MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – President Laurie Patton announced today that Susan Baldridge will step down as provost effective Dec. 31 and return to the faculty following a one-year leave.
“Middlebury owes Susan a tremendous debt of gratitude,” said Patton. “Over the past 18 months she has successfully managed an impressive and successful institution-wide strategic planning effort. The resulting framework, which was endorsed enthusiastically by the board of trustees just last month, is an inspiring and meaningful guide for our future as an institution.”
A 24-year member of the Middlebury faculty, Baldridge has also served in several administrative capacities, including as Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Strategy and Planning. Since becoming provost in 2015, she has been the chief academic officer for Middlebury, with responsibility for the educational direction of the College, the Institute, the Language Schools, Schools Abroad, Bread Loaf School of English, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences, and the School of the Environment—and the coordination and cooperation among them.
Baldridge has also overseen the development of an academic digital strategy and the growth of the team needed to bring it to fruition. As a member of the Ways & Means Committee, Baldridge worked on fiscal management of the institution, which has produced a sizable reduction in Middlebury’s operating deficit.
“Susan has been invaluable in helping me in my transition to Middlebury,” said Patton. “When she agreed to take the job nearly three years ago, Susan delayed a well-earned (and much over-due) sabbatical. She has concluded, following the board’s unanimous vote to approve the Envisioning Middlebury strategic framework, that the time is right to step back and take that time off now before returning to the faculty as Professor of Psychology in 2019.”
Baldridge will officially step down at the end of the fall term, but will continue to serve as Provost on Leave through this academic year and will help in the transition of three key initiatives that report into her office, including work with the Strategy Committee of the board and other constituencies on moving forward with the Envisioning Middlebury strategic framework; overseeing the C3 faculty diversity program; and the BOLD Women’s Leadership Network. She will be on full leave during the 2018-19 academic year.
Patton also announced that Jeff Cason, vice president for academic affairs, dean of the schools, and professor of political science, will become interim provost on January 1 for an 18-month term. Cason joined the Middlebury College faculty in 1994 and was named the Edward C. Knox Professor of International Studies in 2008. He has taught courses in Latin American politics, international and comparative political economy, and in the interdisciplinary program in International and Global Studies.
In his current administrative work, Cason oversees the work of Middlebury’s Schools Abroad, the Bread Loaf School of English, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences, and the School of the Environment. He also oversees the Office of International Students and Scholar Services, which welcomes and serves Middlebury’s international students and faculty.
“Please join me in expressing our gratitude to Susan for all she has accomplished as provost and in wishing her all the best as she takes some well-deserved time away,” wrote Patton. “And please join me in thanking Jeff for agreeing to accept the vitally important provost position to help guide us forward and serve the needs of all of Middlebury’s students, faculty, and staff.”