The Middlebury Board of Trustees held their annual spring meeting May 11–13, completing a busy agenda with several action items, including approval for construction of a new first-year residence hall and the launch of the public phase of the Campaign for Middlebury. They also named a new board chair and vice chair, elected a recent graduate trustee for the first time, and approved the annual budget, a new School Abroad in Taiwan, tenure for 13 faculty members, and promotions to the rank of full professor for six faculty members at the Institute.
In their opening session on Friday, trustees heard a presentation from Middlebury Athletics Director Erin Quinn and two students, Jordan Saint-Louis ’24 and Katherine Lantzy ’25. Saint-Louis, a film and media culture major, is captain of the men’s soccer team. Lantzy, an international and global studies major, is a member of the Middlebury field hockey team, which won its fifth straight national championship last fall. The two discussed the culture of Middlebury athletics and shared about their own experiences as student-athletes.
Later during Friday’s opening session, board chair George Lee II ’88, chairman of the Global Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Group at Goldman Sachs and chief information officer for the firm’s investment banking division, gave a presentation about generative artificial intelligence (AI) in education. Lee, President Laurie Patton, trustee Parker Harris III ’89, cofounder and chief technology officer at Salesforce, and Amy Collier, associate provost for digital learning, discussed the rapidly evolving world of AI and its implications for the future of liberal arts and sciences education.
On Saturday, President Patton and members of the Senior Leadership Group gave updates about progress in several important strategic areas, including financial sustainability, academic excellence, educational relevance, global engagement, institutional visibility, and belonging and inclusion. Patton noted that Middlebury’s financial sustainability outlook continues to improve. Her report included these points:
- The comprehensive campaign already has passed $300 million in donations.
- The budget for 2023–2024 reflects the start of investing “modestly and wisely” following a period of financial austerity.
- The work on continuous improvement in academic processes achieved most of its goals, with the final improvements being rolled out in academic year 2024.
Patton also shared that, as part of Middlebury’s growing emphasis on data literacy, a new major in statistics has been approved. She noted that the Conflict Transformation Collaborative was thriving and Energy 2028 was on track to meet its goals. Looking to issues on the horizon, Patton said that Middlebury would continue to monitor and prepare for the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on affirmative action in admissions practices.
Alberto Citarella, vice president for finance and administration, reported that the 2024 fiscal year budget would show a $7.7 million deficit, down from the current year’s projected deficit of $8.3 million. The budget for fiscal year 2024 reflects Middlebury’s continued emphasis on increasing salaries across the institution.
Vice President for Advancement Dan Courcey gave an update on Middlebury’s comprehensive campaign. To date, Middlebury has raised $289 million in new commitments with an additional $28 million likely to be secured within the next few months. With this great progress, the board fully supported a motion to publicly launch the campaign in fall 2023 with the goal of raising $600 million and engaging 85 percent of our undergraduate alumni by 2028. The fundraising effort focuses on supporting five pillars:
- $112 million raised to help keep a Middlebury education affordable to all.
- $66 million supporting Middlebury faculty and academic programs.
- $44 million for experiential learning and athletics.
- $13 million for campus environments in support of our mission.
- $49 million in flexible dollars to support emerging needs.
Tenure and Faculty Promotions
The Board of Trustees approved tenure recommendations for 13 College faculty members:
- Cihan Artunç, Economics
- Dima Ayoub, Arabic
- Michole Biancosino, Theatre
- Peter Johnson, Computer Science
- Michaela Kubacki, Mathematics and Computer Science
- Matthew Lawrence, Sociology
- David Munro, Economics
- Jennifer Ortegren, Religion
- Jerry Philogene, Black Studies
- Obie Porteous, Economics
- James Sanchez, Writing and Rhetoric
- Carly Thomsen, Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies
- Ajay Verghese, Political Science
The board also approved promotion to the rank of full professor for six faculty members at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies:
- Netta Avineri
- Mahabat Baimyrzaeva
- Philipp Bleek
- Jason Martel
- Carol (Cas) Shulman-Mora
- Max Troyer
Additional Committee Motions
The board voted to approve several motions, including authorization of the following:
- A fiscal year 2024 operating budget with revenues of $308.6 million (net of financial aid), operating expenses of $316.3 million, and a deficit of $7.75 million. This budget reflects a continued commitment to the compensation of existing faculty and staff with a $6.5 million investment in salary increases, promotions, and role changes. This investment builds on last year’s momentum of raising the lowest wages and focuses on continuing to bolster our compensation programs for staff and faculty.
- Construction of a new first-year residential housing facility with a total project cost not to exceed $51.5 million, and issuance of tax-exempt bonds up to $50 million. Fundraising dollars will pay for any costs not covered by the debt issuance.
- To continue our commitment to support our local partner, Town Hall Theater, with an additional $1 million commitment over the next 20 years to assist in the construction of a major addition that will significantly benefit Middlebury College students.
- The fall 2023 public launch of “For Every Future: The Campaign for Middlebury,” with a fundraising goal of $600 million, with an undergraduate alumni campaign engagement goal of 85 percent.
- The establishment of the Middlebury C.V. Starr School Abroad in Taiwan beginning in spring 2024.
New Trustees, Advisors, and Officers of the Corporation
The board elected a new chair, Ted Truscott ’83, and vice chair, Leilani Brown ’93. George Lee will step down as chair, effective June 30, 2023, and will remain on the board as a charter trustee. During Saturday’s meeting, President Patton and the trustees extended their deepest appreciation to Lee for his work as the chair.
The board elected the following officers of the corporation:
- William F. Truscott ’83, Chair
- Laurie L. Patton, President
- Karen A. Stolley ’77, Vice Chair
- Leilani Brown ’93, Vice Chair
- Hannah S. Ross, Secretary
- Susan Parsons Ritter ’83, Associate Secretary
- Charlene M. Barrett, Assistant Secretary
- David J. Provost, Treasurer
- Alberto Citarella, Assistant Treasurer
The trustees elected the following individuals to the Board of Trustees and Boards of Advisors based on the recommendations of the Trustee and Governance Committee.
- Joseph W. Brown ’90, July 1, 2023–June 30, 2030
- Leilani M. Brown ’93, July 1, 2023–June 30, 2030
- Parker Harris III ’89, July 1, 2023–June 30, 2031
- Susan “Susie” J. Scher ’86, July 1, 2023–June 30, 2028
- Graham C. Goldsmith ’89, second term, July 1, 2023–June 30, 2028
- John Waldron ’91, July 1, 2023–June 30, 2028
- Zachary Bourque ’01, second term, July 1, 2023–June 30, 2028
Recent Graduate Trustee
- Kenshin Cho ’20, July 1, 2023–June 30, 2026
- Ellen McCulloch-Lovell, second term, July 1, 2023–June 30, 2026, College
- Alison F. Geballe, fourth term, July 1, 2023–June 30, 2026, Institute
- Deborah L. Hicks, fourth term, July 1, 2023–June 30, 2026, Institute
- Radhames Nova ’97, third term, July 1, 2023–June 30, 2026, Schools
- Kathryn I. Hentz ’81, second term, July 1, 2023–June 30, 2026, Schools
- Caitlin Steele, MA English ’10, July 1, 2023–June 30, 2026, College
- Michael C. Rawding ’86, July 1, 2023–June 30, 2026, Institute
The next Board of Trustees meeting will take place in October.