President Liebowitz Gives “State of the College” Address
President Liebowitz delivered his fall “State of the College” address to a packed house of faculty, staff, and students this afternoon in McCullough Social Space. An update on his speech from February, the President’s address mainly dealt with the financial issues of the college, and how although we are not out of the water yet, progress has been made that should be recognized. Some key points (paraphrased) in case you missed the event or the live tweeting by @middcampus and yours truly, @middblog:
- This fiscal year (which ended on June 30th) reported a budget surplus, as well an endowment rebound to $815 million. Update: While the endowment, the college’s second greatest source of revenue, is still down from its peak of $962 million, we earned a great 17.7% on the endowment this year, as supposed to the 11% projected in December and the 5% first projected for this year and the coming years.
- The current priorities in this financial reevaluation are as follows: 1. No staff layoffs 2. Protect academics (including our 9:1 student-teacher ratio and student academic resources) 3. Maintain our need-blind policy for domestic students 4. Maintain excellent benefit packages for staff/faculty
- President Liebowitz stressed that it was a “conscious decision to choose the slower path”; meaning not making staff layoffs. The Staff Resources Committee will continue to work this fall to consolidate departments and positions based on common work.
- It is the hope of President Liebowitz and the administration to make this issue as transparent as possible. He noted that financial literacy and a knowledge of this process is important for everyone in the college community.
Ultimately, President Liebowitz hopes that this refocused financial agenda will allow us to put academics back as our top concern here at Midd; that we will be able to reengage in issues that had previously been put on the back burner. This includes but is not limited to a curricular push in the fields of linguistics, global health, and more. We will also be able to focus now on the reaccreditation process and the external review team that will be coming to campus next fall.
The president ended his short, straight and to the point speech by saying that he hopes we will all take a step back from the stress and worry this crisis has caused and take time to recognize the team effort that has been made to get us on the right track.
The full transcript and video of the speech can be found here.