October 2008

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To the College Community:

The Board of Trustees met this past week for a retreat and its autumn meeting. As expected, we talked a good deal about the current financial situation and how it is likely to affect the College, including faculty, staff, students, and the families of our students. Members of Faculty Council, Staff Council, and the Student Government Association joined the Board for most of the retreat. The Trustees affirmed the approaches we are taking to address the financial challenges we face, which I outlined in my last memo to the community a little more than one week ago.

We will begin a campus-wide process to engage these challenges when the Budget Oversight Committee convenes this week. In addition, I, along with Patrick Norton, our chief financial officer, will share with various groups what we presented at the trustee retreat, beginning with a presentation to the Student Government Association at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 28, followed by one to faculty at the November 3 faculty meeting, and then another to staff at an open meeting in Dana Auditorium from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 12.

In the coming weeks we will schedule other meetings at which we will share information and answer questions people have about the current economic situation as it relates to the College. I will also communicate with the campus community via e-mail or postings on the College’s website.

Once again, I encourage all in the community to become informed and engaged as we seek ways collectively to secure the long-term financial health of the College. If you have any ideas, please submit them at our online suggestion box.



The Global Financial Situation and Middlebury

There is little I can add to all that has been written during the past month about the current turmoil in the financial markets around the world.  I thought it might be useful to post the two memos I sent to the campus (on September 8 and October 8), the latter of which includes a “questions and answers” sheet about the financial downturn and how it relates to the College.

With new developments surfacing frequently, I plan to update the campus community, as necessary, as we monitor the impact of the financial crisis on the College.  I have also included a link to an online suggestion box the College has set up to solicit ideas for reducing costs in response to current economic conditions:

As I wrote in my memo, we approach the financial challenges from a position of relative strength.  At the same time, we will need the collaboration of our on- and off-campus communities to meet those challenges most effectively.  I look forward to hearing what you think. Leave a comment here, or use the suggestion box.

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