Roudebush Hall
Roudebush Hall, home of Miami's administrative offices

University Objectives and Metrics

Unifying Goal: Promote a vibrant learning and discovery environment that produces extraordinary student and scholarly outcomes.

Objective 1: Prepare students for success at Miami and beyond through a liberal and applied education emphasizing inquiry-based experiential learning that integrates many disciplines.

Metric 1: Miami will achieve a six-year graduation rate of 85% and a four-year graduation rate of 75%.

Strategies:

  • Implement a virtual and physical one-stop enrollment center.
  • Develop and create a First-Year-Experience course for all entering students. Develop additional targeted curricular interventions beyond the first year to enhance student success (e.g., summer preparatory and career development curricula, sophomore experience).
  • Ensure that the vision of “By Students, For Students” is met at Armstrong Student Center by meeting the varying needs of all Miami students.
  • Offer clear information to students about learning expectations, resources, and curricular pathways to graduation.
    • Develop and implement a comprehensive training program for all academic advisors.
    • Leverage data gained from new tools (e.g., Institutional Analytics, u.Direct) to develop targeted interventions for students who are less likely to graduate.
  • Create strategic partnerships across Student and Academic Affairs units to improve advising as well as academic, socio-emotional, and financial support for students.
  • Offer effective and culturally sensitive mental health and other support services available to all full-time students on a timely basis and regardless of location of study.
  • Identify and revise policies, procedures, and governance processes that impede student success.
  • Expand and improve opportunities for high-ability students (e.g., departmental honors programs, University Honors Program, Academic Scholars Program).
  • Increase financial aid and merit scholarships through scholarship-matching programs and reallocation of funds.

Challenges & Opportunities:

  • Obtaining reliable disaggregated data to track student success (including students who are undecided, change majors, stop, or drop out)
  • Creating a sense of urgency about retention, and educating all units across the University that retention must be a shared commitment
  • Enacting interventions and strategies at all phases of the undergraduate career
  • Prioritizing the competing and increasing demands on faculty and staff
  • Balancing net tuition revenue with expectations for academic quality and diversity with a base enrolling class of 3,600
  • Allocating the appropriate resources to achieve this goal, particularly in a time of fiscal challenge and immediately after completing a capital campaign.

Metric 2: Within one year after graduation, 90% of graduates (excluding those enrolled in graduate or professional school) will be employed.

Strategies:

  • Create a comprehensive, data-driven career services plan to proactively improve retention and completion rates and alumni engagement levels and strengthen the University’s value proposition to parents, students, and employers.
  • Develop better tracking of alumni employment.
  • Develop new, or improve existing, departmental external advisory boards to increase internships, networking opportunities, and career mentoring for students and to strengthen partnerships with potential employers.
  • Seek out internship and recruitment opportunities with corporate partners and vendors that are not currently hiring Miami graduates.
  • Embed career development and client-based, authentic projects into appropriate portions of the curriculum.
  • Fueled by partnerships between Academic Affairs and Career Services, develop major-specific career development programs and interventions.

Challenges & Opportunities:

  • Obtaining reliable employment data
  • Forging partnerships across academic departments, Career Services, and University Advancement
  • Understanding and predicting the impact of the local, regional, and national economy.

Metric 3: Upon graduation, 80% of students who apply to graduate or professional school will receive at least one offer of admission.

Strategies:

  • Advance writing and research outcomes in liberal education and the major, and assess progress.
  • Expand Miami’s 3+1 and 4+1 bachelor’s-master’s degree opportunities.
  • Enhance programming for students to prepare for graduate and professional school.

Challenges & Opportunities:

  • Maintaining support for the research activities of faculty and students given that significant involvement in research is critical for admission to some graduate programs
  • Preparing students for graduate and professional school as graduate programs are being eliminated or under threat of elimination and external funds for research are declining.

Objective 2: Immerse faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students in research and creative scholarship that forms a vital part of the learning experience.

Metric 4: Continue to increase the quality and impact of scholarship or creative performance.

Strategies:

  • Enforce workload norms consistently across all divisions and departments to enable research-active faculty adequate time for scholarship
  • Develop mentorship programs for all ranks of faculty.
  • Increase support for faculty research (e.g., start-up packages, summer research support, leave and travel support, library liaisons).
  • Revise the new faculty orientation program to emphasize faculty and student research, experiential learning, and other University priorities.
  • Raise funds to support faculty through the faculty-endowment-match program and the scholarship-match program.

Challenges & Opportunities:

  • Declining external support and funding, including library resources, and research infrastructure
  • Addressing the high number of University initiatives that may distract faculty from research activities
  • Advancing research despite the declining number of tenure-eligible and tenured faculty who have research responsibilities and the increasing number of lecturers and clinical/professionally licensed faculty who focus solely on teaching.

