I write to address two points raised in your article “Abroad Programs Raise Concerns” printed Feb. 28, 2013. First, it is important to note that Ms. Stewart’s complaints were not unfounded, and I apologized to her in December on behalf of the C.V. Starr Middlebury Schools Abroad for the difficulties she experienced during her time in Chile. I also told her that we would closely monitor the situation, which we have been doing and will continue to do. I have since had several conversations about the program in Chile, including one with the Faculty Advisory Board. We have taken steps to make sure that the quality of the experience there will improve, and I believe it already has.
Second, the article suggested that President of the College Ronald D. Liebowitz and I were unresponsive to Ms. Stewart’s concerns. I first heard from President Liebowitz about those concerns in mid-November 2012, after Ms. Stewart had been to see the President during his office hours. This was the first time I had heard of her concerns. I contacted Ms. Stewart on Nov. 28, asking her to meet with me, and she and I had a productive conversation on Dec. 3. During our meeting she informed me about the difficulties she had experienced during her time in Chile, and I told her that we would take steps to address the situation, which we have done. I would have been happy to share this information with the reporter if the Campus had contacted me for a response.
Submitted by Vice President for Language Schools, Schools Abroad and Graduate Programs MICHAEL E. GEISLER