Announcements, News

The Middlebury Board of Trustees held its winter meeting February 9-10 to discuss the future of language learning, tuition, and progress on three building projects. They also received an update on For Every Future: The Campaign for Middlebury, which currently stands at a healthy $440 million toward a $600 million goal.    

The Future of Language Learning 

Trustees on Friday, February 9, engaged in an informational session about the future of language learning at the College, Language Schools, C.V. Starr Schools Abroad, and the Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS). President Laurie L. Patton; Michelle McCauley, interim executive vice president and provost; and Stephen Snyder, interim vice president for academic affairs for MIIS, gave a presentation on the state of language studies nationwide, showing peak enrollment in 2009, followed by a 29.3 percent decline by 2021. Middlebury’s language enrollment numbers remained strong during that time with approximately 3,914 students involved in immersive language learning each year, and more than 500 students pursuing a degree in a language. Over the past five years, Language Schools enrollments have been at record highs. 

Middlebury’s incorporation of online language learning into select programs, coupled with curriculum innovation and new models of pedagogy at MIIS similar to the Language Schools, are some of the ways Middlebury continues to deepen its brand as a language studies leader, according to Snyder. Potential opportunities to further develop Middlebury’s language instruction include rising interest in language studies in Europe and Asia; interest from other institutions to create pathways for their students to study at the Language Schools; and increased interest in in-person and synchronous online instruction.   

President’s Report

President Patton shared her vision for enhancing Middlebury’s reputation as a leading institution of the liberal arts and sciences. She focused on the strengthening and optimization of several areas identified as key drivers to moving the institution forward. These include academic excellence with deepening access to language learning, the student experience, financial stability, commitment to the environment, and enhancing alumni connections. Focus on continuous improvement of business processes was paramount.    

Financial Update

Trustees approved a 3.54 percent comprehensive fee increase for the 2024-2025 academic year. This brings the total cost of attendance to $86,850, including $67,100 for tuition; $19,250 for room and board; and a $500 student activity fee to support student opportunities outside the classroom. 

David Provost, executive vice president for finance and administration, shared with trustees that Middlebury is projecting a deficit of $8.9 million for FY 2024, compared to an initial projection of $8.4 million. The College and Schools are on target to achieve budget revenue and Monterey will fall short due to soft graduate enrollments.   

Campaign Progress

Dan Courcey, vice president for advancement, gave an update on For Every Future: The Campaign for Middlebury—the largest, most comprehensive of its kind in Middlebury history. To date, Middlebury has raised just over $440 million toward the $600 million campaign goal, with $172 million going to the endowment. The College has already broken its single-year fundraising record of $103 million by raising over $125 million within the first seven months of the current fiscal year. 

Progress toward meeting the goals of the three campaign pillars is as follows:

  • Access and financial aid: 60 percent of $215 million goal
  • Academic excellence: 69 percent of $120 million goal
  • Experiential learning: 50 percent of $70.5 million goal   

Construction Update and Motions

Provost shared that a 298-bed, 87,000-square-foot residence hall is on schedule to open in summer 2025. The currently unnamed building, located on the northwestern section of campus, will replace Battell Hall and house over half of incoming first-year students.

Trustees authorized the use of a $5 million unrestricted gift toward the construction of a community childcare center for children of faculty, staff and community members. The Otter Creek Childcare Center expansion project will double the number of available spaces for infant, toddler, and preschool care that are currently being offered by Otter Creek and the College Street Children’s Center. The College helped start Otter Creek in 1984 and the College Street Children’s Center in 2001 after creating the Middlebury Early Care and Education Consortium in 2000. The two centers will be combined and housed in the expanded Otter Creek building.

Provost also informed trustees that the College has reviewed 13 prospective design teams for construction of a proposed museum of fine arts. The Building, Grounds and Lands Committee will review five final proposals and make a recommendation for design services to the full board in May.

Trustees voted to name the Outdoor Plaza at the Johnson Memorial Building after Julie Johnson Kidd ’67 in honor of her efforts to secure funding from the Endeavor Foundation in support of the renovation of the Christian A. Johnson Memorial Building named after her father.