore in summer months and the Rikert Ski Touring Center in winter months.

A brief summary of this planning work was presented to President’s Staff on September 30, 2008, and again to the Building and Grounds Committee of the Board of Trustees on October 17, 2008.


Recommendation #60: Develop stronger ties between the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and our academic year programs.

This year we initiated a search for a “Frost Fellow,” who will teach during the undergraduate year and summer; the search is ongoing. The Department of English and American Literatures is now considering a slate of final candidates for the position.


Recommendation #61: Collaboration with the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Program collaboration between Middlebury College and the Monterey Institute include: faculty exchanges (one with the Center for Non-Proliferation Studies), Middlebury undergraduates at MIIS for J-term, Middlebury and Monterey Institute students in joint field-study programs, Monterey Institute graduate students attending the summer Language Schools, and a joint Chinese MA program. A major collaborative project was the organization and successful convening of 400 participants at the Connect·ED Conference 2008 (held at the Monterey Conference Center).

The Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy (MMLA) was inaugurated in 2008, as an initiative to teach languages to middle and high school students. The program took place on Vermont and California campuses and was overseen by MMLA staff and the Middlebury College summer Language Schools. Another program, which was operated jointly by the Monterey Institute and the Middlebury summer Language Schools, offered an immersion program in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) to English teachers from Spain, summer 2008. The program was paid for by the Council of Madrid, conducted in Monterey and in Burlington, Vermont, and overseen by Middlebury’s study abroad program director in Madrid. The agreement was finalized during a site visit by the Council of Madrid representative at the Connect·ED Conference. A new initiative involves collaboration with the Monterey Institute’s linguistics program in consideration of an undergraduate minor in linguistics at Middlebury.


Recommendation #62: Establish a liaison group to explore programmatic connections between the Monterey Institute of International Studies and Middlebury programs.

Two liaison groups have been established to look at the ways that Middlebury and Monterey can work together. Specific to recommendation #62, a program integration task force is looking at curricular collaboration and academic program development. Middlebury and MIIS Program Committees met in Monterey, in April 2009, to review program and degree integration in policy studies, applied linguistics, international education management, environmental studies, individualized courses, and faculty/student exchanges. The Middlebury and MIIS committees, composed of faculty representatives, meet regularly. There is also a finance, operations, communications integration group that focuses on how to facilitate collaboration between the two institutions, how to support the program collaboration, and how to integrate operations when that makes sense, due to efficiencies and capacity. An “M2 lecture series” is to be established starting in the fall of 2009.


Recommendation #67: Create more space for the arts.

The College recently completed a significant renovation to the McCullough Social Space that offers additional as well as greatly improved existing space for the arts. Notable features of the renovated space include a new accessible (via elevator) green room, new stage wings for performers, improved projection, an upgraded sound system, improved performance and house lighting, and additional capacity for audiences in the form of telescopic seating. Additionally, an adjacent student art gallery has received new furnishings and finish upgrades.

The renovated Proctor Hall includes gallery space for student artwork on the corridor walls of the first floor.


Recommendation #68: Strengthen our environmental leadership and reputation.

The Carbon Neutrality by 2016 Implementation Plan has been adopted and is being used as a model by Duke Endowment schools and Northeastern University.

The Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest received the top award in the Efficiency Vermont Better Building by Design competition.

The biomass project is now online and has raised Middlebury’s profile in the national media (New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic, and many others).

Middlebury received the top prize in the National Wildlife Federation’s national Chill Out awards for campus climate action.

One hundred and ninety-four Middlebury students were present at Powershift 2009 in Washington, D.C. It was the largest per capita presence of any school in the nation.

Three implementation teams for carbon neutrality have been appointed and are working on implementation.

Sustainability orientations and grants for abroad students have been established and implemented.

The greening of athletics projects is underway, with panel discussions and the use of vegetable oil to fuel the nordic ski team’s vehicle.


Recommendation #69: Pursue alternative environmentally friendly energy sources.

The new biomass energy plant became operational in January 2009 and is now in a commissioning phase. The first three months of operation have been successful, and we are currently working on a scheduled shutdown for maintenance, inspection, and servicing, which will provide information that will be used to optimize the operation of the system.


Recommendation #70: Design energy-efficient buildings and operations.

The thermostat set points are now at 68 degrees for all buildings, and a pyranometer was installed on Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest for solar–photovoltaic efficiency research.

Middlebury’s recently completed biomass heating plant will effectively reduce the College’s carbon emissions by approximately 40 percent. The plant began operation in late January 2009, and its efficiency has been improving steadily since that date.

The College has recently installed two solar-thermal hot-water heating systems at 107 Shannon Street. Installation of these systems includes a monitoring system that will allow evaluation and comparison of each system’s performance to support future solar-thermal hot-water installations.


Recommendation #71: Consider the various impacts of development on the College campus and the natural environment.

New sustainable design guidelines have been adopted.

The recently formed Master Plan Committee will review all potential projects for compliance with master plan and sustainable design guidelines principles.


Recommendation #72: Support sustainable agricultural practices.

The College has assisted in the construction of a cheese house to aid the farmer who leases College agricultural lands and buildings. This move could improve the farmer’s income through added value by including an organic cheese line to his organic dairy operation. We will continue to work with the farmer to provide a balance between the organic garden and organic dairy operations.


Recommendation #73: Continue to manage College lands responsibly.

A Lands Advisory Committee to the Buildings and Grounds Committee of the trustees has been formed.


Recommendation #74: Continue making alterations to facilities that improve their accessibility for those with disabilities and work toward universal access.

Since May 2008, an ADA Planning Committee has been engaged in developing a comprehensive ADA plan for the College’s facilities and programs. Much work has been completed on accessibility improvements over time, and this planning effort will ensure that these upgrades continue. Examples of current improvement projects include the installation of automatic door openers at some key public building entrances, as well as work to improve residence-hall accessibility.


Recommendation #75: Better utilize existing facilities through efficient scheduling and management.

As mentioned previously, in order to consolidate and streamline the scheduling of campus events, the Provost’s Office now oversees the Scheduling Office. New scheduling protocols will be in place by September 2009.


Recommendation #77: Search for creative ways to reduce reliance on private vehicles.

A new student-parking-fee policy will go into effect during the 2009–10 academic year. Students will pay a $50 per semester fee to keep their cars on campus. Language School students will be charged $25 for the summer. Funds accrued will help to support carbon neutrality and offsets, as well as more options for public transportation, including the expansion of the College’s shuttle-bus service and our fleet of ZipCars.


Recommendation #80: Cultivate open dialogue with the town.

The College has been working closely with the town in refining details of the Cross Street bridge project, including traffic circulation and utilities. This collaboration will continue through the duration of the project.


Resources Supporting the Strategic Plan.

Fund-raising has been impacted negatively by the unprecedented economic conditions; however, we continue to make progress and believe that continuing conversations with alumni, parents, and friends of the College must continue in order for us to emerge stronger when the economy turns around. Additionally, our ability to meet our ambitious Annual Fund goals is more important than ever. College Advancement is working closely with Communications to create innovative communications vehicles and relevant messages to share with constituents. Staffing levels have been impacted by budget cuts, and the need to review existing and new programmatic initiatives continues.


The examples outlined in this report represent the progress we have made on the recommendations in the strategic plan. The College community is indebted to many individuals for their good work and leadership in advancing the College’s ambitious agendas.

—David D. Donahue
Special Assistant to the President
May 1, 2009

Progress Report: December 2008

In May 2006, the Middlebury Board of Trustees voted unanimously to endorse a strategic plan, Knowledge Without Boundaries. The plan is available on the Middlebury College Web site. The strategic plan serves as the foundation for the Middlebury Initiative, launched in October 2007.

The present report outlines progress made with the strategic planning agenda in the period May 2008 through November 2008. For convenience in reviewing the planning recommendations in their own context, this report identifies items by referring to numbered recommendations in the strategic plan. Although progress is ongoing on many of the strategic plan recommendations, there were no significant changes in recommendations not reported on below.

Given the current financial climate that we are facing, certain aspects of the strategic plan have been reprioritized. To that end, the Budget Oversight Committee is currently reviewing the strategic plan and will be making recommendations to the president. The implementation of the strategic plan continues; however, the pace of implementation will depend on the availability of resources that will be affected by our current financial challenges.

Recommendation #1: Adopt a new mission statement that reflects our aspirations and future directions.
The Board of Trustees adopted a new mission statement in spring of 2006. The mission statement highlights the centrality of the liberal arts while also pointing out the unique nature of Middlebury, with its graduate and special programs. The mission statement:

At Middlebury College we challenge students to participate fully in a vibrant and diverse academic community. The College’s Vermont location offers an inspirational setting for learning and reflection, reinforcing our commitment to integrating environmental stewardship into both our curriculum and our practices on campus. Yet the College also reaches far beyond the Green Mountains, offering a rich array of undergraduate and graduate programs that connect our community to other places, countries, and cultures. We strive to engage students’ capacity for rigorous analysis and independent thought within a wide range of disciplines and endeavors, and to cultivate the intellectual, creative, physical, ethical, and social qualities essential for leadership in a rapidly changing global community. Through the pursuit of knowledge unconstrained by national or disciplinary boundaries, students who come to Middlebury learn to engage the world.


Shaping the Student Body

Recommendation #2: Seek more applicants with special academic talents; and, Recommendation #4: Identify and recruit more top-rated academic applicants.
Last year we sent an Early Notification Letter to 170 students in early March, enabling our faculty to have contact much sooner in the process. We did not have a separate visiting program for that group last year (as we had done the year before), but we did invite them to attend our regular Preview Days programs (and provided financial support for their transportation if they asked for it). Twenty-two of those students matriculated, one fewer than last year, but, given all of those in that group who ended up at Harvard and Princeton (both of which dropped their ED/EA programs last year), that was still quite good for us.

 

Recommendation #5: Move gradually toward a voluntary February admission program.
About three-quarters of the students who are matriculating this February had expressed a willingness to be considered for it, which is a far higher percentage than in the past.

 

Recommendation #7: Increase the socio-economic diversity of the student body.
Predictably, we took a step backwards in terms of socio-economic diversity last year compared to the year before, but that was also because we had taken such a big step forward the previous year. The percentage of first-year students receiving grant aid dropped from about 45 percent last year to 41 percent this year, but the 41 percent is still an improvement over where we were as recently as four and five years ago. It is also a function of our not having had a zero-loan policy. Our loan expectations were close enough to be competitive for many students.

 

Recommendation #8: Enhance recruitment and retention of students of color.
The racial diversity in the first-year class dropped from 21 percent last year to 20 percent this year, which is probably partially caused by our lack of zero-loans. We do have a record number of African Americans in this year’s class. At this fall’s Discover Middlebury program, we also had a record number of attendees, and we feel certain that it will generate many strong applicants for us. This remains an area of significant priority for Middlebury.

 

Recommendation #9: Maintain our strong international enrollment.
We had a 30 percent increase in our pool of international applicants this year (including a significant increase in applicants from Mainland China), and we matriculated 76 of them—up from 65 last year. In that group are also 28 UWC students, the highest enrollment for us in several years and the second highest number of UWC students to enroll in one U.S. college.

 

Recommendation #10: Create an admissions advisory committee.
The Admissions Advisory Committee has continued its monthly meetings this year, and we are currently doing a statistical study, looking at the admissions factors that may be most highly correlated with academic performance at Middlebury. We anticipate that the committee will make a series of recommendations by the end of the year.

 

Recommendation #12: Continue to offer leadership in addressing the relationship between intercollegiate athletics and academic mission.
Middlebury’s leadership of the national College Sports Project data collection and analysis continues. The detailed statistical analyses of the second-year data collected on two cohorts are completed, and the reports have gone to presidents of 78 participating Division-III colleges and universities. The statistical analysis of roughly 80,000 student data records has provided initial insights about the role of high-school-level variables in contributing to college outcomes. Collection of third-year data is underway; the data include year-three college outcomes for students who entered college in 2005–06, year-two college outcomes for students who entered college in 2006–07, and the background information and first-year data for the newest student cohort that entered college during 2007–08. More than 80 institutions have committed to participate this year.

 

Recommendation #13: Establish a systematic procedure for consultation between coaches and other faculty members about the balance of athletics and educational mission.
The Athletic Policy Committee is working to strengthen faculty to coach liaison via a renewal of lunch conversations and other meetings.

 


Enhancing Community

 

Recommendation #15: Clarify and enhance the status of the Commons heads.
Extensive discussions have occurred, and continue to occur, regarding the status of Commons heads.

 

Recommendation #16: Further integrate the Commons system and the curriculum.
This year marks the introduction of a new Commons program during the sophomore year of college. The “Sophomore Experience” includes a core component known as “Commons Conversations,” in which faculty from various disciplines meet in small-group settings with students. Students have the opportunity to discuss the work of these faculty members and to ask questions about their perspectives, training, research areas, etc.

