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At their meeting in May, the trustees approved Middlebury’s largest investment in compensation increases in a decade. 

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The Middlebury Board of Trustees, at its annual meeting May 12-14, approved a fiscal year 2023 operating budget with both revenues and expenses of $296 million. Members of the board also agreed to allocate $8.2 million of the operating budget toward increasing compensation for faculty and staff beginning July 1, the start of fiscal year 2023. The allocation—a 7 percent increase over last year’s total salary pool—is Middlebury’s largest investment in compensation adjustments in a decade. Middlebury President Laurie Patton said this work will continue next year and going forward. The board also approved tenure recommendations and received updates on a number of areas, including student affairs and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies’ academic and business plans.

In a presentation to the trustees, David Provost, executive vice president for administration and finance, said it was a significant milestone for Middlebury to put a new salary plan in place that will bring faculty and staff compensation in line with market rates and to submit a balanced budget to the board—the first since fiscal year 2012. The fiscal year 2023 budget of $296 million represents an increase of $14.6 million from the previous fiscal year. The primary driver of expense growth is the increase of $8.2 million in salary and $2.1 million in associated benefits. 

The board began their meeting with a discussion about the impact of recent higher enrollments at the College, Middlebury’s enrollment compared with peers, how to bring the student body to an appropriate size, and the philosophy of enrollment more generally in higher education. 

Patton shared updates with trustees on initiatives throughout the institution, including those related to academic excellence. She said that the College had raised funds successfully as part of the early phase of its capital campaign to support areas identified as four key academic fluencies: data analysis, cultural difference, environmental change, and conflict transformation. To further diversify its academic offerings, the College will offer half-credit courses for the first time in fall 2022, she said.

Patton also shared a brief update on Compass, Middlebury’s residential education and mentoring program that began as a pilot in the 2021-2022 academic year. She said the pilot had been successful and that this year 70 mentors had joined the program and more than 400 students had participated.

Smita Ruzicka, vice president for student affairs, provided an update on her staff’s efforts to create an environment that supports holistic student growth and opportunities for leadership and the development of other life skills. She noted that the pandemic has brought challenges but said that the student affairs staff continues to provide critical expertise in the education of students. 

Jeff Dayton-Johnson, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, offered a look at the Institute’s academic and business plans. He identified security, climate change, and intercultural communication as the areas of academic focus for future growth, both in person and online. The guiding principles for new offerings include further connectivity and integration with the College and other Middlebury schools and programs, similar to the newly formed English Language School, operated in conjunction with the Middlebury Language Schools, which builds on the Institute’s longtime experience with English language instruction, and the new California Climate Semester, a program for undergraduates at the Institute. 

Dayton-Johnson also noted the national media’s frequent use of the Institute’s faculty experts and their contributions to the public understanding of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Board members received an update on the current phase of the campaign, which is nearing the end of the first year of the leadership, or “quiet,” phase when conversations take place with those donors closest to Middlebury. Vice President for Advancement Colleen Fitzpatrick said that alumni, parents, and friends continue to show their support for the institution. Their generous giving means that Middlebury will meet or exceed its campaign goals for fiscal year 2022, which ends June 30. Fitzpatrick said Middlebury is on target to reach its goals during the next fiscal year as well. 

Members of the board’s Resources Committee and Building, Grounds, and Lands Subcommittee reviewed the status of construction and renovation projects, including the renovation of Warner Hall, which is expected to be substantially completed by early June. Pending the receipt of several permits, the renovation of Johnson Memorial Building is scheduled to begin in June and finish in August 2023. Site work on the College’s solar project on College-owned land in Middlebury is beginning this month.

The board passed a number of motions, including one that authorized the sale of the former Middlebury Courthouse located at 5 Court Street in Middlebury.

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

  • Sayaka Abe, associate professor, Japanese Studies
  • Amanda Crocker, associate professor, Neuroscience
  • Ellery Foutch, associate professor, American Studies
  • Amanda Gregg, associate professor, Economics
  • Khuram Hussain, associate professor, Education Studies

The trustees elected one additional term trustee to the board, Elizabeth (Bessie) C. Speers ’86, who previously served one five-year term as an alumni trustee. They elected a new alumni trustee, Shawn Ryan ‘88, effective July 1. All will serve five-year terms. 

The trustees also elected three partner advisors to additional terms: John Elder, college professor emeritus, will serve a second term on the College Board of Advisors; Chuck Gately, a former Middlebury trustee, will serve a third term on the Schools Board of Advisors; and Rich Wolfson, Benjamin F. Wissler Professor Emeritus of Physics, will serve a third term on the Institute Board of Advisors.

The trustees also elected one faculty and two new staff and constituent advisors: Tim Parsons, landscape horticulturist, will serve on the College Board of Advisors; Jill Stoffers ‘00, senior director of institutional partnerships at the Institute, where she earned her master’s in commercial diplomacy, will be a member of the Institute Board of Advisors; and Hang Du, professor of Chinese, will serve on the Schools Board of Advisors. 

The board named three student constituent advisors for one-year terms as of July 1. Raymond Diaz ‘23, incoming president of the Student Government Association (SGA), will serve on the College Board of Advisors; Helen Jiang ’23, incoming president of the Institute’s Student Council, will serve on the Institute Board of Advisors; and Julian Gonzales-Poirier ’23, a junior at the College who attended the Middlebury Russian Language School, will serve on the Schools Board of Advisors. In addition, Fredericka (Freddi) Mitchell ‘25, a first-year student who is an active member of many student organizations, including Feminist Action at Middlebury and the College Democrats, will serve a two-year term as the second student constituent advisor on the College Board of Advisors.