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HR Update: This Week’s Employment Snapshot

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

There are currently 4 faculty positions, 54 external job postings (regular, on-call and temporary), and 5 internal job postings on the Middlebury College employment opportunities web sites.

Employment Quick Links:

Faculty Employment Opportunities:

Staff Employment Opportunities: go/staff-jobs (on campus), (off campus)

Please note – to view only internal staff postings, please use the internal posting search filter that was highlighted in this MiddPoints article.

On-call/Temporary Staff Employment Opportunities: go/staff-jobs-sh (on campus), (off campus)

The Week’s Headlines

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Here are the week’s headlines from the News Room:

College Names Kellogg Fellows in Humanities

Quoted this Week: Bill McKibben on Obama’s ‘Catastrophic Climate-Change Denial’

Neil Sinclair Named Men’s Hockey Coach

Local Company Files Request to Build Renewable Natural Gas Plant that Will Bring Middlebury College Close to Carbon Neutrality

New England Review Goes Digital with Publication of Current Issue

View past stories by visiting the News Room Page

End-of-Year Reception!

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

The School in France held its End of Term Reception for students, faculty, staff, host families and foyers at the Madeleine Center on May 5th. It was a lovely, and for some, the last occasion to get together and to celebrate the end of a challenging but thrilling semester and/or academic year in Paris. We profusely thank again the following individuals: our faculty, without whom our academic program wouldn’t be what it is today; EUSA France for its engaging internship program; and our host families and foyers who contribute so much to the success of our students’ cultural and linguistic immersion experience. Merci et bonne fin de séjour à tous nos étudiants!DSCN0381 DSCN0378 DSCN0355DSCN0341DSCN0339DSCN0338DSCN0331DSCN0327DSCN0321

Key Survey / WorldApp Services Restored

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KeySurvey Logo

As of 8:15 pm today (Fri, 5/15/15), Key Survey functionality has been restored.  WorldApp is conducting a thorough investigation and will be sharing full details with us as soon as they are available.




Island Time

Categories: Midd Blogosphere


I check my watch again—likely for the 10th time these past two minutes. It’s 6:25 p.m., and the 5:30 “Speedy’s” ferry has yet to leave the dock. I do the math in my head, even though I know there’s no chance I’ll make the connecting ferry to Virgin
Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.

I flip through my notebook, where I’ve written down phone numbers for other ferry services and hotels in the area. I like schedules, efficiency, timeliness. And this night is not going as I’d planned.

I’m about to begin a monthlong internship, an environmental research expedition in the Caribbean. The other ferry passengers around me don’t seem concerned about the lack of timeliness. A baby peeks over the seat, chocolate-brown, sleepy eyes watching me tap my fingers.

Looking for assistance, I ask the man working at the ferry dock when we might be leaving.

He laughs.

“Why are you in such a hurry?” he asks.

Without waiting for an answer, he tells me about “island time.” Apparently island time means nothing is on time.

An hour and fifteen minutes after the scheduled departure, we push away from the dock. We pick up speed, crashing over waves in ways that seem reckless. “Finally,” I sigh.

I’ve always been obsessed with moving forward. In high school I worked endlessly, participating in every imaginable activity to craft the perfect resume to get me into a school like Middlebury. And while I enjoyed these activities—at least I thought I did; in retrospect, I’m not sure I took the time necessary to enjoy them properly— often my primary motivation was to check another item off my mental list: things I needed to do to succeed.

At Middlebury, I’m always working, distributing my hours between athletics, academics, two jobs, and a social life—doing so hoping I’ll find a job after graduation. I have no patience for sitting still. I must always be making progress, always moving forward.

Lately, I’ve been thinking that my exposure to “island time” is starting to change that mindset. While on island time, no matter how badly I wanted to move forward, I couldn’t.

Boxes weren’t checked. And it was okay.

Now, I can’t say that this time of self-
reflection allowed me to “figure everything out.” While gazing out at the beautiful water, I didn’t suddenly realize what I’m supposed to do next; I didn’t figure out how I was going to make an impression upon the world. What I realized—perhaps for the first time—is that trying to figure everything out is a fool’s errand.