 

With the introduction of the Sophomore Experience, increased opportunities for informal advising, both through Commons Conversations and through special evenings organized with International Programs and Off-Campus Study and with Career Services Office. Students, in turn, are better able to see connections with disciplinary pursuits and with what they are doing inside and outside the classroom.

 

Efforts are being made to tie first-year reading from Orientation (known as “Common Reading”) into curricular offerings throughout the year. Focus is on making this connection for first-years, but others are welcome, too. The Common Reading for fall 2008 was an anthology of poems, Poetry of War: Giving Voice to Conflict. First-years were encouraged to attend a public reading by Galway Kinnell, a performance of Howard Barker’s play, Plevna (February 2009), and other Commons-initiated programming.

 

Recommendation #18: Initiate a weekly College-wide convocation.
The College Convocation Series represents an effort to bring together all members of the College community to reflect upon topics of broad intellectual and cultural importance. A College-wide convocation is planned again this year for March 3, with John Francis speaking. John Francis, Ph.D., known the world over as the Planetwalker, spent 17 years in silence and 22 years without riding in motorized vehicles after witnessing an oil spill in San Francisco Bay. He will discuss how the current environmental crisis is a reflection of worldwide social and economic inequity and that any attempt to resolve the crisis must not only address the scientific issues, such as climate change and deforestation, but also the humanitarian issues.

 

Recommendation #23: Encourage staff participation in intellectual community.
This was put on hold last year and will be revisited in spring 2009. However, a number of staff volunteered to lead discussions in conjunction with the Common Reading for first-years. Well over one-half of the leaders (or about 30) were staff members from across the campus.

 

Recommendation #25: Promote greater work-life balance.
During the 2007–08 academic year, a task force was formed to look at work-life balance; Barbara Doyle-Wilch, a member of President’s Staff, led the task force. The group held a meeting with senior managers from around campus and identified next steps: among them, creating a survey to collect information to better understand what staff members mean when they refer to work-life balance; and holding smaller meetings within departments, to get at specific issues to be addressed. These meetings are being considered for the 2008–09 academic year. In addition to these initiatives, Human Resources is leading several ongoing efforts related to self-care, working smart, the Optimal Health Initiative, and employee training. Each of these includes a component that addresses work-life balance. Given the current financial challenges facing the College, further development of specific programs or initiatives to address work-life balance is being delayed. However, new opportunities in the area of flexible work schedules, shifts in status, etc., are expanding.

 

Recommendation #26: Encourage a culture of collaboration.
Most directly related to Recommendation #26 is the creation of the graduate and special programs committee and the Middlebury/Monterey program integration work group. These groups have created ideal forums for collaborating on program development.

 

Additionally, the expansion of President’s Staff and the creation of a vice presidents’ meeting have created additional opportunities for information sharing and collaboration across the College. The work of the Finance, Operations, and Communications Monterey Integration Task Force has also brought senior managers from large divisions of the College together to exchange information. Along with these new opportunities for collaboration, the president, President’s Staff, and Human Resources are promoting the themes of working together and transparency. This is especially true in light of the current financial challenges facing the College.

 

Recommendation #27: Cultivate and support creativity and innovation.
There are several ways the College is promoting and supporting creativity and innovation. The recent financial challenges have pushed the College to move forward more quickly with its effort to reach out to the community to solicit ideas for ways to improve the work of the College. This effort is geared toward finding creative improvements to work flow, looking at things that no longer need to be done and identifying efficiencies that can help streamline work. In thinking about this opportunity, employees are being encouraged to think as creatively as possible. Also related to the “cost-cutting effort” several departments on campus are going through a business process analysis to systematically analyze how work is done and how it might be done more effectively.

 

Additionally, the Project on Creativity and Innovation in the Liberal Arts is creating greater visibility and support for a College-wide culture of creativity, innovation and intellectual risk-taking. Although this effort is focused on students, there are faculty and staff who are involved in supporting this effort and many more who are enjoying the programming that is supported by this project.

 

Recommendation #29: Expand the ways we engage alumni in the life of the College.
During spring 2008, the Communications Office oversaw the formation of a committee charged with finding a new partner to help us create an expanded, improved, more interactive, and better-integrated online community. We determined that we would expand our idea of online community to include not only alumni and students in all Middlebury programs, but also parents, faculty, and staff. Over the course of several months, the committee discussed the issues involved and met with several vendors, finally settling on Harris Connect, the leading provider of online community solutions for higher education. We signed a contract in July 2008 and are in the process of transitioning from our current vendor to Harris, with an expected rollout date in spring 2009 for the improved online community.

 

In addition, the Communications Office has taken the lead in establishing Middlebury “beachheads” in places where members of the Middlebury community can be found on the Web. These efforts have included:

 

  • a Middlebury College group at LinkedIn (the world’s largest professional networking site), which now has more than 2,800 members that include Middlebury and Monterey alumni, students, faculty, staff, and parents;
  • a Middlebury page on Facebook that provides information about the College and its programs and access to various kinds of Middlebury interactive content; more than 2,000 people, many of them alumni, have signed up as “fans” of this page, and from 50 to 100 people visit it each day;
  • a Middlebury site on YouTube, where more than 3,800 people have viewed a campus-tour video in the past couple of months; and an iTunes University site (live, but still under construction) that features videos and audio files of lectures, events, and performances at Middlebury and Bread Loaf.

 

Recommendation #30: Re-examine and strengthen our communications both within and beyond our campuses.
The Communications Office has implemented an internal communications program to improve employee engagement, strengthen community, enhance staff productivity and retention, and support employee recognition. Primary tools include a steady flow of news coverage about the College on the Middlebury home page and elsewhere on the site, MiddPoints, and community-building projects. The Sustainability Integration Office has filled a full-time, one-year position to focus on engaging the College community in carbon-neutrality efforts and to help put in place additional communications tools for the campaign to become carbon neutral by 2016.

Recommendation #31: Expand and support diversity in the staff and faculty.
In collaboration with the Office for Institutional Planning and Diversity, Human Resources (HR) has been making great progress in this area. They have met with academic coordinators and introduced them to the New England Higher Education Recruitment Consortium, a consortium for dual-career couples among New England schools.

 

Human Resources has consciously increased our ad venues for staff recruiting. Job Elephant is now being used as an advertising service that places ads, per approved schedule, with all media (newspapers, trade journals, online job boards).

 

A much larger percentage of the HR advertising budget is now being used in targeted diversity publications. A future goal is to look closely at the yield from this new initiative.

 

Liz Kafer, HR employment manager, has been appointed to the Governor’s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities.

 

With regard to faculty recruitment and hiring, changes have been made to the Handbook for department chairs and program directors encouraging greater collaboration in recruiting with the Office for Institutional Planning and Diversity. All faculty positions are now advertised in publications intended to broaden the audience for our position announcements (e.g., Diverse Education, Latinos in Higher Education). Approximately, one-quarter of this year’s new hires were faculty of color.

In a new partnership between Middlebury College and Williams College, the vice president for institutional planning and diversity visited the University of California, Berkeley, to describe teaching opportunities for graduate students of color. Most of the students had never thought about or been advised to look at liberal arts colleges. We also plan to introduce ourselves to graduate students at Duke, Michigan, Stanford, etc.—institutions that are known for generating some of the most diverse Ph.D.’s in the country.

 

Recommendation #32: Recognize Community Partners.
Tiffany Sargent, director of the Alliance for Civic Engagement designed a rubric to advance a three-pronged approach toward work with community partners, which includes community partnership development, creation of reciprocal and meaningful work, and recognition of community partners. The Alliance for Civic Engagement helps facilitate collaboration between the College and community partners around both academic- and service-related initiatives. The Events Scheduling Office has successfully developed policies regarding campus space-use issues for our community partners, and it is working well. This policy and the list of community partners are now reviewed annually. Additionally, departments are tapping local expertise to augment programming with and for students, both in and out of the classroom (e.g., as colloquia speakers, winter term instructors, workshop presenters, internship sponsors, etc.). There are several formal means available for annual recognition of community partners and outstanding individuals: the Citizen’s Medals, the Vermont Campus Compact annual gala, and the Public Service Leadership Awards.

 


Curriculum & Faculty

Recommendation #33: Increase faculty resources and enhance student-faculty interaction.
Last spring, the faculty voted on a mandatory senior-work requirement that is scheduled to take effect in 2013. This will be a big step in enhancing student-faculty interactions. In addition, a Middlebury project will emerge from the 2009 Mellon 23 Assembly on faculty-student collaborations.

Recommendation #34: Consolidate the College's distribution requirements.
In January 2007 the recommendation to consolidate the College’s distribution requirements was officially rejected by the Education Affairs Committee after careful consideration. The Education Affairs Committee reviewed student transcripts to determine whether students completing our current distribution requirements sample classes from a broad range of departments and programs. The Committee confirmed that students do, in fact, select a wide range of classes. The Committee concluded that any altered version of the requirements would be no more effective at encouraging a broad-based liberal arts education for our students.

Recommendation #35: Institute a laboratory science requirement within the new distribution requirements.
The recommendation for a lab science requirement is on hold until we implement the new teaching load guidelines (currently planned for fall of 2010), as these will impact the teaching resources available in the sciences. The Educational Affairs Committee (EAC) and Curriculum Committee will take this issue up in 2009–10 to see whether such a requirement would be both desirable and feasible with current resources.

 

Recommendation #36: Enhance academic advising.
This year, the focus was on advising as the topic for the Bread Loaf faculty-meeting small-group discussions. Minutes of those discussions were distributed to all faculty members, and the Academic Council (a group of academic deans and student-life staff) has continued these conversations. In the next few months, ideas to enhance advising will likely be presented to faculty and other relevant staff.

Recommendation #37: Eliminate triple majors and reduce the number of double majors.
In the spring of 2007, the faculty voted to eliminate triple majors and reduce the number of double majors.

Recommendation #38: Streamline departmental major requirements.
Last year’s EAC worked with departments to encourage reassessments of major requirements, and a number of departments and programs reduced and reconfigured their requirements in anticipation of implementing the new senior-work requirement and new teaching-load guidelines. As we move toward that implementation, it is likely that some additional departments and programs will do so as well.

Last year’s EAC worked with departments to encourage reassessments of major requirements, and a number of departments and programs reduced and reconfigured their requirements in anticipation of implementing the new senior-work requirement and new teaching-load guidelines. As we move toward that implementation, it is likely that some additional departments and programs will do so as well.

Recommendation #39a: Highlight the strength of the sciences at Middlebury.
We had been working on a brochure to highlight the sciences, but this project has been tabled for now because the cost seemed to outweigh the benefits, considering the current fiscal climate.

We are collaborating with the Office of Sponsored Research to establish a comprehensive database detailing student-faculty research (academic year and summer), student presentations at national and international meetings, etc. The objective is to hold all the pertinent information needed for institutional grants along with a faculty CV database.

The dean of curriculum met with the science chairs once this fall to discuss the “mission” of the sciences—additional meetings will be taking place in the coming months to continue this discussion.

Recommendation #39b: Highlight the strength of the arts at Middlebury.
The College moved forward this fall to establish a new venue at the Old Stone Mill to house projects that are related to the Project on Creativity and Innovation in the Liberal Arts—these projects will be programmatically tied to 51 Main Street. That is, the Old Stone Mill will be a place where student projects are developed and created, and 51 Main will serve as a venue for student performances, exhibits, and presentations.

Recommendation #40: Strengthen Winter Term.
We’ve been discussing the idea of incorporating course clusters into the winter term that are related to the Clifford Symposium. This will provide more meaning and can provide more in-depth teaching opportunities for a subject discussed for three days at the symposium.

Two winter term 2008 courses were taught by MIIS faculty: one on non-proliferation (by Jean du Prez); the second was a team-taught course in translation and interpretation offered in three different languages (by Jaclyn Harmer, John Balcom, Julia Johnson, Carl Fehlandt, Chuanyun Bao, Diane de Terra, and Barry Olsen).

Recommendation #41: Reinforce the first-year seminar program.
For the first time this fall, we affiliated every first-year seminar (FYS) with a Commons. This move, which means that all first-year seminars will be housed by Commons (that is, seminar participants will live together in the same residence hall), will augment the learning experience for first-years and enhance the advising they receive.

We have yet to undertake a comprehensive review of the FYS program to insure consistency of advising and writing across the program (as the strategic plan recommends). However, we have initiated a review of the academic advising system, which we hope to complete by early spring.

Kathy Skubikowski is leading a Teagle-funded, portfolio-based assessment of student learning that begins with the FYS experience and tracks student progress forward.

