AAUP Statement on Tuition Increase

The Middlebury AAUP was surprised to see the College announce a 3% increase in tuition.

All employee salaries have been frozen (and with cost of living about 1.6% this means all employees are earning less than in 2019). Employees also face threats of 15% compensation cuts that remain in the current budget plans depending on whether students can remain on campus this fall.

A desire to avoid a slightly larger endowment draw was cited as part of the justification for raising tuition. We do not see any evidence that such a draw will have long-term negative consequences on the endowment. You can use this tool to see the evidence for this. We are concerned this is an excuse to justify future further cuts to worker compensation, inevitably creating tension between Middlebury workers and students, which only hurts us all as we enter into an uncertain and highly stressful fall semester.

Further, the statement claims that “we are taking 2.5 percent more from the endowment than we normally would,” suggesting that the College normally takes 5% from the endowment. However, in the ten fiscal years from 2009 to 2018, the endowment draw was always more than 5%, went above 6% eight times, and went as high as 7.6% in 2009, according to IRS 990 forms filed by the College.