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05/12/09: President's letter on budget recommendations

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,


Here are the latest recommendations from the Budget Oversight Committee (BOC). I have listed the recommendations as they came to me from the committee, and added the status of each of the recommendations. Where I have differed with the BOC, I explain what was amended in bold and italics.


I had hoped to get these recommendations out to the community a week ago, but the need to communicate with those affected by each recommendation took more time than expected.


Ron Liebowitz

Budget Oversight Committee Recommendations

1. The BOC recommends that the Athletic Department eliminate all non-essential travel for athletic teams. The BOC leaves it to the Director of Athletics to determine what is "non essential" travel. ACCEPTED

2. The BOC recommends that the Administration actively work to consolidate departments, offices, and functions in order to reduce staffing levels and achieve programmatic efficiencies across the College. Toward that end, the Staffing Resources Committee (SRC) should work with Human Resources and appropriate administrators to implement consolidations where it makes sense, and regularly report to the BOC on its progress. ACCEPTED

3. The BOC recommends that the graduate and other special programs—Language Schools, Schools Abroad, Bread Loaf School of English, Bread Load Writer’s Conference, and the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy—find ways to maintain balanced budgets. It suggests, among many possibilities to increase revenue, using some of our study abroad sites to host Alumni Colleges and conferences, and matriculating more non-Middlebury students (without disadvantaging Middlebury students) at some of our Schools Abroad. ACCEPTED

4. The BOC recommends the following related to the Arts: ACCEPTED

  • that the total museum budget be reduced by 10% (in addition to the earlier reductions), with the expectation that much of the savings will come from the reduction in size and number of exhibitions and print publications.
  • that all technical and production staff in the arts (e.g., Theatre, Dance, etc.) be consolidated under the supervision of a single administrator.
  • that the Museum and the Mahaney Center for the Arts (MCFA) work jointly to identify one sales point for MCFA tickets and museum sales. Students, faculty, and staff should be encouraged to purchase all tickets on-line.
  • that the College increase what it charges for private lessons offered by the applied music faculty. And
  • that the College gradually consolidate staffing at the Museum and MCFA in order to reduce redundancies and labor costs.

5. The BOC recommends that expenditures on events, household support, and maintenance of house and grounds at the President’s House be reduced by 50%. ACCEPTED

6. The BOC recommends that effective June 30, 2009, the College will end its relationship with the New England Review (NER) and wind down operations. The winding down of operations will allow for the redeployment of staff and the fulfillment of existing contracts. AMENDED as follows:

The New England Review will have until December 31, 2011, to eliminate its current operating deficit. If it cannot, the College will end its relationship with the Review.

7. The BOC recommends that the College eliminate college funding to the Crew program effective July 1, 2009. This recommendation does not eliminate the Crew program—only the funding provided by the College’s operating budget. AMENDED as follows:

Crew will become a Level II club sport, and receive limited funding from the College, in the form of a coach. All other expenses must be covered through the same funding mechanisms that govern other student organizations.

8. SGA recommends: ACCEPTED

  • that the College develop and then implement a new and more flexible meal plan that allows students to choose from a range of dining options.
  • that the College reduce lawn maintenance costs by (1) growing more clover or natural grasses, and (2) only mowing fields that are used frequently.
  • that the Commons and dining services develop a kitchenware loan program for students who live on campus and have kitchens in their residences.
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