Recommendation #42: Explore possibilities for Commons-based courses.
All first-year seminars are now Commons based. Occasional J-term courses are offered in a particular Commons, with an affiliation modeled on that of the first-year seminar program. It is very difficult to limit these offerings to just the students of one Commons, both in terms of ensuring enrollment, and because it conflicts with the equal-access model we currently have in place for J-term courses. Other attempts at Commons-based courses have not been successful.

This year, Associate Dean of the College Katy Smith Abbott worked with the Commons heads to establish a “Sophomore Experience” that includes a range of programs to help expand students’ understanding of the curriculum—so they can make more meaningful decisions about what to study—and strengthen links between the academic program and the “real world.”

Recommendation #43: Require senior work in all majors.
The faculty voted to approve a new senior work requirement, which is currently planned to begin with the graduating class of 2013. This year’s EAC will be working with departments and programs to develop specific plans for senior work within their curricula. A general outline of the requirement for each department and program will be included in the 2009–10 catalog, and more specific requirements will be in place by the following year.

Recommendation #44: Promote student research through a daylong research symposium.
The student research symposium continues to achieve great success with strong and innovative presentations, in depth faculty-student collaboration, and great participation from the Middlebury community.

Recommendation #46: Create a database for service-learning projects.
Following a review of this project, which was initiated by the Alliance for Civic Engagement, we have placed the database development on hold until at least fall 2011. This decision responds to a need for directing resources in this area to other priorities (e.g., international service learning), and to a desire that its implementation be closely linked to the pending senior-work initiative. We hope that incremental resources will become available then in order to appropriately create and manage the service-learning database.

Recommendation #47: Make better use of current teaching resources with a goal of achieving a more competitive teaching load for faculty.
Last year’s EAC developed guidelines for a reallocation of teaching load as recommended by the strategic plan. These guidelines were accepted by the administration. The current estimate is that we will implement these new guidelines beginning in the fall of 2010. The implementation timeline is dependent on the number of additional positions added and the ability of departments and programs to implement the new guidelines with existing staffing levels.

Recommendation #48: Develop a more flexible approach to faculty leaves.
In the spring of 2008, the administration adopted a more flexible academic leave policy for faculty. Normally, colleagues are eligible for up to a year's leave after teaching for five years. We have enhanced flexibility by allowing tenured colleagues to request an accelerated semester leave after two and a half years of teaching, if that schedule better facilitates their scholarly and professional goals. The policy can be found in the Handbook.

Recommendation #49: Provide more centralized staff support to reduce administrative burdens on faculty.
This recommendation has not been addressed yet this year. The academic deans will consider this recommendation this year to see whether there are some duties faculty assume that might be assigned to existing staff positions. In addition, Faculty Council and department chairs will be consulted for suggestions relevant to this recommendation.


Middlebury’s Graduate & Specialized Programs

Recommendation #50: Increase collaboration across Middlebury programs.
Non-language undergraduate faculty sit on study-abroad advisory boards to work with the vice president and dean of international programs to integrate languages and study abroad into course work across the curriculum and to expose faculty to Middlebury’s breadth of programs. The office of the vice president for languages has revived interest in a proposal for a minor in linguistics, to be offered to undergraduates. The linguistics minor involves not only language departments but also religion, sociology and anthropology, and teacher education, among others. Significant areas of collaboration between Middlebury and Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) programs are listed in Recommendation #61.

We are applying for the first phase of an Alfred P. Sloan Award for Faculty Career Flexibility. (Six $200,000 grants will be awarded.) As part of our application, we will note the unique nature of Middlebury’s many academic operations—e.g. “One Middlebury”—and our desire to offer more movement of faculty across those operations.

Kathy Morse and Michael Newbury are organizing a one-day retreat in January 2009 to increase collaboration across the College's interdisciplinary programs. This retreat will be paid for by a $4,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation.

Please see Recommendation #40 for a description of winter term 2008 MIIS courses taught at Middlebury. Rich Wolfson is hoping to offer a Center for Non-Proliferation Studies winter term course at MIIS in January 2010.

Recommendation #51: Establish a Board of Trustees subcommittee devoted to the summer program, schools abroad, and affiliates.
An ad-hoc Trustee Committee on Graduate and Special Programs was formed in October 2007. The committee includes the vice president for the Language Schools, schools abroad, and graduate programs. The committee is reviewing the mission, program policies, market, etc. of the College’s various graduate and affiliate programs. The committee will make recommendations regarding the role, value, and potential of these programs.

Recommendation #53: Ensure that the needs of the College’s summer and auxiliary programs are represented in committee and administrative structures that are responsible for operational planning.
Considered the needs of the summer and auxiliary programs in operational planning. The ADA Plan Committee is an example of an important ongoing committee that includes a member of the Language Schools administration. The Master Plan Committee will soon be formed with the charge of ensuring that future construction, renovation, and landscape projects comply with the principles of the recently endorsed Campus Master Plan. One of the 10 goals of the plan is to “foster the 12-month campus”.

Recommendation #55: Expand the scope of the Language Schools curriculum by integrating broader cultural content in Language Schools courses.
The MA in Mediterranean studies, to be introduced at the Language Schools in 2009, will enable students to develop insight into the history and culture that have shaped a vital region, helping them to interpret and address the complex issues of today’s world in the age of globalization. This innovative MA program requiring master’s-level competency in two languages (French, Italian, or Spanish) is designed for students seeking a career in international affairs, economic development, diplomacy, politics, economics, journalism, or education.

Recommendation #56: Add summer graduate programs in languages that are currently taught only at the undergraduate level.
Middlebury’s affiliation with the Monterey Institute of International Studies has provided an option for students pursuing the Chinese MA degree. Candidates spend an academic year on the Monterey campus between their initial and final summers at Middlebury, thus completing the degree in a little over two years. Here, in addition to the immersion experience at Middlebury, students can take advantage of the expertise in second-language acquisition, pedagogy, and applied linguistics.

Middlebury’s first MA in Chinese was awarded in August 2008.

Recommendation #57: Offer new languages and explore possibilities for new sites abroad that support the undergraduate curriculum.
Last year, Middlebury College and Brandeis University announced the establishment of the Brandeis University-Middlebury School of Hebrew, which was launched in the summer of 2008. As Middlebury’s 10th Language School, it is the newest summer program since the Portuguese School was inaugurated in 2003, with 27 students enrolled.

The curriculum of the seven-week session focused on Modern Hebrew, with optional course work for qualified students interested in developing their linguistic skills in Classical Hebrew also available.

Middlebury College established the C.V. Starr-Middlebury School Abroad in the Middle East, the first of the Middlebury Schools Abroad in this region. Located in Alexandria, Egypt, and affiliated with Alexandria University, the school began offering classes in the fall of 2007, with 12 students enrolled in the first year.

In conjunction with CET Academic Programs, Middlebury College has been operating the C.V. Starr-Middlebury School in China, since 2004, at Hangzhou.

Planning is ongoing for two new sites in China—Beijing and Kunming, with director interviews taking place this winter. In Beijing, Middlebury will be at Capital Normal University, and in Kunming, at Yunnan University.

In Japan, students have been attending the Associated Kyoto Programs. Planning is now underway for development of Middlebury’s own program in Japan, and several potential sites in Japan were visited in the fall of 2008.

A Korean language program is in the early stages of consideration.

n.b. In response to increasing demand for admission, a Language Schools second site, at Mills College in Oakland, California, is to open in June 2009. Middlebury at Mills provides a unique opportunity for West Coast students to experience the Language Schools closer to home, and for East Coast students to explore the cultural diversity of the Bay Area. As of 2009, all students admitted to the Arabic School will study at Mills. Students in French, Italian, and Spanish may choose either the Middlebury or Mills campus.

Recommendation #58: Integrate the Bread Loaf School of English into the College’s international focus by considering further expansion beyond the U.S. borders.
Discussions about a possible program in Africa started, with a target date of 2012 under consideration. A number of students from Africa (Kenya and Tanzania in particular) have attended the Bread Loaf School of English, and two graduated last summer, with several still in the program.

Recommendation #59: Upgrade facilities at the Bread Loaf campus to ensure longevity of its historic buildings and allow for support of new teaching technologies.
The foundation study was completed in 2005. Building conditions assessment was completed in 2006 (which was a study on the architectural, structural, mechanical, and electrical needs of the buildings).

An implementation plan, building on these studies, for the long-term phased rehabilitation of the Bread Loaf campus and infrastructure was completed in the fall of 2008. This plan compiled studies of the foundations, building conditions, ADA needs, site and infrastructure needs. The implementation plan provides scenarios for the rehabilitation of the campus over a minimum period of 12 years. Two new buildings are proposed in the plan to allow rehabilitation of the Inn and the Barn. These buildings would be a new maintenance facility and a new residence hall that would also house the bookstore in summer months and the Rikert Ski Touring Center in winter months.

A brief summary of this planning work was presented to President’s Staff on September 30, 2008, and again to the Building and Grounds Committee of the Board of Trustees on October 17, 2008.

Recommendation #60: Develop stronger ties between the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and our academic year programs.
This year, we are launching a search for a Robert Frost Writer in Residence, who will teach during the academic year and at one of the Bread Loaf programs during the summer.

Recommendation #61: Collaboration with the Monterey Institute of International Studies.
Program collaboration between Middlebury College and the Monterey Institute include: faculty exchanges (one with the Center for Non-Proliferation Studies), Middlebury undergraduates at MIIS for J-term, Middlebury and Monterey Institute students in joint field-study programs, Monterey Institute graduate students attending the summer Language Schools, and a joint Chinese MA program. A major collaborative project was the organization and successful convening of 400 participants at the Connect·ED Conference 2008 (held at the Monterey Conference Center).

The Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy (MMLA) was inaugurated in 2008, as an initiative to teach languages to middle and high school students. The program took place on Vermont and California campuses and was overseen by MMLA staff and the Middlebury College summer Language Schools. Another program operated jointly by the Monterey Institute and the Middlebury summer Language Schools offered an immersion program in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) to English teachers from Spain, summer 2008. The program was paid for by the Council of Madrid, conducted in Monterey, and Burlington, Vermont, and overseen by Middlebury’s study abroad program director in Madrid. The agreement was finalized during a site visit by the Council of Madrid representative at the Connect·ED Conference. A new initiative involves collaboration with the Monterey Institute’s linguistics program in consideration of an undergraduate minor in linguistics at Middlebury.

Recommendation #62: Establish a liaison group to explore programmatic connections between the Monterey Institute of International Studies and Middlebury programs.
Two liaison groups have been established to look at the ways that Middlebury and Monterey can work together. Specific to Recommendation #62, a program integration task force is looking at curricular collaboration and academic program development. This group meets regularly and includes representatives from the various graduate and special program areas. There is also a finance, operations, communications integration group that focuses on how to facilitate collaboration between the two institutions, how to support the program collaboration, and how to integrate operations when that makes sense, due to efficiencies and capacity.


Campus, Infrastructure & Environment

Recommendation #65: Equalize housing opportunities for seniors.
After the sophomore year, rising juniors and seniors are free to choose rooms from across campus, and these junior/senior rooms are not affiliated with any particular Commons. Academic-interest houses, language houses, and social houses are now also unaffiliated. Seniors enter room draw first, and have the maximum flexibility in choosing a room for their final year at Middlebury.

Each individual junior and senior, however, remains associated with his or her original Commons. Thus, juniors and seniors may continue to work with their Commons heads and deans on any number of Commons-related projects or programs, may actively participate in Commons Council, and may return to heads and deans for academic or other advising needs. This arrangement allows for continuity of Commons membership and relationships across all four years, even as older students choose majors and move on to a variety of other activities across campus. It also gives juniors and seniors a much wider array of housing to choose from during room draw, without sacrificing the relationships developed during their first two years of residence within the Commons. Based on initial reports from juniors and seniors (and an article in the Campus), they were generally pleased with this increased flexibility in the spring 2008 room draw.

Recommendation #66: Improve space for departments and programs.
Work continues to find the best use for Munroe, Adirondack, and Wright office spaces. Several relocation options are being reviewed in an effort to solve as many issues as possible in the most cost-effective way.

Recommendation #67: Create more space for the arts.
Johnson 205 has been converted from a classroom to an additional teaching studio for studio art. Several music practice rooms have been added across campus (Wright, Sunderland) in response to student demand. A meeting is planned in mid-December to establish a permanent rehearsal space in addition to CFA 232 for theatre productions.

Recommendation #70: Design energy-efficient buildings and operations.
The Franklin Environmental Center monitoring and display system was being tested in fall 2008, and this building has been performing at 53 percent above base reference for energy efficiency. A monitoring and display system of the building’s resource use and efficiency, with both a Web- based and kiosk interface, is being installed. It will also provide easy access to data about the building’s resource usage (steam, electricity, water, solar-power generation and solar radiation) for research purposes. The McCullough renovation includes improvements to building envelope/insulation.

The recently completed Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest is the first building in Vermont and the seventh in the nation to receive a LEED platinum certification, which is the highest designation a building can receive for energy efficiency and sustainability.

