The Middlebury College Board of Trustees last week approved a budget of $299.9 million for the fiscal year 2015, which begins on July 1, 2014. That budget represents an increase of 2.5 percent over the current fiscal year.

At its meeting on May 9-10, the board also approved tenure recommendations for four members of the faculty:

  • Alexander Draper, Associate Professor of Theatre
  • Samuel Liebhaber, Associate Professor of Arabic
  • Fernando de Sousa Rocha, Associate Professor of Portuguese
  • Steven E. Viner, Associate Professor of Philosophy

The board voted to accept a comprehensive study of the Jackson Lands, the 377-acre property adjacent to Middlebury College that Trustee Emeritus Willard Jackson ’51 has given to the College. The study, a 114-page document created in partnership with Maclay Architects and Andropogon Associates, assesses the physical assets of the property to determine potential future uses.

The property is the largest and most significant the College has received since Joseph Battell bequeathed 30,000 acres on Bread Loaf Mountain in Ripton and in surrounding towns in 1915, and more than doubles the size of the College’s historic Vermont campus. It will be known as the Jackson Campus when it is put into educational use in the future. 

During their two-day meeting, trustees heard reports on a wide range of topics. Vice President for Planning and Assessment Susan Baldridge updated the board on work that has taken place in preparation for the transition on July 1 to the board’s new governance structure. Dean of the Faculty Andi Lloyd outlined discussions that are underway to review and amend College faculty governance. Representatives from the search firm Spencer Stuart, which Middlebury selected as its partner on the search for the next president, provided an overview of presidential searches and search practices. Dean of Admissions Greg Buckles described the outcome of the admissions process for the Class of 2018, which saw an increase in the College’s yield and increases in enrollments by students of color and first-generation students. Dean of the College Shirley Collado provided an update on affirmative-action cases before the courts and on Middlebury’s procedures for compliance with federal regulations governing how colleges and universities should respond to allegations of sexual misconduct and assault.

Trustees elected four new members of the board to five-year terms and one existing board member to a new five-year term, all starting July 1. The four new members are Kirtley Horton Cameron ’95 (Alumni Trustee), George C. Lee ’88 (Term Trustee), Karen A. Stolley ’77 (Term Trustee), and William R. “Ted” Truscott ’83 (Alumni Trustee). Steven Peterson ’88 was appointed to a third five-year term as a Charter Trustee. Peterson has served on the board since 2004.

Also, the board honored four outgoing trustees whose terms end on June 30. Former board chair Frederick M. Fritz ‘68 and Kendrick R. Wilson III both completed 15 years of distinguished service to Middlebury as trustees. Adrian Benepe ‘78 and S. Carolyn Ramos ‘93 both completed their five-year terms.

Following the close of the meeting, trustees and other guests walked to McCullough Student Center to participate in the dedication of the Wilson Terrace and Wilson Hall, both newly named in honor of retiring trustee Ken Wilson and his family.

“I can say with great appreciation that no president could have had a more trusted advisor than Ken Wilson,” Middlebury President Ronald D. Liebowitz said in his remarks. “He has provided me with invaluable advice and this institution with sustained philanthropic flexibility to meet evolving priorities. Whether supporting the arts, funding critical areas in the library, helping establish student spaces and programing, or providing for internship opportunities, the Wilson Family has time and again learned of the College’s priorities, responded to its needs, and immeasurably enhanced life at Middlebury College.”

And finally, the board also approved the following:

  • Fees for the Summer 2016 terms for the Middlebury Language Schools, Bread Loaf School of English, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, C.V. Starr-Middlebury Schools Abroad, and Middlebury School of the Environment.
  • The establishment of the Masters in International Trade and Economic Diplomacy Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.
  • The creation of five advisory councils at the Monterey Institute to assist the Center for Advising and Career Services, the Center for the Blue Economy, the Center for Conflict Studies, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, and the Center for Social Impact Learning.