Fall 2020 Weekly Update
| by Laurie L Patton
Dear Students, Families, Faculty, and Staff,
I write with a brief update before the weekend, following up on the June 22 announcement about Middlebury’s plans for the fall semester. This is the first of the weekly updates we will be sending you throughout the summer to keep you informed of our progress. All of our working groups continue to be in full swing—the Fall Planning Group, Crisis Management Team, Emergency Management Team, and the Senior Leadership Group. We continue to consult with the Vermont Department of Health; our staff, faculty, and student councils as well as peer institutions; and continue to monitor guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College of Health Association, and others.
Since we wrote to you last:
- The Board of Trustees approved Middlebury’s budget plan for this year, which was based on conservative assumptions about fall enrollment. As we have stated often in letters and face-to-face (Zoom) webinars, the FY21 budget reflects our ongoing commitment to wage continuity and assumes full employment, salaries, and benefits for employees. If you didn’t have a chance to attend or see the recording of our most recent Staff Council town hall on June 26, you’ll find it here (password: Middlebury2020!). It covers not only our budget projections but discussions about academics and health and safety, as well.
- We took a deeper dive into some of these issues in this town hall discussion on Monday with students and families, hosted by the Student Government Association. Questions revolved mostly, but not exclusively, around the experience upon arrival at Middlebury this fall and the first few weeks of more restricted life on campus. Additionally, we sent out a letter to students and families on Tuesday about the housing draw and will be communicating with them post-July 6 about the timing of the course catalog and registration; clarification on the process for students indicating intention to study fully remotely; financial aid; and more. Student housing this fall will be guided by the most current public health information. Housing applications for students who have not already been assigned housing are due by July 6, and more information can be found on the Residential Life website.
- Finally, some late-breaking news from yesterday: We received our official 10-year accreditation letter from NECHE, the New England Commission of Higher Education, following their reception of our institutional self-study and their weeklong discussions on campus last fall. More details on the accreditation process can be found here, and we’ll report more in the weeks ahead. As one NECHE board member put it, “It’s great to see a strong, vibrant college in Vermont.”
Finally, I want to remind you of these important and frequently updated resources:
- State of Vermont daily update on COVID-19
- Middlebury Fall 2020 Planning FAQ
- Middlebury COVID-19 Resource Page (announcements, policies, FAQ)
Wishing you a restful and enjoyable weekend, and we look forward to being in touch again next week.