The recently completed Axinn Center at Starr Library incorporated energy efficient systems throughout.

It is anticipated that the operation of Middlebury’s soon-to-be-completed biomass heating plant will effectively reduce the College’s carbon emissions by approximately 40 percent. The plant is scheduled to come online by January 2009.

A detailed retro-commissioning study and implementation plan for the Mahaney Center for the Arts has taken place. This study identified 19 key energy-efficiency improvement projects. The majority of these projects will yield a short economic payback. Development of the implementation plan and schedule for these projects is in progress.

Two solar-thermal hot-water heating systems were installed at 107 Shannon Street. Renewable energy systems are a key element in support of the College’s carbon neutrality initiative. Installation of these two systems includes a monitoring system that will allow evaluation and comparison of each system’s performance to support future solar-thermal hot-water installations.

A final draft of a new set of building-design and construction guidelines has been completed and is ready for approval. These detailed guidelines are based on the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design guidelines, with adaptations and additions to reflect the College’s own requirements and circumstances.

Recommendation #71: Consider the various impacts of development on the College campus and the natural environment.
The recently completed, and trustee-endorsed, Campus Master Plan provides carefully considered guidelines for the development of the Middlebury campus. This document includes chapters on sustainability, built systems, and natural systems, but the need for sustainable development is the foundation of the plan, and this concept is woven throughout the text. As an outgrowth of the Master Plan, a set of sustainable design guidelines has been completed, and these standards will help ensure that best stewardship practices are followed relative to land use. Moreover, a Master Plan Committee will review all potential projects for compliance with Master Plan and sustainable design guidelines principles.

The College’s Lands Committee meets quarterly and makes recommendations.

Recommendation #74: Continue making alterations to facilities that improve their accessibility for those with disabilities, and work toward universal access.
In May 2008 the College began work on a comprehensive ADA plan for the campus. A committee comprised of faculty, staff, and students held meetings over the summer with ADA consultant Kessler McGuinness and Associates to develop the first phase of a three-part plan. The first phase was completed in October, and the next phase is set to begin in early December. Much of the work will be done in-house by College staff and through the work of the committee.

Recommendation #75: Better utilize existing facilities through efficient scheduling and management.
In order to consolidate and streamline the scheduling of campus events, the provost’s office now oversees the scheduling office. This transition took place in early November, and we are just beginning to discuss strategies for more efficient scheduling.

Recommendation #79: Explore ways to support development of a Cornwall Path.
The path to the Organic Garden has been completed. The 12 foot wide path supports pedestrian, bicycle, and light vehicular traffic. The new path allows a safe alternative to traveling on Route 125. Additionally, the College is supporting the efforts of the Town of Cornwall to widen the Route 30 road shoulders between the Town of Cornwall and the Golf Course. The purpose of this selective widening and improvement project is to create a roadbed capable of supporting at least 3 foot wide shoulders on both sides of the road. The project needs to be completed by November of 2009 so it will be in place to facilitate the VTrans paving project for Route 30 scheduled for summer of 2010. The College has committed $17,500 toward this project.

Recommendation #80: Cultivate open dialogue with the town.
The president and executive vice president/treasurer continue to meet regularly with town leaders at a monthly lunch. Several members of the College community also serve on local boards (Addison County Chamber of Commerce, Better Middlebury Partnership). The development of a formal relationship with the Town Hall Theatre and the College’s commitment to support the construction of a second bridge have contributed to open and positive dialogue. These efforts, along with the various student projects and student volunteers in the local community, have contributed to an excellent relationship and a very open and active dialogue. These efforts will continue.

Resources Supporting the Strategic Plan

There are four planning items in the strategic plan that fall in the domain of College Advancement. The goal is to better engage alumni in the life of the College and to raise financial support through the Middlebury Initiative. The plan specifically refers to financial aid for the Language Schools and internships for students. Progress has been made in all areas and the efforts are, and will be, ongoing. We have seen particular success in raising money for the Language Schools through the Davis Fellowships for Peace Program. A total of $290 million has been raised toward the $500 million goal for the Middlebury Initiative as of November 2008.


The examples outlined in this report illustrate the many efforts underway in the community to act upon the recommendations in the strategic plan. The College community is indebted to many people in our midst for their good work and leadership in advancing the College’s ambitious agendas.

Shirley M. Ramirez
Vice President for Institutional Planning and Diversity

December 1, 2008

Progress Report: July 2008

In May 2006, the Middlebury Board of Trustees voted unanimously to endorse a strategic plan, Knowledge Without Boundaries. This plan guides the College’s agenda and serves as the foundation for The Middlebury Initiative, launched in October 2007.

 

The present report outlines progress made with the strategic planning agenda in the period, February 2008 through June 2008. For convenience in reviewing the planning recommendations in their own context, this report identifies items by referring to numbered recommendations in the strategic plan.


#4: Identify and recruit more top-rated applicants.

Middlebury’s applicant pool for the Class of 2012 reached a new record high at 7823 applicants for 670 positions. We faced increased competition from the nation’s strongest universities, with some top Ivy universities having dropped their early admission programs and several competitors announcing financial aid packaging with zero loan expectations. Nonetheless, Middlebury’s admissions yield for the new entering class held very high at 45%.

Middlebury continued to fine-tune its efforts to compete for the academically most gifted students who apply both to Middlebury and to other very selective colleges and universities. We offered admission using early notification to a larger pool of these students than ever before, and 53 of them visited Middlebury for at least an overnight in April. Twenty-two of these students have now matriculated at Middlebury. The admissions office also tracks those students who do not choose Middlebury, and exactly half of them are attending an Ivy League university with the rest attending other top-notch universities and colleges across the country. It seems fair to conclude that Middlebury is competing in the big leagues for its superb student body, and is indeed competing very well.


#5: Move gradually toward a voluntary February admission program.

The numbers of students entering Middlebury in February had exceeded 130, but we expect 90 “Febs” in February 2009. The gradual reduction in the size of this program has probably led to more positive experiences for those who do enter in February. For example, all else being equal, choices for courses and for housing may be somewhat more favorable. Our stated goal is to have a Feb class in which all students chose to be in that program. This year, all but a handful of students who are joining us in February indicated when they applied to Middlebury their willingness to enter as a “Feb.”


#6: Increase the grant component in our financial aid packages.

In 2005-06 when the new strategic plan was being developed, students who qualified for financial aid were expected to take out $4000 per year in loans to help finance their education. The loan expectation was subsequently reduced for all students, with the largest reductions being for students from families at lower income levels. For students entering in the Class of 2012, the graduated loan expectations are:

family income < $50,000:

$1,000 per year

family income $50,000 to $80,000:

$2,000 per year

family income > $80,000:

$3,000 per year


#7: Increase the socio-economic diversity of the student body;

#8: Enhance recruitment and retention of students of color; and

#9: Maintain our strong international enrollment.

Of the 670 students who will enter as the Class of 2012, we expect approximately 42% (early June estimate) to qualify for need-based grant aid. The corresponding percentage for the Class of 2011 was 44%. The strong socio-economic diversity in these two classes should mean that the entire Middlebury student body in Vermont will have approximately 42% of its members receiving need-based financial aid in 2008-09. The 2006 strategic plan financial model assumed a gradual increase in this percentage to 43% by 2014-15, and so the gains through 2008-09 in the aided student population exceed those originally projected in the planning model.

Some of the increase in the socio-economic diversity of the student body is associated with increases in other forms of diversity, including gains in racial and ethnic diversity and our continued strong international student population. For all students of U.S. citizenship (both September admits and February admits) in the Classes of 2011 and 2012, approximately 41% are aided. Of the same group of students who are U.S. students of color, approximately 70% receive grant aid. Among our international students in these classes, around 70% receive need-based aid with a substantial portion of that aid coming from the United World Colleges program. Although greater socio-economic diversity and racial/ethnic diversity are distinct goals of the strategic plan, gains in these two areas tend to be correlated.

The dean of admissions and other admissions staff members have developed a comprehensive plan for further increasing diversity in our student body. This area was the subject of a president’s staff retreat in early June, 2008. The vice-president for institutional planning and diversity, dean of the college, the center for teaching, learning and research, and other departments continue work in developing strategies to further reduce attrition of students of color – an area that has seen substantial improvement in the past decade.

Middlebury continues its strong position with international students. Together, the Classes of 2011 and 2012 will have 9.2% international students and 70% of these students received need-based financial aid. Of aided international students in these two classes, 49% are United World College Students.


#12: Continue to offer leadership in addressing the relationship between intercollegiate athletics and academic mission .

#13: Establish a systematic procedure for consultation between coaches and other faculty members about the balance between athletics and educational mission.

Middlebury’s leadership role in the national College Sports Project data collection and analysis continues. The second round of data collection for 78 Division-III colleges and universities was recently completed; it has provided second-year data for the original student cohort as well as data on entering students in a second student cohort. The analysis of more than 60,000 student data records is beginning, and reports are scheduled to be mailed to the presidents of the participating institutions by the end of the summer.

The Athletic Policy Committee, representing both the academic and athletics faculty, has completed a review that explores how representative Middlebury intercollegiate athletes are of the overall student body. The committee will share its findings and recommendations with the Faculty Council by September.


#18: Initiate College-wide convocations.

The second annual College Convocation Series lecture was delivered in Mead Chapel on April 10 to a capacity audience. Robert Sapolsky, a well-known expert on issues of stress and stress-related disorders, spoke on the topic, “Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: Stress, Disease and Coping.” Sapolsky is a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University, and a research associate with the Institute of Primate Research at the National Museum of Kenya. He has focused his research on issues of stress and neuron degeneration, as well as on the possibilities of gene therapy strategies for help in protecting susceptible neurons from disease.

In keeping with the model for the College Convocation Series, additional events were held to develop the theme further and to engage the College community more widely. On April 14, Dr. Hrayr Attarian, Director of the Vermont Regional Sleep Center, and Associate Professor of Neurology and Medicine at the University of Vermont School of Medicine, lectured on the essential role sleep plays in helping us achieve our full learning potential. Throughout the rest of April, the Middlebury Office of health and Wellness Education offered a series of experiential workshops, films, and games designed to inform the community about ingredients necessary for a balanced and healthy life. Robert Sapolsky's visit and most of the follow-up events were organized by the faculty and staff members of the Ad Hoc Committee on Campus Stress.


#20: Support staff matriculation at Middlebury College.

A small committee from the administration led by Dean of Faculty Susan Campbell developed a proposal that will enable staff members who have completed substantial course work toward the bachelor’s degree to apply for degree candidacy at Middlebury. This spring, the Educational Affairs Committee reviewed the proposals, and recommended that the faculty adopt a few changes in academic requirements that make it possible for staff members to complete a Middlebury bachelor’s degree.

In April, the faculty adopted the changes in a vote that was apparently unanimous. The changes in degree requirements for staff members are modest, yet are important if a staff member is to be able to complete the requirements and attain a degree:

1. The staff member will meet all Middlebury College BA degree requirements, with specified exceptions noted in points 2, 3, and 4:

2. The senior residency requirement is waived.

3. The 36 course total may include, but need not include, up to four Winter Term courses.

4. The staff member’s ad hoc admission committee may consider proposed substitute courses for those required for distribution or for the major requirement when, in the judgment of the committee, such changes enable the applicant to achieve the goals of his or her proposed program of study and when the proposed adjustments maintain the integrity of existing curricular requirements.


#25: Promote greater work-life balance.

A May meeting of nearly 100 senior staff members and department heads, held in McCullough and hosted by President Liebowitz and his staff, devoted most of its agenda to an examination of issues pertaining to work-life balance. Dean of Library and Information Systems Barbara Doyle-Wilch led a program in which staff members at each table brainstormed with a member of President’s Staff about potential steps for enhancing work-life balance among College employees. Each group shared highlights from its discussions, and it later assembled more detailed written summaries of the session. We expect this agenda to move ahead, with lots of opportunity for further input from staff members.


#31: Expand and support diversity in the staff and faculty.

A major report, the Report of the Task Force on the Status of Women at Middlebury College, was completed in March 2008. The report reviews progress made since a parallel report was issued in 1997; it also makes recommendations for the coming years, including recommendations for continuing to enhance Middlebury’s diversity. The report is available to members of the College community at: http://www.middlebury.edu/campuslife/diversity/groups/tsw/


#43: Require senior work in all majors; and

#47: Make better use of current teaching resources with a goal of achieving a more competitive teaching load for faculty.

Since the adoption of the strategic plan in May 2006, the academic administration, the Educational Affairs Committee, and chairs of departments and programs have undertaken a thorough review of the structure of academic majors, the prevalence of student independent work, faculty teaching loads, and the college’s use of its faculty resources. The goals of these efforts were:

1. to identify ways to strengthen the academic programs of students, particularly with respect to their culminating experiences at Middlebury;

2. to further strengthen the intense student-faculty interaction that characterizes the Middlebury undergraduate experience; and

3. to identify ways to use faculty resources more flexibly and efficiently in order to achieve more competitive teaching loads for the faculty.

