Where We’re Going
So, we’re done, right? Uh, no. Laurie Patton has said that Envisioning Middlebury “guides us rather than tells us.” That guidance is just beginning and will be continuing into the future.
The plan is not a set of tasks laid out for the institution to tackle. Rather, it is an active framework, through which all strategic decisions will be filtered. Those decisions will be informed by two parallel processes that will articulate broad, transformational goals for all of Middlebury, and more specific goals for programs, departments and offices, as well as self-organized interest groups that cross programmatic or departmental lines.
Transformational goals: High-level goals that, when reached, will have a significant reputational or institutional impact on Middlebury; typically require fundraising and Board involvement; will be achieved via multiple initiatives and coordinated efforts
At its meeting on January 27, the Board of Trustees, upon the recommendation of its Strategy Committee, endorsed three transformational goals, derived from the strategic framework adopted last October.
Programmatic goals: More specific goals that involve curricular, academic, programmatic, or operational changes that may or may not require additional resources
Departmental Goals: Very localized goals that may be realized within a given office or department without additional resources.
More specific programmatic and departmental goals will be generated from across the institution, as we work together to align ourselves with the framework. We see this happening already with the move of the School of the Environment from Vermont to Middlebury’s Schools Abroad site in Kunming, China. And then there are grassroots goals, many of which were identified in the community conversations and which the framework is intended to facilitate on a continual basis. (The Oratory Now program, which is led by Theatre Professor Dana Yeaton, is an example of the type of program or initiative that could arise from these goals.)
In the spring and summer of 2018, programs, departments, offices, and self-organized groups will be asked to engage in a process to consider how their work currently supports the framework, and identify their own “first moves” toward realizing the promise of the strategic framework.
That’s Envisioning Middlebury. It is ongoing, as President Patton said. “It is a framework built to sustain us for many years.”