Middlebury currently lists 34 trustees on its board. Out of these 34, 20 are white men, 10 are white women, 3 are women of color, and 1 is a man of color. So- thats a board that is 88% white and 62% men. It is safe to say that all of the board members are millionaires, many are billionaires, and they all have backgrounds on wall street or in the corporate world. Maybe that shouldn’t surprise us, but it might make us question why people with no background in education are making the most important decisions at this college. In past attempts to convince trustees of different ways of allocating funds, they have only considered the potential increase or decrease in profits. The fact that there are quite a few “successful women” on the board should not be taken as a point of progress–this would subscribe to a neoliberal “lean in” brand of feminism that encourages women to reproduce dominant power structures instead of challenging them.
Here are two trustee profiles to give you a gist:
The Board President: Marna Whittington currently also sits on the directing board of Phillips 66, a Texas based oil manufacturer. This corporation makes petrochemicals, refines crude oil into gasoline, and overall contributes hugely to the fossil fuel industry, environmental injustice, and climate devastation. Whittington has been one of the board members most staunchly opposed to the prospect of Middlebury divesting from fossil fuels.
Garrett Moran is the President at Year Up Inc, which promises to get young people from “poverty to professional careers within a year.” The corporation is teamed up with other corporations and banks to make their “philanthrocapitalism” most effective. Moran’s background is in private equity and banking, and he also has been a board member of the Posse Foundation.