By October 2007, department and program chairs had submitted drafts of their teaching programs for 2009-2010 that would enable them to move to teaching loads that conform to recommendations developed in the Educational Affairs Committee. These plans also addressed the logistics of implementing required senior independent work in those departments not already having a required capstone experience.

In May 2008 the faculty voted in a 95-12 vote to endorse the senior independent work requirement for all Middlebury graduates, beginning with the class that enters in fall 2009. Although the faculty does not vote on its teaching loads, the Educational Affairs Committee presented its recommendations in a context that incorporated the revised teaching loads and the gradual expansion of the faculty by 25 FTEs between now and 2015.


#46: Create a database for service learning projects.

Following a review of this project, which was initiated by the Alliance for Civic Engagement, we have placed the database development on hold until at least fall 2011. This decision responds to a need for directing resources in this area to other priorities (e.g., international service learning), and to a desire that its implementation be closely linked to the pending senior work initiative. We hope that incremental resources will become available then in order to appropriately create and manage the service learning database.


#50: Increase collaboration across Middlebury programs.

Through a new initiative co-sponsored by Middlebury¹s International Programs and Off-Campus Study, and the Office of Environmental Affairs, students are able to have a greener study abroad experience. Resources include:

  • Sustainable study abroad grants for research on sustainability issues;
  • A Going Green Guide for directors of the eight C.V. Starr-Middlebury Schools Abroad in 12 countries, with guidance for greening the office and facilities, environmental programming, and other sustainability activities;
  • The Green Passport program which helps students keep track of their actions while abroad within suggested guidelines for responsible travel;
  • A carbon offset program to help reduce the impact of air travel and energy use while abroad;
  • A list of sustainable travel resources including a sustainable travel checklist that includes considerations such as the travel provider¹s environmental policy and whether the provider supports environmental issues in the host country.

Get more information about these programs.

Middlebury¹s Environmental Council also awarded a grant in 2007-08 to the Middlebury College School in Spain to conduct a study and oral history of ancient structures in the region.


#59: Upgrade facilities at the Bread Loaf campus to ensure longevity of its historic buildings and allow for support of new teaching technologies.

A fiber-optics link to Bread Loaf became fully operational in May 2008. The wired network (Inn, Theatre, Library, and Barn) on the Bread Loaf campus now has a 1 Gigabyte per second link to the Middlebury campus.


#61: Explore opportunities for future collaboration with the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

President Liebowitz recently announced that Sunder Ramaswamy, Dirks Professor of Economics and Vice Provost for Institutional Integration, has been named President-Elect of the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Sunder will assume the presidency at Monterey when Clara Yu steps down at the end of the calendar year, after her three years of critically important leadership as Monterey’s president. Sunder is serving as Vice Provost for Institutional Integration, directing the “M-squared” Integration Task Force at Middlebury, leading integration efforts on both campuses, and making visits to MIIS to meet with administrators, faculty, and students. He is thus poised to continue the transition to a more fully integrated relationship between Middlebury College and its affiliate in Monterey, California.


#63: Revise and expand the campus master plan to reflect the strategic plan.

The completed master plan was a major agenda item for the Board of Trustees at its May meeting in Middlebury. After an extensive review of the various elements of the plan, the Board voted to endorse the new master plan. This endorsement comes with the understanding that the plan provides a broad context for the evolution of College’s physical plant and infrastructure here in Vermont. Specific proposals and initiatives in the coming decades will make reference to the guidelines, principles, and values provided in this document.

The College has just learned that our campus master plan has won a “top-tier award” in the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) campus planning awards program.


#65: Equalize housing opportunities for seniors.

The spring 2008 room draw was modified to give seniors and juniors greater flexibility in choosing their housing. It also reflected the decision that all first-year students and sophomores will be housed in their own Commons. The room draw went relatively well even with the projected large enrollment for fall 2008; the greatest pressures in the room draw were felt by members of the sophomore class.


#69: Pursue alternative environmentally-friendly energy sources.

Middlebury Staff Council and the Environmental Council co-sponsored an environmental fair aimed at College and Town community members as consumers. The event, held on April 9, was called beinggreen@home and it enjoyed large attendance and much sharing of practical information. McCullough social space was filled with exhibits from businesses and organizations throughout Addison County and beyond, aimed at helping people to develop more sustainable lifestyles. Dining services provided meals and snacks prepared with locally-grown ingredients, and offered at no cost to all attendees. A Vermont electric car was on display on the lawn in front of McCullough.

A seven kilowatt bank of solar panels was installed on the south roof of the Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest in early May. It is estimated that the electricity from this source of renewable energy will provide 15 to 20% of the power used in the building. A pyranometer will also be installed to collect data on the solar radiation falling on the roof, which will be used for research on the performance of the panels under varying climactic conditions.

A 10-acre test plot of willow shrubs was planted in the spring of 2007 just west of the campus along the north side of Route 125 as part of a three-year project with SUNY’s Environmental School of Forestry to test the feasibility of growing fuel for the new biomass gasification system. After a year’s worth of growth, SUNY researchers have said that the productivity of the test plots are as good as any they have seen in their years of research. The shrubs are harvested after three years of growth and the cut plants regenerate and grow back. The three year harvest cycle can go on for up to seven or eight cycles before new plants are needed.


#70: Energy efficient buildings and operations.

An energy saving air conditioning system was installed as part of the renovation of the Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest. The system uses groundwater from a drilled well as a coolant rather than an electric or steam powered evaporating system. The cold groundwater is used to absorb heat from a coolant that circulates to a classroom and two offices in Hillcrest, saving a significant amount of energy compared to a conventional air conditioning system.


#74: Work toward universal access on campus.

Facilities Services is currently working with a consultant to identify steps needed to continue our progress in addressing universal access that meets and exceeds ADA requirements.

Resources Supporting the Strategic Plan: The College launched a $500 million Initiative on October 6, 2007. More than half of the Initiative goal – $282 million as of June 15, 2008 – has been reached. The Middlebury Initiative is critically important to Middlebury’s ability to continue implementing the major strategic initiatives in the Strategic Plan. On a related note, the College announced on July 3, 2008, that alumni giving in 2007-08 reached a record 60% level; achieving this benchmark means that the College will receive a $1 million matching gift.

The examples outlined in this report illustrate the many efforts under way in the community to act upon the recommendations in the strategic plan. The College community is indebted to many people in our midst for their good work and leadership in advancing the College’s ambitious agendas.

John Emerson
Dean of Planning
July 9, 2008

Progress Report: February 2008

In May 2006, the Middlebury Board of Trustees voted unanimously to endorse a strategic plan, Knowledge Without Boundaries. The plan is available on the Middlebury College Web site. The strategic plan serves as the foundation for The Middlebury Initiative, launched in October 2007.

 

The present report outlines progress made with the strategic planning agenda in the period, September 2007 through January 2008. For convenience in reviewing the planning recommendations in their own context, this report identifies items by referring to numbered recommendations in the strategic plan.

 


#7: Increase the socio-economic diversity of the student body.

The strategic plan assumed gradual growth in the percentage of Middlebury students qualifying for need-based aid to 43% of the student body. The fall 2007 percent of undergraduate students receiving College financial aid is 41% (40% when study-abroad students are included). Projections indicate that the 43% target will likely be attained within the next two years, and possibly even by Fall 2008. Some colleges in Middlebury’s overlapping admissions group have announced financial aid packages that eliminate loans in the aid package and provide corresponding increases in grant aid. Middlebury’s average grant has seen healthy increases to $29,500 in 2007-08, and many of the recent gains at Middlebury have especially benefited students from upper middle-class families. The President and senior administration are undertaking an extensive review of this area and of the College’s financial aid programs.


#8: Enhance recruitment and retention of students of color.

The dean for institutional diversity and the dean of admissions are developing a strategic plan for further increasing diversity in our admissions process. Significant attention is also being given to successfully retaining students of color once they are enrolled. The dean of the college, dean for institutional diversity, center for teaching, learning and research, and other departments are working together to develop strategies to further reduce attrition of students of color. We have added diversity training in residential life staff orientation (August 2007) and in first-year student orientation (for Fall 2008).


#11: Create a financial aid advisory committee.

This new committee began to meet in fall 2007. It is working with the senior administration to review financial aid policies and identify initiatives that will support the goal of increasing student socio-economic diversity.


#12: Continue to offer leadership in addressing the relationship between intercollegiate athletics and academic mission.

Dean of planning John Emerson is the principal investigator for the national College Sports Project data collection and analysis project. The presidents of 71 participating NCAA Division-III colleges, including all 11 NESCAC colleges, received their first reports from the CSP in November. The second round of data collection is now underway, and includes second-year data for the original cohort as well as data on entering students in a new student cohort.


#13: Establish a systematic procedure for consultation between coaches and other faculty members about the balance between athletics and educational mission.

The Athletic Policy Committee, with representatives from the academic faculty and from the athletics faculty met with President Liebowitz to consider and discuss Middlebury’s data from the College Sports Project. This committee will consider additional related information and data, and it will share its findings with the Faculty Council in the spring.


#15: Clarify the status of Commons Heads.

The authority of the heads has been reinforced in the performance evaluation process. It is now made clear that the deans report to the heads on matters related to the Commons as a whole. Associate Dean Katy Abbott is working with the heads as a team; she is supporting their effort to rethink the affiliates program and to create a sophomore-year experience.


#16: Integrate Commons and curriculum.

The commons heads and dean of the college staff members are exploring options for linking the Commons more closely with the curriculum.


#18: Initiate College-wide convocations.

Following the successful convocation in spring 2007, the dean of the college staff and Commons heads are now exploring possibilities for a Commons-based convocation program, led by sophomores.


#19: Enhance educational opportunities for staff.

A staff group chaired by Mary Hurlie, senior director of organizational and employee development, recently presented detailed recommendations to the president. The recommendations include increasing flexibility and expanding financial support for staff members who apply to enroll in courses. Increased budget support would make these educational benefits available to more staff members. These recommendations are now undergoing review, and changes that strengthen staff educational opportunities are likely to take effect by summer 2008.


#20: Support staff matriculation at Middlebury College.

A small committee from the administration has developed an initial proposal which is being reviewed by other members of the President’s Staff. The proposed new program will go first to the Educational Affairs Committee, and then some aspects of the program are likely to need a faculty vote.


#21: Increase professional development opportunities for staff.

Three Open Calendar sessions were offered in the fall, with approximately 25 participants in each. Staff training and development has moved to human resources and Sheila Andrus has joined HR as the training manager. During the spring, the Staff Development Program will be reviewed to ensure the most effective and broad-based availability. Since the start of this fiscal year, 11 requests for staff development funds for outside training or conferences have been supported. The office of organization and employee development is now offering two parallel programs, LeaderSkills for Supervisors and LeaderSkills for Managers, to groups of around 15 staff members.


#23: Encourage staff participation in intellectual community.

President Liebowitz appointed Lynn Dunton, senior special gifts officer in college advancement, to chair a staff committee to review this area and make recommendations. Among its key recommendations is one for a formal program that makes “staff enrichment time” available regularly to staff members. The final report has now been reviewed by President Liebowitz and his staff, and details of the implementation are being worked out.


#24: Strengthen supervisory training.

The two leadership development programs, LeaderSkills for Supervisors and LeaderSkills for Managers, continue to be offered twice each year. In fall 2007, 11 supervisors and 10 managers participated. So far, 12 supervisors and 9 managers have enrolled in the spring sessions. In addition, to support the Performance Feedback and Development Process (PFDP), a two-part training program is scheduled. The “Fundamentals” session is for new supervisors/managers and a refresher for those who attended last year. A second, hands-on skills-based session focuses on techniques for writing and delivering the review. Beginning in late February, 17 Team Leaders in custodial and general services will participate in a Team Leader Skills Workshop for 12 hours total over a four week period. The dean for institutional diversity has collaborated with human resources to develop a regular training module on “diversity and community” for all participating supervisors and managers.

 


#28: Increase recognition of employees’ accomplishments.

The biweekly Middlebury publication for employees, MiddPoints, has been revamped with support from the Communication Office to give more attention to staff members and their accomplishments. Two monthly columns, "This Month in Middlebury History" and "Milestones," celebrate past efforts and achievements by staff. Front-page articles focus on interesting things that staff members are doing now, for example, feature stories on Susan Davis (Snow Bowl) and the ski school, and on Pam Fogg (communications office) and sustainability. New employees are introduced to the community using their photos and more detailed biographies. This also marks the second year of downhill ski races for interested staff members. Beginning in January, employee service milestones are reported each month and we are looking at the feasibility of an annual recognition event.


