August 2011

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During office hours this summer, I was visited quite often by Language School students and faculty, but also by staff who work year-round at the College and by students who were on campus to work or to do research with Middlebury faculty.

The students who dropped by said they never seem to be able to stop by during office hours during the academic year, and felt that many other students can not as well.  I told them I would try to vary my office hours this coming year, which they thought was a good idea.  They also suggested I specifically ask students, via the blog, to send along “big” issues or items of concern that they would like me and/or my fellow administrators to “look into/engage/address.”  They emphasized big issues and ones that seem possible and not, for example, something like, “can you consider ways to make the winters shorter?  I am of course most interested in issues related to your educational experience here at the College.

So, in that spirit, and because I am interested in hearing what students think needs special attention, I encourage students to let me know.  Please send your thoughts along.

If this works, I will encourage staff and faculty to do the same.


Though it is August, and the start of the academic year is a month away, the campus has been as busy as ever hosting the summer Language Schools and a vibrant faculty-student research program.  And, the solar decathlon students have just completed their house, which they will soon disassemble and move to Washington to rebuild on the mall for the competition in late September.

In addition, one of the most commonly sought changes by students has been addressed—the re-opening of Atwater for regular lunches.  Language Tables, which have been housed at Atwater the past two years, will move to Redfield Proctor (upstairs in Proctor).

Atwater will continue to serve continental breakfast and host themed and special dinners.  We hope the re-opening of Atwater for lunches will address concerns about overcrowding in Ross and Proctor despite the additional seats we introduced two years ago.

As Patrick Norton’s memo announcing this change states (below), other suggestions students have made to improve dining and to reduce the loss of dishes, bowls, glasses, and silverware have also been acted upon, too.  This fall, we will invite students to assess other aspects of dining and offer recommendations on how to improve our current offerings and options.

I look forward to seeing many of you next month.


From: Office of VP and Treasurer
Sent: Thursday, August 04, 2011 8:59 PM
To: students; All Faculty; Byerly, Alison; Baldridge, Susan Campbell; Collado, Shirley M.; Keyes, James R. (Jim); Schoenfeld, Mike; Donahue, David A. (Dave); Geisler, Michael E.; Liebowitz, Ronald D.; Spears, Tim; Corbin, Thomas J.; Biette, Matthew R.; Etchells, Timothy P.
Subject: Atwater Dining Hall Re-opens for Regular Lunch Plus Other Dining News

Atwater Dining Hall Re-opens for Regular Lunch Plus Other Dining News

I write to share the good news that Atwater Dining Hall will be open again for regular (meal plan) lunch this fall, with continued service in Proctor and Ross.

The hours for lunch will be as follows:

  • Atwater will remain open after serving continental breakfast, and serve lunch through 2 p.m.
  • Ross and Proctor will continue to serve hot breakfast, and remain open for lunch through 2 p.m.
  • Bagged lunches will still be available in Proctor from 7-9:30 a.m., seven days a week.

The “language tables” that had assembled for lunch in Atwater will now gather in the Redfield Proctor Dining Room, upstairs in Proctor, with the same menu and waiter service.

Also this fall, Dining Services will be offering students what we’re calling “go” containers, portable, reusable, washable bowls, with covers, that can be used to take food out of the dining halls, when students just don’t have the time to sit down for a meal. Students will be able to purchase these containers for a small fee. They can trade used containers for clean ones during their next visit to any dining hall. You’ll be hearing more about this program from Dining Services, in the near future.

These changes are designed to address student concerns, and are part of an ongoing discussion about the structure of our dining operations at Middlebury.  If you have questions, please contact Matt Biette, Director of Dining Services at:

— Patrick Norton, Vice President for Finance & Treasurer

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