| by Nicole Veilleux

Staff, Updates

Welcome to the April 12th update! We hope you are enjoying the start of spring (now that the Vermont campus is no longer seeing snow). We’re excited to share some highlights from the last two weeks:  

We had a fantastic solar eclipse viewing party on Battell Beach. We want to extend our thanks for the release time granted to staff members, allowing them to attend and enjoy this event 

On Monday, April 8th, members of Senior Leadership took a District K (Dining) dining halls tour and engaged in discussions with dining staff. This visit marked the second in a series of monthly meetings, each focusing on a different staff council district.  

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the “The Staff Issue” of The Middlebury Campus newspaper. See a full list of articles under Announcements including Reflections on the ‘skill matrix’ compensation system, Staffing challenges in dining halls and the Davis Library, and a Tribute to Kathy Swan, “The woman who revolutionized the dining hall experience.”  

Update Topics

See Staff Council Updates Online 

  • Announcements 
  • New Staff Members  
  • Upcoming Events   
  • Staff Council Committee and Meetings Updates  


District K Meeting with Members of Senior Leadership – On Monday, April 8th, District K (Dining) members Dan Detora, Executive Director, Food Service Operations, Brent Simons, Dining Services Manager and District K Representative, and members of Staff Council, met with members of Senior Leadership (President Patton, David Provost, and Caitlin Goss), as they toured Proctor, Ross and Atwater dining halls and chatted with dining hall staff along the tour. It was a good opportunity to make connections and start conversations about issues within the district.

April 9, 2024 Leadership Alliance Tear Sheet was sent out to all supervisors with the accompanying attachments for the MIIS return to campus open meeting slide deck and the Spring 2024 Compensation  - Skills Matrix Timeline.

GMHEC Benefits & Well-Being Monthly Spotlight   
Featured Benefit: Importance of Beneficiaries - This month the Benefits Team encourages you to ensure that you have assigned beneficiaries to your various accounts and that they are the people you would choose to be listed at this time in your life. 

GMHEC suggests you may also want to take time to consider your other accounts such as checking accounts, personal life insurance accounts, and retirement accounts that aren’t with the college. Find details on the college’s Unum Life Insurance, TIAA Retirement Savings Plan and the Health Savings Account in the GMHEC’s March Benefit and Wellbeing Spotlight

Also - Join the annual Step Up for Stepping Strong Challenge. This is a wonderful opportunity to get active, have fun and support a great cause. Grab your friends and register today!  Registration is open through April 30th and the challenge runs from May 1-31, 2024. [Learn more.

Survey Update – The Staff Council Survey Committee (Council members, Toni Thomas, Nicole Veilleux, and Lexie Carlson, and staff volunteers Tim Parsons and Charles Caldwell), presented the survey findings to members of Senior Leadership on April 11th. The discussion led to a productive exchange. We’re happy about the momentum and anticipate selecting the top three issues for focused improvement efforts. Next Steps: We have two Staff Council open meetings on Wednesday, April 17th, where we will present the survey findings to all staff. Please check your email for the calendar invite or see below in under the Upcoming Events section. 

Elections – Remember that Staff Council elections are coming up! Open Districts include District C, District E, District F, District K, District M at Large, and Member at Large. Once elected, members serve two-year terms. Check out the Districts page to learn more. If you are a Middlebury College staff member who would like to volunteer and be part of a dynamic organization on campus, please fill out this form

The Middlebury Campus Staff Issue This special edition includes: 

Meet Our Newest Staff Members

See in MiddPoints 

  • Matthew Guiffre (Arabic School) 

Upcoming Events

2024 Staff Survey Presentations 

  • Wednesday, April 17, 10:00-11:00 AM ET (In-Person Only)  
    Location: Wilson Hall in McCullough (VT) 
  • Wednesday, April 17, 3:30-4:30 PM ET/ 12:30-1:30 PM PT (Zoom Only)  
    See agenda for the Zoom link. Note: to join the meeting you will need to be logged into your Middlebury Zoom account. This presentation will be recorded. 

2024 Spring Student Symposium, Friday, April 19, 9 AM-5 PM in McCardell Bicentennial Hall (VT) Come support the over 240 students presenting their academic work. Classes are canceled that day to allow the Midd community to participate. See the full schedule at go.middlebury.edu/sym

Committee Updates

Learn more about Staff Council committees, who are serving, and what they are working on.

Meeting Updates

See the Staff Council’s calendar for the latest meeting information. 


We are excited to spotlight the work of our various staff council committees in the coming updates. Today, we highlight the work of our Compensation and Benefits Committee. Led by Terry Simpkins, the committee plays an important role in advocating for the interests and concerns of Middlebury College staff members. 

Objectives and Responsibilities: The committee’s primary objective is to study and review various aspects of staff compensation, benefits, leaves, job categories, and related subjects within the College. 

Advocacy and Collaboration: As the chair of the committee, Terry emphasizes a collaborative and consultative approach to address staff members’ interests and concerns. The committee strives to represent the diverse perspectives of staff members and works with Human Resources (HR) and other stakeholders to advocate for improvements and clarity in compensation policies. 

Current Initiatives: This year, the committee has focused on four specific areas: Job Descriptions, Skill Matrix, Compensation, and the HR website as a source of information for staff. Members have identified areas needing clarity or where improvements could be made and summarized their thoughts and questions in documents shared with HR. A joint meeting with HR is scheduled for later this month to discuss these matters further. 

Meeting Frequency and Process: The Compensation and Benefits Committee meets biweekly for 45-minute sessions. Meetings are structured to ensure focused discussion on prioritized topics, with agendas circulated beforehand to keep the conversation on track. Terry emphasizes flexibility in scheduling, ensuring that meetings are canceled when necessary or when the committee is caught up with its current work. 

Committee Members: The committee for 2023-2024 consists of 13 members: 

  • Terry Simpkins, Director, Discovery and Access Services, College Libraries (Chair) 
  • Toni Thomas, Associate Dean, Institute Academic Operations (Assistant Chair) 
  • Joseph Antonioli, Senior Innovation Strategist, Digital Learning and Inquiry 
  • Jami Black, AVP and Campaign Co-Executive Director, Advancement 
  • Elizabeth Bone, Advisor, Institute Center for Advising and Career Services 
  • Daniel Hyde, HVAC Refrigeration, College Technical Services, Maintenance, and Operations 
  • Tammy Iffland, Chef, College Ross Dining Services 
  • Colleen Norden, Systems and Communications Specialist, CTLR 
  • Esther Palmer, Program Support Manager for Annual Giving, Advancement 
  • Tim Parsons, Horticulturist, College Technical Services, Maintenance, and Operations 
  • Megyn Pitner, Assistant Director of Catering and Tavern on the Tee, College Catering 
  • Maria Watters, Director, College Event Management 
  • Shelby Watts, Athletic Trainer, College Sports Medicine 

We want to give a big shout-out to the Compensation and Benefits Committee for their hard work in tackling staff concerns and pushing for better compensation policies here at Middlebury. Huge thanks to our staff council reps and all the staff volunteers involved! 

You can learn more about the Middlebury Staff Council Committees on our website (link). Are you interested in joining a committee next year? We’d love to have you! Joining committees is a great way to meet people in the College and Institute community, understand the workings of different committees, and explore Middlebury outside your regular role. You do not need to be an elected representative to be a committee member! All you need is an interest in helping to make Middlebury a better place to work. If you would like to participate on a committee, please fill out this form and let us know of your interest.