#29: Engage alumni in the life of College.

The Alumni Office has developed more content-rich programming for on-campus and off-campus events, and an additional staff member was hired with the specific responsibility to work with alumni chapters.

The Communications Office and College Advancement have reviewed the College’s Web pages and worked with a consulting firm to develop recommendations for revamping and expanding the College’s use of the Web for communicating with the external world, particularly including Middlebury alumni. One component of this effort is a new "Middlebury Online" Web site that supplements the PantherNet alumni directory and offers a "digital gateway" to all things Middlebury on the Internet: news feeds, blogs, discussions, videos, faculty lectures, and more. Consideration is also being given to redesigning and reorganizing the College's main Web site in a way that would better serve and seamlessly connect on-campus and off-campus audiences.


#30: Strengthen our communications.

The Web project outlined in #29 is an important element of the College’s communications strategies. The recently announced Middlebury Initiative is being taken on the road to Middlebury alumni in large cities; for example, a major gathering of alumni in the San Francisco area is planned for mid-February.

Internal campus communications are also being strengthened, particularly for staff members. President Liebowitz is hosting a total of five open meetings for large staff groups over the course of the year. Much of the meeting time is reserved for questions and comments from staff members. Thus far the attendance and participation levels have exceeded expectations.

 


#31: Expand and support diversity in the staff and faculty.

Dean of Institutional Diversity Shirley Ramirez continues to lead a faculty working group on diversity initiatives. This group is focusing on faculty diversity, curriculum assessment, and the development of a new academic center at Carr Hall focusing on cultural pluralism and other issues related to diversity. A national search is now underway to identify a faculty member in American Studies who will continue the development of the new center. The dean for institutional diversity is working with human resources and academic departments to improve job descriptions and advertising in order to yield more diverse candidate pools. Dean Ramirez has also developed a session on “diversity in the classroom” for the Winter Term new faculty orientation program.


#42: Explore Commons-based courses.

Conversations are continuing among the Commons heads, with Associate Dean Katy Abbott coordinating these explorations.

 


#43: Require senior work in all majors

Pat Manley, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Research, has held conversations with science faculty to determine what kind of funding would be required to implement this requirement, and how these funds should be administered. She has also worked with colleagues to determine the best presentation for senior work: symposia and/or departmental events and to incorporate senior research into the April Student Research Symposium


#45: Increase funding for student internships.

The Career Services Office continues to work on this and has made some progress. This recommendation is also getting attention in the context of the ongoing financial aid review.

 


#61: Explore opportunities for future collaboration with the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Middlebury College and the Monterey Institute (MIIS) hosted a major conference on Global Education on January 22-24, 2008. At least 407 scholars were registered, with more than 20 different sessions offered. The conference was called ConnectEd; see: http://www.connectedconference.org/ .

Three January 2008 winter term courses (two at Middlebury, one at MIIS) are being taught by faculty from the other institution. Two MIIS short courses and field study opportunities were offered to Middlebury students as winter term 2008 internships (integrated, interdisciplinary development projects in El Salvador and New Orleans; short courses in development project management and conservation leadership.)

The Middlebury Dance Company is performing on the west coast, including at Monterey, in February. Middlebury and Monterey are collaborating on a spring 2008 online course on “Russian Society.”

Extensive collaboration of staff and movement toward integration is taking place at Middlebury and the Monterey Institute, for example, in finance with the Banner database, information technology, library and information resources, human resources, staff training, and institutional research. One specific outcome of the collaboration is an online directory for MIIS faculty and staff. As another example, the campus sustainability coordinator is working with the MIIS Sustainability Council to conduct a greenhouse gas inventory to determine MIIS carbon footprint and sources as a basis for future carbon reduction efforts.


#62: Establish a liaison group to explore programmatic connections between the Monterey Institute of International Studies and Middlebury programs.

An Academic Transformation Task Force at Monterey issued a report and set of recommendations in December 2007 that proposes a more integrated and interdisciplinary curriculum at the Monterey Institute. In particular, the proposals will lead to a set of new curricular offerings, transitioning from the current School-specific curriculum to multi-layered, interdisciplinary, sometimes modular, offerings, through collaboration of faculty members of all schools. The fall 2008 curriculum will begin to reflect the impact of these changes. As the Monterey curriculum evolves, increased opportunities for collaboration and for joint programs will result for Middlebury students and faculty members, both at the undergraduate college and for Middlebury’s graduate programs.


#63: Revise and expand the campus master plan to reflect the strategic plan.

Associate Vice President for Facilities Susan Personette continued to lead this work with Michael Dennis Associates throughout the fall and winter. A near-final draft of the new Master Plan is now being reviewed by the President’s Staff and has been distributed to the Buildings and Grounds Committee of the Board. It will then be considered by the full Board.


#65: Equalize housing opportunities for seniors.

The spring 2008 room draw is being revised to give seniors more nearly equal access to the housing that seniors find most attractive.


#68: Strengthen our environmental leadership and reputation.

Middlebury was ranked by the Sustainable Endowments Institute as one of the best six sustainability leaders among the top 250 endowment colleges and universities.


#69: Pursue alternative environmentally-friendly energy sources.

The MiddShift Implementation Working Group began meeting in December to develop a roadmap for the College to achieve carbon neutrality by 2016, as endorsed by the trustees in May 2007. The broad categories of solutions being explored include renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, conservation, and financial offsets.

A willow shrub test plot was planted in spring 2007 to explore the potential for growing a carbon neutral fuel. A seven-kW solar panel array will be installed on Hillcrest Center in Spring 2008. An innovative groundwater cooling system for the Hillcrest colloquium space began operation in summer 2007.

 


#70: Energy efficient buildings and operations.

A building energy performance monitoring and display system is being installed in the Hillcrest Center in Spring 2008 to study and improve use of electricity, solar power, water, and steam.

 


#73: Manage college lands responsibly.

The Lands Subcommittee of the Environmental Council has worked with Bob Huth, Executive Vice President and Treasurer, to develop guidelines for responsible stewardship of College lands. They have drafted a set of guidelines, and a final document describing those guidelines is now being developed in consultation with the College’s attorneys. The Lands Subcommittee is finalizing an implementation proposal that describes the formation of a Lands Advisory Group, whose purpose is to provide input and advice to the executive vice president on land management issues.


#74: Work toward universal access on campus.

An ADA access study is underway at Bread Loaf. It will be included in the recommendations for overall facility rehabilitation there. The important needs relating to ADA are addressed in the Master Plan.

 


#75: Better utilize existing facilities.

A McCullough Social Space study is underway; that project may include removing the mezzanine, adding telescoping raised seating, and improving lighting, acoustics, and sound system, and ADA access. A Dana Auditorium renovation study is complete. A Mead Chapel feasibility study is nearing completion; it looks at how to fully utilize Mead more flexibly to accommodate multiple uses.

 


#76: Increase availability of alternate transportation.

The Student Government Association (SGA) charter buses for holiday break travel filled, and there was even a wait list. Demand for seats on ACTR shuttles to the Snow Bowl exceeding capacity in Winter Term 2008.


#77: Search for creative ways to reduce reliance on private vehicles.

Two Zipcars (hourly and daily rental hybrid vehicles) became available in Fall 2007 to students, staff, and faculty.

 


#78: Old Chapel Road to become a pedestrian-friendly campus artery.

This is a recommendation in the new Master Plan that will be considered in the implementation phase.


#80: Cultivate open dialogue with the Town.

President Liebowitz announced in November 2007 that the College will share in the cost to the Town of building a second in-town bridge over Otter Creek. The College has committed to providing $600,000 annually for 30 years to support borrowing for the project by the Town. This plan was developed through extensive collaboration between the College and the Middlebury Board of Selectmen and its Chair, John Tenny.

Several town officials have been active and regular participants in the Master Planning committee throughout the past two years.

 

Resources Supporting the Strategic Plan: The College launched a $500 million Initiative on October 6, 2007. More than half of the Initiative goal—$271 million as of January 15—has already been reached. The Middlebury Initiative is critically important to Middlebury’s ability to continue implementing the major strategic initiatives in the Strategic Plan.

 

 

The examples outlined in this report illustrate the many efforts underway in the community to act upon the recommendations in the strategic plan. The College community is indebted to these individuals for their good work and leadership in advancing the College’s ambitious agendas.

John Emerson
Dean of Planning
February 13, 2008

Progress Report: September 2007

In May 2006, the Middlebury Board of Trustees voted unanimously to endorse a strategic plan, "Knowledge Without Boundaries." The plan is available on the Middlebury College web site at http://www.middlebury.edu/administration/planning. Hard copies are available on campus in Old Chapel and in the College Library.

The present report outlines the gains for our strategic planning agenda made during the period between our May Commencement and the beginning of the fall semester. For convenient reference, it lists these by referring to the specific numbered recommendations in the strategic plan.

 


#2 Seek more applicants with special academic talents.

The Admissions Office initiated a program in July and August under which visitors can elect to join an in-depth presentation by a faculty member, typically from the Arts, International Studies, or the Sciences. In July, Middlebury hosted 25 admissions counselors from lower income areas, urban outreach organizations, and science and math academies. None of these individuals had ever visited Middlebury before.


#4 Identify and recruit more top-rated academic applicants.

The admissions office reports that 45% of entering new students have academic ratings of 6 or higher on a 7-point scale, compared with 35% a year ago. This year 57 of the 100 students who received an invitation from us to visit Middlebury accepted our invitation to come to campus for a two-day program in early April. We ended up matriculating 23 recipients of that letter, compared with 14 last year, when we had no campus visit program for this group.


#5 Move gradually toward a voluntary February admissions program.

Of the 102 “Febs” matriculating this year, 74 (or about 73%) had expressed a willingness to be at least considered for February admission. Last year it was about one-third of the students who had expressed that willingness. In our publications and presentations, we continue to promote the concept of taking time off between high school and college.


#7 Increase the socio-economic diversity of the student body.

The College has seen an increase in the percentage of students receiving need-based financial assistance from 43% for the Class of 2010 (September and “Febs”) to 45% for the Class of 2011 (September and “Febs”). For the entire student body, we have 41% of students on aid this fall.


#8 Enhance recruitment and retention of students of color.

The number of U.S. students of color enrolling at Middlebury has grown from 122 in the Class of 2010 to 154 in the Class of 2011, a 25% increase. This change is the result of many diversity initiatives undertaken by the entire admissions staff, and it has been gratifying to see these efforts pay dividends so quickly.


#9 Maintain our strong international enrollment.

We experienced a significant increase in applications from international students this year, from 848 for the Class of 2010 to 1082 for the Class of 2011. Almost one-quarter of last year’s applicants were from the People’s Republic of China. Our goal this year was to increase the number of new international students who are graduates of one of the United World Colleges (UWC). Although the 65 international students enrolling this year is down slightly from 71 last year, the number of UWC graduates entering this year is 25, up from 17 last year.


#11 Create a financial aid advisory committee.

We have implemented the recommendation to have an Advisory Committee in Financial Aid. Director of Financial Aid Kim Downs serves as the chair.


#12 Continue to offer leadership in addressing the relationship between intercollegiate athletics and academic mission.

Dean of Planning John Emerson is the principal investigator of the national College Sports Project data collection and analysis project. The first reports to the Presidents of over 70 participating NCAA Division-III colleges will be issued in early October.


#13 Establish a systematic procedure for consultation between coaches and other faculty members about the balance of athletics and educational mission.

The Athletic Department sponsored a well-attended panel discussion last year entitled, "Athletics and Academics at Middlebury College: Finding the Right Balance." Coaches, other faculty members, and team captains served on the panel and most members of intercollegiate teams attended. Director of Athletics Erin Quinn has also appointed an Environmental Liaison from the department, Nordic Ski Coach Andrew Gardner, to ensure that our programs are in alignment with the environmental mission of the College.


#19 Enhance educational opportunities for staff.

A proposal for an improved dependent reimbursement program for staff and faculty was completed, and it received approval in early September. While not providing opportunities for staff members themselves, these changes do address directly the educational opportunities for their dependents.


#20 Support staff matriculation at Middlebury College.

A small committee from the administration has developed an initial proposal and will continue to refine it and review it with others this fall.


#23 Encourage staff participation in intellectual community.

President Liebowitz has appointed Lynn Dunton, Senior Special Gifts Officer in College Advancement, to chair a staff committee that will help us move forward on the recommendation to better engage the staff in the intellectual life of the College. Lynn’s committee is already meeting.


#24 Strengthen supervisory training programs.

The Office of Organization and Employee Development developed plans for a program, LeaderSkills for Supervisors and LeaderSkills for Managers, that will be offered to groups of about 15 staff members.


#28 Increase recognition of employees’ accomplishments.

Plans for a complete redesign of MiddPoints, the bi-weekly publication for College employees, were completed in time for a September introduction. This publication will provide enhanced recognition of employee achievements.