When I returned to Middlebury, I resisted the temptation of falling into old habits: I had responsibilities, of course, but I wanted to be responsible for the moment, not the future.

Moving forward may mean a long run down a country road instead of rushing from activity to activity; time doesn’t stand still, but my time does. Instead of devoting countless hours to future plans, I try and turn this devotion to those around me. Instead of worrying about a murky future and trying to blast through the haze, I try to become comfortable with ambiguity.

With graduation approaching, I’m cognizant of the landmark events—graduations, new jobs, promotions—that will mark life’s progression. But if I’m always checking the seconds that go by and focusing on where I need to be next, I’ll forget to notice where I am.

Elizabeth Reed ’15 will graduate this spring as a sociology and anthropology major. She’ll let us know what she plans on doing next—on her own time.

The Champ

Categories: Midd Blogosphere


The first time I met W.C. “Bill” Heinz  ’37 I told him that his column “Death of a Race Horse” had made me want to write better than I probably ever would. I read it for the first time in 1964, my freshman year of college, 15 years after Heinz had written the piece on deadline for the soon-to-be-defunct New York Sun. On that July day in 1949, Heinz had watched as a young colt named Air Lift—making his first racing start—stumbled on the track, breaking his leg.

Heinz pulls the reader in so close to the tragedy unfolding mere feet way that one can barely breathe.

They moved the curious back, the rain falling faster now, and they moved the colt over close to a pile of loose bricks. Gilman had the halter and Catlett had the gun, shaped like a bell with the handle at the top. This bell he placed, the crowd silent, on the colt’s forehead, just between the eyes. The colt stood still and then Catlett, with the hammer in his hand, struck the handle of the bell. There was a short, sharp sound and the colt toppled onto his left side, his eyes staring, his legs straight out, the free legs quivering.

“Aw—” someone said.

That was all they said. They worked quickly, the two vets removing the broken bones as evidence for the insurance company, the crowd silently watching. Then the heavens opened, the rain pouring down, the lightning flashing, and they rushed for the cover of the stables, leaving alone on his side near the pile of bricks, the rain running off his hide, dead an hour and a quarter after his first start, Air Lift, son of Bold Venture, full brother of Assault.

“Death of a Race Horse” is one of 38 columns and features compiled by Bill Littlefield, longtime host of NPR’s Only a Game, who knows great storytelling. This collection, which is being released on the centennial of Heinz’s birth, should reawaken interest in and love for one of our greatest sportswriters. Wilfred Charles Heinz (1915–2008) felt and observed deeply, but he always left space for the reader to feel too. Here is Babe Ruth, sick with the cancer that will soon take his life, pulling on his uniform for the final time at Yankee Stadium.

The Babe started to undress. His friends helped him. They hung up his clothes and helped him into the parts of his uniform. When he had them on he sat down again to put on his spiked shoes, and when he did this the photographers who had followed him moved in. They took pictures of him in uniform putting on his shoes, for this would be the last time….The Babe took a step and started slowly up the steps. He walked out into the flashing of flashbulbs, into the cauldron of sound he must know better than any other man.

In 1991 I visited Heinz at his hillside home in Dorset, Vermont, where he lived with his wife Betty Bailey Heinz ’35. I told him about his influence on my life; later I would find out that other writers, Littlefield included, had made similar pilgrimages and had expressed similar sentiments.

Gracious and generous, he showed me his writing scrapbooks, each of his columns neatly pasted in place, and as he turned the pages, he spoke about his life and work, a master class in a Vermont living room.

Heinz compared writing to boxing. “You set the reader up,” he said, “you feint, you jab, you bob and weave, you bring them in close, then when you are ready, you hit and hit hard.” He said never waste a word; a good writer should strip each sentence to its core.

Heinz once told Sports Illustrated that writing for him was “like building a stone wall without mortar. You place the words one at a time, fit them, take them apart and refit them until they’re balanced and solid.”

