March 29 Letter to the Community from President Patton

Dear MIIS Students, Staff, and Faculty,

As the Middlebury Institute closes its first week of remote instruction, trying something completely new, we thought it was a good time to share an overview of our work with the entire community. My guess is that in your reading about the COVID-19 pandemic, many of you have come across the phrase “social distancing does not mean social isolation.” This past week has brought us a number of ways in which we are trying to realize that statement. I believe we are doing it with the values and dispositions that I have come to think of as distinctly Middlebury: integrity, rigor, connectedness, curiosity, and openness.

First things first: We want you to know that Middlebury’s Crisis Management Team meets twice a day, in the morning and afternoon, and hears regular briefings from public health authorities. At the time of the writing of this letter, we have 32 COVID-19 cases in Monterey County. Although there are none among our campus community, this week has brought us all closer to the outbreak’s tragedies afflicting family and friends. You and your loved ones are in our hearts and on our minds. We are also connecting with our student, staff, and faculty leadership on a daily basis. I have been inspired by the integrity and rigor of everyone at Middlebury who is coming together to address this global emergency.

What’s Been Happening This Past Week?

Much of the Institute’s work has been focused on staying connected in our learning goals. Faculty and staff dedicated much time during spring break preparing for academic continuity through remote teaching and learning. DLINQ staff have been providing guidance for faculty on the resources available to them as remote instructors, and resources for students as they become remote learners. Our academic leaders are in regular contact, formally and informally, in forums large and small with students and faculty, to monitor the success of the rapid and necessary transition to remote instruction.

 

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