#31 Expand and support diversity in the staff and faculty.

Dean of Institutional Diversity Shirley Ramirez has organized a faculty work group on diversity initiatives. The group is exploring plans for a new intercultural center that may be located in Carr Hall. Dean Ramirez also organized a presentation and discussion on diversity issues for the annual Bread Loaf faculty meeting in early September. A nationally known scholar in the field, Professor Jeff Milem from Arizona State University, was the principal presenter.


#33 Increase faculty resources and enhance student-faculty interaction.

Led by Dean of Faculty Susan Campbell, a group of us in academic administration began a round of meetings in August with each Chair of our academic departments and programs. We are addressing the practicalities associated with better use of faculty resources to promote the strongest possible faulty-student interaction as we gradually move to increase the size of the faculty. A significant focus is on prospects for a universal requirement for every senior of a substantial experience in independent work, under the tutelage of a faculty mentor.

 


#39 Highlight the strengths of the sciences and arts at Middlebury.

Interdisciplinary courses in the arts are increasingly being developed and taught. Greek Tragedy in Performance, co-taught by Claudio Medeiros (Theatre) and Pavlos Sfyoeras (Classics), and Science as Art in Contemporary Theatre, taught by Cheryl Faraone (Theatre) and Stephen Abbott (Mathematics) are now on the books, with several others in the planning stages. The Center for the Arts staff prepared the fall edition of Curricular Connections, a web-based publication that summarizes the rich artistic resources that are here for students, faculty, and the surrounding community to enjoy. It outlines the arts and cultural events offered at the College, cross-referenced against relevant courses from Middlebury’s General Catalog. See http://www.middlebury.edu/arts/newspub/curricular_fall07/


#47 Make better use of current teaching resources with a goal of achieving a more competitive teaching load for faculty.

As outlined for #33 above, beginning this summer several members of the academic administration held meetings with chairs of departments and programs to explore the implications of recommendations made by the Educational Affairs Committee last spring. Our approach is an integrated one that considers teaching loads together with proposed curricular changes that will strengthen student-faculty contact. The meetings anticipate reports in October from each department and program chair on better ways to use available faculty resources while also strengthening the faculty’s mentoring of students.


#57 Explore possibilities for adding new sites abroad that support the undergraduate curriculum.

Middlebury’s new School Abroad in Arabic is in place this fall. In a parallel development, Middlebury College and Brandeis University have announced the establishment of the Brandeis University-Middlebury School of Hebrew, which will open in the summer of 2008. As Middlebury’s 10th Language School, it will be the newest summer program since the Portuguese School was inaugurated in 2003. Administrators anticipate an initial enrollment of approximately 40 students.


#61 Explore opportunities for future collaboration with the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Middlebury College and the Monterey Institute have developed plans to host a major conference on Global Education in January 2008. The conference is called ConnectEd; see: http://www.connectedconference.org/call-for-papers/

Middlebury College has established the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy (MMLA), a summer language immersion program for pre-college students. The four-week residential camps will begin in July 2008, and will offer Arabic, Chinese, French and Spanish. The 2008 sessions will take place on the campuses of St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont; Menlo College in Atherton, California; and Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.


#62 Establish a liaison group to explore programmatic connections between the Monterey Institute of International Studies and Middlebury programs.

Dean of Faculty Development and Research, Sunder Ramaswamy, was named the project director of the Middlebury-Monterey Integration Initiative. Sunder will work with faculty and administrative colleagues who are involved in programmatic collaboration and with trustees from Monterey and Middlebury. He will serve as a point of contact between the two campuses, providing the two communities with progress reports on our ongoing efforts to deepen and extend the affiliation.


#63 Revise and expand the campus master plan to reflect the strategic plan.

Facilities Services staff members continued work on the developing plan throughout the summer. A draft of the proposed new master plan will become available this fall.


#65 Equalize housing opportunities for seniors.

A proposal for assuring housing opportunities within their commons for all first-year and sophomore students, accompanied by a more flexible room-draw procedure for juniors and seniors, has been developed. Dean of the College Tim Spears will explore the details with representative student groups this fall; the changes will affect the way the next room draw is conducted.


#68 Strengthen our environmental leadership and reputation.

Earlier this month the College was one of just four institutions recognized for achievements in sustainability by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.


#69 Pursue alternative environmentally-friendly energy sources.

Work continued through the summer toward developing a biomass-fueled heating plant. The initiative is an essential part of Middlebury’s plan to become carbon neutral by 2016.


#77 Search for creative ways to reduce reliance on private vehicles.

The College has developed and introduced to students, faculty, and staff an environmentally-friendly alternative to bringing personal cars to campus. Through a partnership with Zipcar, the world’s largest car sharing service, Middlebury will offer the college community access to two self-service Toyota Hybrid Prius Zipcars 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The program is modest in size, but it may provide a model for further progress.


#80 Cultivate open dialogue with the Town.

President Liebowitz and other College officials held meetings this summer with town officials and with members of the Middlebury Business Association. One focus was on possible collaboration between the College and local businesses in the continued development of the downtown business area.

Resources Supporting the Strategic Plan: Perhaps most significant is College Advancement’s exciting plans for the $500 million Initiative launch on October 6, 2007, and the remarkably successful pre-launch campaign. These efforts are critically important to Middlebury’s ability to continue implementing the first two strategic initiatives in the Plan.

 

 

The examples outlined in this report illustrate the many efforts under way in the community to act upon the recommendations in the strategic plan. The College community is indebted to these individuals for their good work and leadership in advancing the College’s ambitious agendas.

— John Emerson
Dean of Planning
September 25, 2007

Progress Report: July 2007

In May 2006, the Middlebury Board of Trustees voted unanimously to endorse a strategic plan, Knowledge Without Boundaries, that reflected the participation and the collective vision of hundreds of members of the Middlebury community — both on and off campus. The plan is available on the Middlebury College web site, and hard copies are available on campus in Old Chapel and in the College Library.

The present report outlines the gains for our strategic planning agenda made this spring. For convenient reference, it lists these by referring to the specific numbered recommendations in the strategic plan.

 


#2: Seek more applicants with special academic talents.

#4: Identify and recruit more applicants who are top rated academically.

 

On April 5 and 6 the admissions office hosted admitted students with exceptionally strong credentials who were told in mid-March that they were likely admits to Middlebury. The College provided their transportation and hosted 57 students. The culminating event was a dinner in McCardell Bicentennial Hall with Bob Clagett, Shirley Ramirez, and President Liebowitz as speakers and with faculty members and at least one current student at each table. This new event illustrates expanded efforts to strengthen our yield on exceptional students who have other admissions offers at top universities and colleges. We now know that 19 of these students who visited Middlebury, all of whom were pursued by other prestigious colleges, will attend Middlebury this September; four other students who received the letters in March will also join us.

 

This summer, admissions is adding a more academic component to summer tours by offering to conclude the tours for anyone who is interested with a special presentation (ideally by a faculty member) featuring one academic area. We are hoping to involve the sciences, international studies, environmental studies, and the arts.

 


#6: Increase the grant component in our aid packages.

 

We have begun packaging newly-admitted financial aid recipients using the new loan guidelines with reduced borrowing. The fiscal needs for this planning initiative for next year are about $350,000. A generous gift to the early phase of the Middlebury Initiative has fully funded this revised program for the incoming class. A significant increase in the admissions yield rate resulting in a larger-than-anticipated first year class this September may reflect the success of this change.

 


#7: Increase the socio-economic diversity of the student body.

 

During spring break two current undergraduates representing admissions visited high schools in their home areas — Los Angeles and Montana — to connect with prospective students. Their experiences were positive, and Dean Clagett hopes to expand the program next year.

 

The Middlebury admissions office is collaborating with Williams College in hosting a counselors’ visiting program this summer, that will bring 25-30 counselors from lower-income high schools, urban outreach organizations, and science and mathematics academies around the country to Middlebury for a two-day visit. They will arrive on July 19 and depart on July 21.

 

More than 44 percent of the students in the entering Class of 2011, both September and February admitted students, qualify for need-based grant aid. This figure matches a goal in the strategic plan for greater socio-economic diversity.

 


#8: Enhance recruitment and retention of students of color.

 

New student recruiting initiatives have helped us achieve a 19 percent increase over last year in the number of U.S. students of color who have been admitted to the Class of 2011.

 

In the spring term the student community was especially active in areas relating to diversity. On April 11, President Liebowitz hosted an all-college “town meeting” in McCullough at which students, staff, and faculty openly and honestly addressed some issues that had created tensions. I was impressed that the challenges and occasional conflicts provide “teachable moments,” and that significant education has ensued.

 

We are planning changes to the Palana academic interest house and to Carr Hall. The house will eventually be re-located at 97 Adirondack View. A new academic center will be at Carr Hall, and Dean Shirley Ramirez is currently inviting selected faculty to be in a working group that will work with her on diversity initiatives and the development of a center for the study of race, ethnicity, and cultures–that is, “intercultural studies.”

 


#10: Create an admission advisory committee.

 

This committee is now formed and had its first meeting on May 3. Membership of the committee consists of five faculty members (Murray Dry, Michelle McCauley, Steve Abbott, Paul Sommers, and Shirley Ramirez), four staff members (Erin Quinn, Becky Brodigan, Kim Downs, and Bert Phinney), two students (Sam Lazarus and Ashley Barron), and it is chaired by Dean of Admissions Bob Clagett.

 


#12: Continue to offer leadership in addressing the relationship between intercollegiate athletics and academic mission.

 

The College Sports Project, a national effort supported by a grant from The Andrew Mellon Foundation to Middlebury College, has completed its first round of data collection from approximately 70 NCAA Division III institutions. Reports will go to participating College presidents by the end of the summer.

 


#17: Expand opportunities for staff involvement in the Commons.

 

Many staff members were active in the several follow-up sessions that followed the inaugural convocation by Paul Rusesabagina, and the Commons hosted some of this programming.

 


#18: Initiate a weekly College-wide convocation.

 

Dean of the College Tim Spears organized the inaugural convocation held on March 3 with Paul Rusesabagina (of Hotel Rwanda) as the speaker. The event in Mead was an enormous success; even the overflow venues were at capacity. Several follow-up events, including student panels, gave the community a chance to participate in discussion of related issues. Plans are under way for future convocations, although in the short run the series will not be held on a weekly basis.

 


#19: Enhance educational opportunities for staff.

 

Executive Vice President Bob Huth and members of his staff including Director of Human Resources Drew Macan are addressing educational opportunities for staff. The Benefits Advisory Committee has begun a review of all of our educational assistance programs — those for staff members as well as the tuition reimbursement programs for dependents.

 


#21: Increase professional development opportunities for staff.

 

Since January, eight distinct professional development programs for staff members totaling 115.5 program hours and 365 participants have been carried out. In addition to supervisory training programs outlined in #24 below, 73 staff members attended Taking Your Job Seriously and Yourself Lightly ... The Positive Power of Humor, presented by Dr. Joel Goodman, president of The Humor Project, and 39 staff members attended Interpersonal Communication Skills to Create Understanding, presented by Hamish Blackman, president of The Wellness Corporation. Other department-specific workshops were also developed and presented.

 


#24: Strengthen supervisory training programs.

 

Since January, six programs targeted specifically for managers and supervisors totaling 108 program hours and 243 participants were completed: 40 managers and supervisors participated in The Legal Side of Supervision; five new supervisors participated in First Step Right Step; 17 supervisors participated in Leader Skills for Supervisors; 16 managers participated in Leader Skills for Managers; 165 managers and supervisors will have participated in the Performance Feedback Skills for Supervisors. Shirley Ramirez, dean for institutional diversity, is assisting in this training. In addition, 24 academic department chairs participated in Legal Issues for Faculty Chairs.

 


Chapter Three recommendations on curricular changes and more competitive faculty teaching loads.

 

The Educational Affairs Committee, with support from Vice President Alison Byerly, Acting Dean of Faculty Sunder Ramaswamy, and Dean of Faculty Susan Campbell, has continued work on faculty teaching loads and curricular issues. Initial reports are now being drafted and the work will continue in the fall.

 


#37: Eliminate triple majors and reduce the number of double majors.

 

The faculty voted legislation at the April Faculty meeting that eliminates triple majors and specifies the options student have for choosing two majors.

 


#39b: Highlight the strengths of the arts at Middlebury.

 

In response to recommendations for broader integration of the arts in the community, Professor Glenn Andres has been appointed director of the arts.

 


#40: Strengthen winter term.

 

The academic administration is reinstating off-campus winter term courses in January 2008, and these courses will be given abroad. A gift to the College has made this initiative possible.

 


#44: Promote student research through a day-long research symposium.

