The Monterey Institute of International Studies, a graduate school of Middlebury College, announced today that Dr. Sunder Ramaswamy, the Institute’s 13th president, has informed the community that he will step down effective February 1, 2015.
“It is an extraordinary privilege to lead the Monterey Institute, and every day I appreciate the community that we have nurtured and strengthened over the past seven years,” Ramaswamy wrote in an email to faculty, staff and students on Thursday afternoon. Noting recent governance changes, including the announcement of Dr. Laurie Patton as the new president-elect of Middlebury, Ramaswamy added that “as we undergo this period of dynamic change, I believe that this is the right time to align and synchronize changes in the leadership of MIIS with the transition in governance and presidential leadership at Middlebury.”
Ramaswamy assumed the presidency in January 2009 at a critical juncture for the Monterey Institute, and in the years that followed shepherded the school through integration with Middlebury College, as well as an ambitious academic reorganization initiative. During his tenure, the Institute successfully launched new degree programs in nonproliferation and terrorism studies, international education management and international trade and economic diplomacy, as well as three new research centers (the Center for the Blue Economy, the Center for Conflict Studies, and the Center for Social Impact Learning), a cyber security initiative, and a number of other innovative initiatives. During the same period, the Institute completed an ambitious new campus master plan, significantly increased annual fundraising, and raised its profile locally, nationally, and internationally. In addition, the Institute renewed alumni connections around the world, culminating in the 2013 MIIS alumni reunion, and deepened outreach to the Monterey Peninsula community through the founding of the eMIISsaries group, which continues to host a variety of public events on campus.
Ramaswamy, who is also a Distinguished College Professor of International Economics at Middlebury College, is widely recognized for his scholarly and professional work in international and development economics, particularly in India and Africa. In 2011, the Monterey County Business Council recognized him with its Economic Vitality Award in the education category. In 2014, he was recognized with the Hind Rattan award by the government of India. The Monterey County Weekly recognized him in its 25th anniversary issue as one of “25 Who Got Us Here,” and he serves as the vice chair of the boards of both the Asia Foundation and the International School of Monterey.
Prior to his move to Monterey, Ramaswamy served as Middlebury College’s Frederick C. Dirks Professor of International Economics, the dean for faculty development and research, and the project director of the Middlebury-Monterey Integration Task Force. He has also served as the director of the Madras School of Economics in Chennai, India, one of India’s premier institutes for graduate education and economics research, where he continues to serve as a visiting professor.
Ramaswamy praised the “vibrant and welcoming community” of Monterey and expressed his gratitude to the Institute’s Board of Overseers, faculty, staff, and students for the opportunity to “train future leaders and prepare them with a rigorous and pragmatic academic curriculum and immersive learning experiences to truly make a difference in the world.”
Ramaswamy said he would continue with Middlebury in an advisory role until June 30, 2015, at which time he will begin a scheduled sabbatical to continue his academic research on the Indian economy, including the development of higher education in India.
Middlebury is expected to announce a transition plan for the leadership of the Monterey Institute next week.