As the first group of students return to campus this week and help remind us all of our shared educational mission, we write to provide you with an update on our preparations for returning to the campus workplace.
In our Weekly Update this week we will address some questions about students’ return to campus this fall as well as some procedural information and education efforts for the entire campus community.
We write with some updates on our budget process to emphasize some key points we discussed in yesterday’s Town Hall meeting with staff and faculty.
We write now with a small view into our financial future. Before we do, we thought it worth reminding you of our current fiscal state. In an earlier note we described how we are projecting a $13.0 million deficit for this year ending June 30, 2020, having been hit hard by the stock market downturn and a number of other factors. These include our obligation to refund unused room and board for undergraduates as well as fees from Study Abroad students, expected shortfalls in philanthropy, and lost revenue from auxiliary sources like the ski areas and bookstore as they needed to close early.
We want to follow up on David Provost’s recent email regarding the impact of COVID-19 on Middlebury’s finances. As David described, the impact is significant, and it will affect every department throughout our operations. Working through so many big questions, our top priorities continue to be wage and academic continuity.
We write to let you know that a Middlebury staff member in Vermont has notified the College that they have tested positive for COVID-19. Our colleague, who has been off campus, is recuperating in isolation at home and is reported to be doing well. This is the first positive employee test result in the Middlebury College community.
| by David Provost
As we begin our second week of remote learning at the undergraduate College, and our third week at the Institute, I write with a financial overview. Many of you have asked me about the impact of COVID-19 on Middlebury’s financial position and our ability to weather the pandemic. In this letter I set out to answer those questions and communicate two additional things: that the road we are on is a most difficult one and could be for weeks and possibly months ahead, and to ask for your understanding as we make decisions in an incredibly fluid environment.
| by David Provost
I write with a follow-up to the announcement that Middlebury courses will be taught remotely for the rest of the semester. We know that many of you are eager to learn about our policy regarding credits and refunds for room and board. Thank you for your patience as we have worked through a host of issues related to COVID-19. Below is information about the policy for students at the College and students of the Middlebury Schools Abroad.
We write today to follow up on President Patton’s recent email that mentioned the College’s work to support the community. As part of this effort, the College will provide urgently needed temporary housing for a small number of University of Vermont Health Network/Porter Medical Center employees, maximizing safety for all members of the College community.
As you may know, late this afternoon Governor Scott issued a new Executive Order titled “Stay Home/Stay Safe” that will take effect at 5:00 pm tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25. The order states that many Vermont businesses must suspend in-person business operations, except for “businesses and entities providing services or functions deemed critical to public health and safety.”