My alma mater has generally done a good job of staying ahead of the curve on matters regarding technology, particularly in sustainable and renewable energy.

We have a fully carbon-neutral building, a windmill, and have set a goal of being a carbon neutral institution by 2013, which would make us the first major U.S. university or college to do so.

That does not mean we have always been the most savvy of investors. I think most people connected with Middlebury would agree that we have overextended our financial means over the course of the last decade, with projects such as the now doomed commons system, Atwater Dining Hall, and the most egregious Monterey Institute in California.

Smaller scale projects such as 51 Main, an alternative to on-campus social spaces have been threatened by the current economic situation that Middlebury (and everyone else) is faced with. President Liebowitz has thankfully given 51 Main a chance to succeed. In an e-mail to the Middlebury College Community he states,

“The BOC proposal requires that 51 Main demonstrate that it has a viable business plan and can operate without a subsidy from the College.  In addition, under this plan, 51 Main needs to record two consecutive months of profitability between now and December.  If it is not able to meet this goal, the College will close 51 Main.”

and

“51 Main has proven itself to be a valuable social alternative for a mix of students, faculty, staff, and townspeople.  It is funded by a donor who specifically wishes to support social life at Middlebury, and with this support, giving the project more time to prove itself seems worthwhile.”

It is programs like 51 Main that differentiates Middlebury from its peers, not our grades and athletic prowess, but the unique sense of community Middlebury College has with its Alumni and with the town of Middlebury, VT itself.

Interesting Links:

  1. http://rononmiddlebury.wordpress.com/ President Liebowitz’s blog, although he doesn’t post nearly often enough. (That letter I cited earlier should be on his blog as well).
  2. http://rononmiddlebury.wordpress.com/ Zuckerberg backtracks off the new terms of agreement.
  3. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123500384765617949.html Generally speaking I agree with Mayor Bloomberg, but the idea that this will have any kind of immediate effect is a bit preposterous. With real estate markets as they are, a small raise in taxes is still exponentially better than the discounted price NYC’s wealthy would sell their houses and apts for. No, NY’s top tax bracket is probably not going anywhere…for the time being. That being said, long-term (4-8 Years) tax increases are absolutely unsustainable.

Until next time

 

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