 

Middlebury held its first Student Research Symposium on April 13 in McCardell Bicentennial Hall; the symposium was organized by Dean of Undergraduate Research Pat Manley and Associate Dean of Students Karen Guttentag. The Friday afternoon event was well attended and the students’ presentations were superb. The atmosphere was much like that of a conference, and the symposium exceeded expectations.

 


#62: Establish a liaison group to explore programmatic connections between the Monterey Institute of International Studies and Middlebury programs.

 

On April 10, President Liebowitz announced the creation of the M2 Task Force on Integration. This group will oversee the ongoing interaction of Middlebury College and the Monterey Institute in three areas: (1) academic programming; (2) fundraising and communications; and (3) administrative support functions. Dean for Faculty Development and Research Sunder Ramaswamy is the project director for the task force.

 


#68: Strengthen our environmental leadership and reputation.

 

On May 5 the Board of Trustees approved a Resolution on Achieving Carbon Neutrality. The proposal originated with a student group called MiddShift, and was further developed by the Carbon Neutrality Initiative Task Force comprised of student, faculty, and staff and led by Executive Vice President Bob Huth. The resolution supports a goal of carbon neutrality by 2016 for the College’s Vermont campus and it commits the College to taking a leadership stance on carbon neutrality.

 

The examples outlined in this report illustrate the many efforts under way in the community to act upon the recommendations in the strategic plan. The College community is indebted to these individuals for their good work and leadership in advancing the College’s ambitious agendas.

— John Emerson
Dean of Planning
July 2, 2007

Progress Report: March 2007

In May 2006, the Middlebury Board of Trustees voted unanimously to endorse a strategic plan, Knowledge Without Boundaries, that reflected the participation and the collective vision of hundreds of members of the Middlebury community — both on and off campus. The plan is available at the Middlebury College web site and hard copies are available on campus in Old Chapel and at the College Library.

 

For the past nine months, President Ronald D. Liebowitz and members of his senior staff have collaborated with others on campus in implementing recommendations from the plan. The Implementation Table (page 75 of the plan) serves as a guide for this work. Each of the 82 recommendations is assigned to the portfolio of one member of the president’s staff. That person works with managers, offices, and committees to carry out the recommendations.

 

Two recommendations were completed by early summer 2006 — the adoption by the Board of Trustees of a new mission statement, and the development of an academic rating system by the Middlebury Admissions Office. Forty recommendations were tackled in the summer and fall of 2006, and I report on several of these below. In January, President Liebowitz and his staff identified 44 recommendations, including 34 which we had started to tackle last year, for new or continued emphasis during spring 2007. Of course, many of the strategic recommendations will take more than a semester or a year to implement, and some will go on indefinitely.

 

The plan emphasizes that we will implement the more costly items by carefully matching implementation steps with available resources. In particular, the successes of fundraising efforts in support of the plan’s objectives will, in part, guide the rate at which we move forward with some items. Examples include the recommended strengthening of our financial aid programs and the expansion of the Middlebury faculty.

 

 

Let me turn to several planning recommendations for which good progress has already been made.


#2, #4: Applicants with special talents and exceptional academic credentials

The Admissions staff has implemented an academic rating system, and it identifies and contacts a group of top applicants each March. This year Admissions will bring these students to campus for a special program in early April. Each student will spend time meeting with faculty and current undergraduates who are doing independent work in fields of interest to the newly-admitted student.


#6: Increase the grant component of our aid packages

The College began packaging financial aid with reduced loan expectations for applicants accepted as Early Decision students in December; this packaging will continue for the rest of the Class of 2011. We expect that the new policy will help improve our yield on admitted students for whom high college costs are a deterrent.


#7: Increase the socio-economic diversity of the student body

Beginning with the upcoming spring break, the College will cover travel expenses for five to 10 current undergraduates to travel to their hometowns and visit high schools there to help with recruiting efforts, especially in urban areas where there are more students from underrepresented backgrounds.


#18: Establish a College-wide convocation series

Dean of the College Tim Spears is working with a committee of faculty and staff members to initiate this proposal. The committee is bringing Paul Rusesabagina to campus on Saturday, March 3, for our first College-wide Convocation. Rusesabagina played a dramatic humanitarian role in the genocidal battles in Rwanda in the 1990s. He served as the inspiration for the primary character in the film, Hotel Rwanda. A Middlebury student, Kasima Brown ’09, assisted in bringing Rusesabagina to Middlebury to speak in Mead Chapel. She has done much advance planning, including giving a screening of Hotel Rwanda — thus providing an excellent model for student initiative.

 


#27: Cultivate and support creativity and innovation

An important part of this focus is on student innovation. Using resources provided by a generous donor who wants to promote entrepreneurship among students, President Liebowitz has appointed Elizabeth Robinson, Middlebury Class of '84, as the director of a program that encourages innovation by students. The program focuses on providing opportunities for students to hone their creative skills and to try their hand at problem-solving outside of a strictly academic, graded environment. One initiative will probably introduce a series of campus-wide competitions for self-assembled teams of students to solve specific challenges.


#31: Expand and support diversity in our community

Shirley Ramirez began her work as dean of institutional diversity in early January, and her impact is already being felt. Dean Ramirez has worked with the president’s staff to review the Palana Center in Carr Hall, and to move ahead with some changes. In September, the residential component of Carr may move to a student academic interest house, a house that will have close ties with the curriculum and the faculty. Carr may then become a faculty office building, bringing together colleagues from areas of the curriculum that address issues of diversity and multiculturalism. It would also continue as a center for academic programming around these issues at the College.

Dean Ramirez is engaging the community on how best to move forward with the Human Relations Committee recommendations submitted last year. She has met with the HRC to report on prioritizing and implementing some of their recommendations. The president's staff has also engaged this report to determine how various departments can help carry out aspects of this report.


#32: Recognize 'Community Partners'

Middlebury was selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to be recognized under both the "Curricular Engagement" and "Outreach and Partnerships" categories of the new Community Engagement Classification. Middlebury was one of just four colleges in our 21-college comparison group that achieved this distinction in fall 2006. This national recognition acknowledges Middlebury’s collaboration with the surrounding community both in its academic programs and its service in the area.

 


#44: Promote student research through a day-long research symposium

Vice President for Academic Affairs Alison Byerly is working with Geology Professor Pat Manley, dean of undergraduate research, on this new initiative. Dean Manley is working with Associate Dean of Students Karen Guttentag and other staff members in organizing the College’s first Student Research Symposium, on Friday, April 13. Student proposals for this event have just now come in.


#56: Add summer graduate programs in languages currently taught to undergraduates

The Chinese graduate program will begin this summer. One option will be a joint program with the Monterey Institute of International Studies, a collaboration that also responds to recommendation #61 on developing opportunities for collaboration with Monterey. A graduate program in Arabic is being explored.


#57: Add new sites abroad in the Language Schools

Middlebury’s new Language School in Arabic will open this September in Alexandria, Egypt. New programs in Bordeaux (France) and Cordoba (Spain) opened in 2006.


#68: Strengthen Middlebury’s environmental leadership and reputation

Nan Jenks-Jay was recently given expanded responsibilities as the dean of environmental affairs. In February 2007, a group of students presented their proposal for carbon-neutrality at the College, and President Liebowitz and the Middlebury Board of Trustees are now examining the proposal.


#76: Increase the availability of alternate forms of transportation

The College has recently provided support to assist in establishing a new regular bus route by Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) between Middlebury and the Rutland and Brandon areas. The Student Government Association and the Community Council both supported this initiative, and they encouraged the College to assist in it. The bus service enables a number of College staff members to leave their cars at home.

The academic administration and members of the faculty are addressing many other proposals, with energetic activity focused on curricular proposals and rethinking the uses of the faculty’s time.

 

The examples outlined in this report illustrate the many efforts under way in the community to act upon the recommendations in the strategic plan. The College community is indebted to these individuals for their good work and leadership in advancing the College’s ambitious agendas.

 

John Emerson
Dean of Planning
March 2, 2007

Progress Report: October 2006

From January 2005 through May 2006, the Middlebury community participated in the development of a new strategic plan, Knowledge Without Boundaries. Early last May the Middlebury Board of Trustees voted unanimously to endorse a plan that reflected the participation and the collective vision of hundreds of members of the Middlebury community – both on and off campus. The plan is available on the Middlebury College web site; for those on campus, hard copies are available in Old Chapel and in the College Library.

Our goal was to produce a plan that would not sit on shelves, but rather would serve as a dynamic working document. We have moved beyond the planning and analysis phase toward beginning the implementation of 82 planning recommendations. President Liebowitz and members of his senior staff have been involved in the planning implementation since last spring. We are using the Implementation Table (page 75 of the plan) as a guide for this work. Each of the 82 recommendations has been assigned to the portfolio of one member of the President’s Staff. That individual is working with managers, offices, and committees to further develop and advance the various recommendations.

Two recommendations were completed by the beginning of summer 2006 – the adoption by the Board of Trustees of a new mission statement, and the development of an academic rating system by our Admissions Office. Over the spring and summer months, specific steps were taken to begin the implementation of 20 other recommendations. I expect that some of these will be completed by the end of the calendar year, but others will continue much longer and a few may never be fully completed. (An example of the latter is item #8 – expanding the representation of students of color, a challenge that the College has worked on and made gradual and good progress with over several decades.) These 20 items will remain on our agendas this year, along with around 20 more recommendations selected from the list of 82. Eighteen other planning recommendations are ongoing items but are not the subject of significant new attention this fall. This means that perhaps 22 of the recommendations will not be tackled this year, but that’s a guess and the number may surely change.

The plan emphasizes that we will implement the more costly items by carefully matching implementation measures with available resources. In particular, the successes of our fundraising efforts in support of the Plan’s objectives will, in part, guide the rate at which we move forward with some items. Examples include the recommended strengthening of our financial aid programs and the expansion of the Middlebury faculty. To date, the broad support for these initiatives has been especially encouraging.

Many in the College community will participate in carrying forward the planning agendas, and they need to be aware of steps being taken and of progress already achieved. We promised in the plan to hold ourselves accountable to the community for its implementation. This means that we will provide regular progress reports, perhaps two or three times during each year.

We have started to make good progress with some of the planning initiatives. I will mention here just a few examples.

#8. Dean of Admission Bob Clagett and his staff have developed a collaborative program with the Atlanta Public School System – the 21st Century Scholars Program – to attract students from diverse backgrounds having high economic need. In addition, President Liebowitz recently announced the appointment of Dr. Shirley Ramirez as Middlebury’s Dean for Institutional Diversity, effective January 1.

#12. Dean of Planning John Emerson is among the leaders of a national effort by NCAA Division III colleges and universities to identify positive ways to help institutions achieve greater alignment of intercollegiate athletic programs with their core academic missions. A pilot data collection project is now underway; when fully implemented the College Sports Project will gather information about thousands of students to help college presidents, athletic directors, and academic officers become better informed about progress in this important area.

#18. Dean of the College Tim Spears is beginning to work with faculty and staff members to address logistical issues in phasing in a proposed College-wide convocation series. Under this initiative, an all-community convocation with a major outside speaker would introduce a significant theme – to which conversation would return in different formats in subsequent weeks. It is a challenge just to find the time and space needed in our full schedules to locate these events, but we hope for a modest beginning in the spring.

#33–38. A series of recommendations address faculty resource needs in the context of proposed curricular changes. Vice President for Academic Affairs Alison Byerly, working with Dean of Faculty Sunder Ramaswamy, the Educational Affairs Committee, and Department Chairs, is supporting the faculty in efforts to re-examine our use of faculty resources and to explore ways to strengthen further the intense student-faculty interaction that characterizes the Middlebury experience.

#44. Dean of Students Ann Hanson and Vice President Byerly are laying plans for a student research symposium, with the first student presentations tentatively scheduled in April 2007.

#51. President Liebowitz is working with the Board of Trustees to create a structure within the Board, possibly a subcommittee, whose focus would be on the Language Schools, Schools Abroad, Bread Loaf Programs, and our new Monterey Institute affiliate. The goal is to increase general knowledge about these programs among trustees and to ensure that these programs remain a visible part of Middlebury’s strategic direction.

#56. Vice President Byerly and Dean of Language Schools and Schools Abroad Michael Geisler have worked with College officials in the Language Schools and Schools Abroad to develop a Masters-level program in Chinese. The Middlebury Board of Trustees has now approved the addition of this program.

#69. Executive Vice President and Treasurer Bob Huth is working with staff member in Facilities Services to develop the capacity to use biomass as a major energy source for the College’s heating plant and cogeneration of electricity. An initial proposal has gained approval by the Board of Trustees, and so this energy-saving, cost-effective, and carbon-reducing initiative is moving ahead.

The examples outlined here serve to illustrate the many efforts underway in the community to begin to act upon the recommendations in the strategic plan. We are all indebted to these individuals for their good work and leadership in advancing the College’s ambitious agendas.

John Emerson
Dean of Planning