Bill Littlefield and the Library of America have given readers a 600-page gem of a book, filled with stories and columns whose words are balanced and solid, a stone wall built without mortar. We are afforded another chance to see America through the eyes of one of the most acute observers of his generation. And when any of us reads a story that takes our breath away, I lay odds that the writer once read “Death of a Race Horse” or “Brownsville Bum” or “The Fighter’s Wife” and thought, “If only I could do that….”

Mel Allen is the editor of Yankee Magazine and a pretty darn good writer himself.

The Liebowitz Years: Tributes

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DenaRon as President By Dena Simmons ’05

In January 2006, I wore Middlebury regalia to the inauguration of the incoming president of Teachers College, Columbia University. Ron could not make the trip to New York City, so he asked me to march in the traditional procession in his place. While Ron’s invitation may seem insignificant to some, to me, it’s indicative of the type of leader Ron is—and has been—for Middlebury. Three years prior to his asking, I wrote, in my application for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, that I wanted to attend Teachers College as a graduate student; Ron’s invitation made clear that he took the time to notice me, to know what I was doing post-Middlebury.

However, I didn’t need this invitation to know what I’d already learned about Ron: he’s an attentive and considerate leader, with New York City flair. He and I would frequently share stories of the Harlem and Columbia University he knew as a graduate student and the ones I was currently getting to know. We bonded over our love and connection to New York City. When I’d see him at the annual alumni holiday parties, he and Jessica always made time to share their support and advice. I felt held in their presence. Similarly, when I was a student, Ron supported me. He met with me when I requested it, and he stopped to say hello when we passed each other on campus.

Most impressive, Ron shows up for his students. There were some tumultuous periods during my time at Middlebury, and Ron never failed to create a safe space on campus for students and faculty to air out their concerns, their problems, and their demands to make Middlebury better. He was available to meet with students during these trying times, and although Ron did not always get it right, he was open to learning and improving. Once, on a cold, dark January evening, Ron traveled up to Shelburne, Vermont, to support me at an awards ceremony when I received the Vermont Student Citizen Award. He shared laughter and stories with my friends and family and made Middlebury as special for them as he did for me. He made them feel a part of our Middlebury family.

Eventually, when I returned to Middlebury as a teacher, bringing with me my students from the Bronx, Ron carved out time to welcome my students and share some words of wisdom. My students were timid about taking such a long trip to a place where very few people looked like them but left Middlebury with the feeling of home. Essentially that’s the type of institution Ron fostered for us—one that smells, tastes, and feels like home.

Dr. Dena Simmons ’05 is the associate director of school initiatives at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

VictorRon as Neighbor By Victor Nuovo

There are deep ties binding Middlebury College and the town of Middlebury. The town and the College have a common identity: they bear the same name and are situated in the same place. This came to be because over two centuries ago the town created the College, begot it, gave it its name, supported it financially, and nurtured it. The College’s founders, who were the town’s first citizens, believed that a town without an academy could not aspire to greatness, and they desired what was best for it. Hence, sentiments of kinship, of mutual affection and good will, and a common public interest arose between the town and the College. And they continue to this day, rising and falling in intensity, but never absent.

So it happened that during Ron Liebowitz’s presidency, a splendid mutuality flourished between the town and the College, which has resulted in major public works completed or underway in town—all with major support from the College. They include the financing and construction of the Cross Street Bridge, a new town office building (the first net-zero municipal office building in Vermont), a gym and recreational center, the widening of Printers Alley to accommodate pedestrians and motor vehicles going to the Marbleworks, a public park that will occupy the property where the current town offices and gym now stand, and the commercial development of property behind the library.

Much of the credit goes to Ron Liebowitz, although he did not work alone. He and members of his staff met regularly with the town administration and its governing body, the Board of Selectmen. In these meetings, town and College officials reviewed the institutional and economic needs of the town and considered long-term plans for meeting them. They sought and gained public support, along with the approval of the College Board of Trustees. The result was a complex plan involving financial transactions, property exchanges, and construction schedules, and before long, the work will be done. It will be a token of the enduring relationship between the town and the College. It will also be Ron’s legacy.

