COVID-19: Essential Information

Steps Taken to Date

Since FY 2016, Middlebury has succeeded in reducing its operating deficit from $16.7 million to $10.6 million in FY 2018. That improvement of more than $6 million is the result of scores of individual and collective decisions, large and small, taken by staff and faculty. While there can be no comprehensive list of all the cost-saving decisions that have been made, the examples below include many of the most impactful.

Administrative Compensation: Salaries of all faculty and staff members of the senior administration making more than $150,000 annually have been frozen the last two years.

Debt Refinancing: Refinancing of Middlebury’s long-term debt in FY 2017 saved Middlebury approximately $900,000 per year.

Enrollment: Since 2013, Middlebury has gradually added about 50 students to the size of the College student body, bringing it on average to about 2,550. That represents as much as $2 million in revenue a year.

Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium (GMHEC): Middlebury, Champlain College, and Saint Michael’s College formed Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium, a not-for-profit educational support organization, in 2013. GMHEC seeks to find ways to collaborate in administrative services common to all three institutions to create greater efficiency and help to reduce costs over the long term while increasing service levels to the students, faculty, and staff of the member institutions.

Healthcare Benefit Administrator: Middlebury and its GMHEC partners engaged in a competitive selection process to before signing a healthcare administration agreement, effective 2016, with CIGNA. The agreement has saved Middlebury an estimated $800,000 a year.

Healthcare Premiums: Starting in 2016, following eight years of absorbing the full amount of the increase in employee healthcare premiums, Middlebury began to reinstitute annual increases in employee contributions. The institution also needed to address the imbalance that had developed over the past decade in the percentage of total premium paid by employees and that paid by Middlebury. By forgoing annual increases for so long, Middlebury saw the aggregate share of the premium paid by employees drop to between 17 and 18 percent, compared to an average in Vermont of about 27 percent. Premium increases over the last three years have brought the employee share to just over 20 percent in the aggregate.

Operating Expenses: Middlebury’s FY 2018 and FY 2019 budgets reduced non-compensation operating expenses by 4 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

Project Ensemble: In 2017, Middlebury, Champlain College, and Saint Michael’s College agreed to invest jointly to implement a next-generation Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning system (which will replace Banner at Middlebury), and a new platform from Blackbaud that will power the alumni-relations and fundraising operations of the three schools. These projects are being developed and implemented by GMHEC through an effort dubbed Project Ensemble. It is estimated that the joint effort will save Middlebury an estimated $7 million over the next five to six years versus the cost of going it alone.

Retirement Plan Change: Effective July 3, 2017, Middlebury reduced the employer contribution to the Core Retirement Plan for employees age 45 and older from 15 percent to 11 percent for new employees hired as of that date. Current employees as of that date continued to be eligible for the 15 percent contribution upon reaching age 45, assuming no break in service.

Staffing Levels: Through attrition and careful tight controls on hiring, as of September 2018 Middlebury has reduced its staff headcount by more than 20 full-time equivalent positions over the same time last year.

Tuition: After capping tuition increases at the College for five years under a CPI +1 formula, Middlebury set tuition, room, and board rates at a more competitive rate when benchmarked against peer schools.