Across This Campus

We want better communication. We hear that refrain all the time. And when I say “we,” I mean students, faculty, and staff. I mean everyone on this campus, and external constituents as well, though I realize we often come to this desire from different perspectives, with different needs.

We also want more transparency, which may well be the catchword of our times.  The push for transparency comes from a desire to know how important decisions are made, a wish sometimes tinged with distrust in how those decisions are made and who makes them. On college campuses, where the tradition of consultation, consensus-building, and community activism is deeply rooted, the desire for transparency can have a special urgency–never more so than in the last two years, as the recession has put additional pressure on the need to make thoughtful and timely decisions.  Of course, the politics of transparency can be messy since the sharing of information up and down an institution like Middlebury should not be a selective process; we all should feel the light.

This blog is an effort to open the lines of communication, and create a forum where people can ask questions or post comments–anonymously, if they like–about administrative decision-making and current initiatives. In my role as Vice President for Administration and chair of the Staff Resources Committee, I also plan to use the space to update readers on issues related to staffing at the College and other projects that pass through my office.

We are, as the wallpaper adorning this site makes clear, a small liberal arts college in rural Vermont.  But our landscape is more complicated than the map suggests, and we can and should do a better job at explaining how and why things happen across this campus.

2 thoughts on “Across This Campus

  1. Emily

    I know this is an old post but this seems like the appropriate place to ask this question: can there be some discussion of the reasoning behind moving the Music Library beyond what was vaguely included in the announcement on MiddBlog? People who don’t typically use the music library don’t seem to have much opinion about it, but the music students I’ve talked to have been universally concerned/angry about the change. Was there any surveying of students in the process of making this decision, and if so which ones, and if not, why not?

  2. Tim Spears

    Thanks, Emily. This is definitely the right place to bring your question. However, the answer requires more room than the comment section offers, so I will respond with a full post, probably on Monday. Stay tuned.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *