College faculty have come a long way from their meager 21% support of Monterey in 2005 to a slight majority at 52% in 2020. But some proponents of MIIS are still dismayed that, nearly 15 years into their relationship with the college, some college faculty remain hesitant to fully engage between campuses.
David Provost has a glass-half-full perspective on the matter, noting the jump in support for the college’s connection with Monterey. Staff and faculty at the institute also have a positive outlook on the future of the relationship between the institutions, the potential for collaboration and the increased benefits to students as that relationship grows.
“My sense of the trajectory is positive, it's my perception that there's growing recognition that Monterey is an important part of Middlebury writ large,” MIIS Professor of Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies Philipp Bleek said. “I think there's also a growing recognition that being part of Middlebury is important to what we do in Monterey.”
The pandemic, for all of its challenges, has revealed in many ways the potential for remote connection. Provost recognized that this should mean a reconsideration of whether constant travel between California and Vermont is truly necessary, and Sawin noted that academic connections between the schools are strengthening, as undergraduates will be able to take classes at MIIS this spring semester as a part of their regular course load.
Bob Cole, MIIS Director of Exploratory Initiatives and Partnerships, sees the pandemic as a harbinger of a greater cultural change.
“In the wake of our extraordinary shift to remote work and teaching, I would hope that faculty and staff, wherever they are located, might get beyond the binary of the institute and college,” Cole said. “Perhaps this is not a common outlook, but if I am to trust the decisions of the administration and the Board of Trustees over recent years, Middlebury is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Riley Board '22 is the Editor in Chief of The Campus. She previously served as a Managing Editor, News Editor, Arts & Academics Editor and writer.
She is majoring in Linguistics as an Independent Scholar and is an English minor on the Creative Writing Track.
Board has worked as a writer at Smithsonian Folklife Magazine and as a reporter for The Burlington Free Press. Currently, she is a 2021-2022 Kellogg Fellow working on her linguistics thesis. In her free time, you can find her roller skating in E-Lot or watching the same sitcoms over and over again.
Jake Gaughan is an Editor at Large.
He previously served as an Opinion Editor and News Editor.