Victor Nuovo is the Charles A. Dana Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and a former member of the Middlebury town selectboard.

MerrillRon as Teacher By Jason Merrill ’90

I met Ron Liebowitz when I was a sophomore at Middlebury and had enrolled in his Soviet Geography course. He filled Warner Hemicycle with a friendly, positive energy, looking around the room and encouraging interaction, even when he was listing facts and figures about the ethnic composition of the Soviet Union or the types of minerals found in Siberia. He encouraged us to ask questions and to think more deeply, to draw our own conclusions about what we had heard or read.

In a senior seminar two years later, Ron challenged the class to create one research project on Soviet ethnic policy. He guided us while group members not only wrote their own portions of the larger work but also worked to assemble the pieces into a cohesive whole.

By the time I returned to Middlebury as an instructor in the Russian School, and later as its director, Ron was devoting his energies to administration. He often speaks of his experiences as a student in the Russian School, where the teachers—whose names he still remembers—demanded much from him but taught him much in return. Every time I meet him, at summer receptions or at winter directors’ meetings, Ron asks the kinds of detailed questions about our courses and future plans that show he’s still a teacher at heart.

Lev Tolstoy, for whom pedagogy was a lifelong interest, said that “if a teacher has both love for teaching and for his students, he is a complete teacher.” I believe most everyone in the Middlebury community would agree that Ron exudes both kinds of love, setting an example for teachers or anyone who works with them. In my roles as teacher and director, I strive to show the same level of interest and support I receive from him.

My wife and I are excited that our son will be starting at Middlebury this fall. His Class of 2019 will be the first in the post-Ron era. But because of Ron’s insistence on uncompromising cutting-edge teaching, Middlebury is well positioned to continue to occupy its deserved place as one of the top undergraduate experiences in the country. Like so many throughout Ron’s years at Middlebury, I am proud to have been his student and to have worked with him.

Jason Merrill ’90 is an associate professor of Russian at Michigan State University and the director of the Kathryn Wasserman Davis School of Russian at Middlebury.

ZupanRon as Colleague By Patricia Zupan

Here at Middlebury, colleagues are often much more than those with whom we work. Being in such close quarters, and almost always under the pressures of time, we become professional friends. Side by side, we simultaneously raise our careers and our lives.

Ron and I both came here in the early 1980s. My late husband Franco Ciccone and I arrived in 1982. Ron came in 1984. Ron was our upstairs neighbor at 3 College Street, and his arrival coincided with the birth of our first daughter, Marisa. Franco and I found that Ron liked kids—along with good coffee and good food. He thus became a regular guest at our open Italian table.

Aided and abetted by Franco’s superb cooking skills, unfailing hospitality, and astonishing intelligence and humor, a true friendship was born around that kitchen table. The three of us shared similar backgrounds (large cities, large universities), as well as a common love of intellectual and political controversy, music, and literature. Ron and I faced similarly challenging professional circumstances, building our departmental programs and teaching like maniacs. Incessant work—along with the traditional social environment—made Middlebury a tight fit for both of us at times. As high-energy talkers with quick wits, we frequently sent up what ailed, irked, or tickled us—a survival tactic others didn’t always appreciate. But in learning to live and work at Middlebury in more and more mature ways, Ron and I became true colleagues, talking out our issues, helping each other understand what we each had to offer here, staking out our intellectual territories, celebrating our victories when we won, commiserating with each other when feeling discouraged or defeated.

Ron is at his collegial best when the hour is darkest. His forte seems to be standing strong in the face of serious crises, particularly when colleagues must confront serious or terminal illness, or that of their loved ones—something I know by both observation and personal experience. In recent years we have lost, quite prematurely, dear colleagues and family members. I myself have lost my dear husband, Franco, to terminal illness. At that time, Ron listened as a friend. But as a colleague he also offered me the practical means to face courageously and humanely this incredibly great challenge. His support empowered me to return to this intellectual community, this other important part of my lifework, with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.

Patricia Zupan is the Charles .A. Dana Professor of Italian at Middlebury.