Metric 5: Upon graduation, all Miami students will have participated in a research (40%) or a similar experiential learning activity (100%), e.g., fieldwork, field or clinical placement, service-learning, public or private sector engagement, performances, and other applied learning activities.

Strategies:

  • Market and leverage the opportunities afforded by Miami’s many centers and resources to enhance experiential learning and research.
  • Embed experiential learning, including research skills and client-based or research-oriented projects, into the curriculum where appropriate.
  • Increase support and incentives for undergraduate research, experiential learning, and discovery-oriented curricula.
  • Showcase student research publicly.
  • Create cutting-edge facilities to promote learning and research.

Challenges & Opportunities:

  • Advancing the faculty-intensive work of undergraduate research and experiential learning during a time of diminished faculty resources
  • Maintaining the needed infrastructure for research, service learning, and other experiential forms of education (e.g., transportation, summer funding, research leaves, and grants).
  • Identifying meaningful community engagement opportunities in a small town and rural setting.

Objective 3: Engage students with substantive co-curricular and internship opportunities that augment their learning and establish a strong foundation for lifelong success, growth, and adaptability.

Metric 6: 75% of Miami students will complete an internship before they graduate.

Strategies:

  • Create a database or tracking mechanism for internships.
  • Provide incentives for students to complete internships, such as creating a zero-credit course option for internships, awarding liberal education credit or (where appropriate) credit for internships in the major, and developing internship-oriented minors.
  • Expand networking opportunities with government and private, public, and not-for-profit businesses.
  • Improve partnerships among Career Services, Alumni Affairs, Institutional Relations, and academic departments to increase internship opportunities.
  • Leverage “in house” internships in Miami offices, programs, libraries, museums, departments, and other units.
  • Increase funding to support unpaid internships.

Challenges & Opportunities:

  • Collecting data from disparate and unique internship experiences and assessing their impact
  • Garnering financial and staff support needed to help students find and make the most of their internship experiences.
  • Assisting faculty in disciplines that do not typically promote internships identify meaningful internships and support students in their placements and experiences.

Metric 7: 95% of Miami students will have two or more co-curricular experiences before they graduate.

Strategies:

  • Create a set of best practices for honor societies and academic clubs, and provide support and incentives for departments and programs to develop or expand meaningful co-curricular activities.
  • Develop a model fraternity and sorority community focused on membership development, innovative programming, recruitment and retention, and chapter success.
  • Analyze current opportunities and use findings to improve participation rates in events, lectures, and other programs and ensure that adequate co-curricular opportunities exist for diverse populations of students. Reallocate resources to promote opportunities that promote deep learning.
  • Create a University co-curricular calendar to coordinate scheduling, promote collaboration among units, and reduce redundancies. 
  • Provide incentives for teaching-oriented faculty to advise student organizations.

Challenges & Opportunities:

  • Enhancing communication and partnerships among departments, offices, and programs in Student Affairs and Academic Affairs
  • Recruiting and training faculty and staff volunteers (during a period of high expectations and many initiatives) to serve as advisers to student organizations.

Objective 4: Offer flexible pathways to and through the University, including interdisciplinary, e-learning, and multiple degree options, to help students achieve timely and cost-effective completion.

Metric 8: 20% of our students will graduate with multiple degrees, majors, or co-majors, and 5% will graduate with a combination bachelor and master's degree.

Strategies:

  • Streamline and revise curricular requirements and offerings in liberal education and the majors to enhance greater flexibility.
  • Increase the number of co-majors and combination bachelor’s-master’s programs.
  • Expand target recruitment and marketing efforts for combination bachelor’s-master’s degree programs.
  • Develop articulation agreements for dual bachelor’s-master’s degrees with appropriate universities and colleges.
  • Explore the possibility of conditional admission of high-ability high school students into dual bachelor’s-master’s degree programs.

Challenges & Opportunities:

  • Promoting double majors and master’s degrees among students pursuing majors that have highly structured and heavy curricular requirements or among non-traditional working students on the regional campuses
  • Examining the viability of small graduate programs.

Metric 9: 60% of degree programs can be completed in three years or less through curriculum revision and by using different pedagogical approaches and modes of delivery.

Strategies:

  • Create a set of guidelines for three-year degree programs, and identify appropriate programs that can be completed reasonably in three years.
  • Simplify curricular requirements, and eliminate required courses that are infrequently offered to enhance time to degree.

Challenges & Opportunities:

  • Offering additional three-year degree programs while maintaining Miami's high quality academic experience.

Metric 10: Increase the online and hybrid credit hours to 10% of the total credit hours.

Strategies:

  • Develop new online or hybrid certificate programs.
  • Identify the most commonly transferred courses, and develop similar online courses at Miami to capture lost credit hours.
  • Develop a curricular plan for progressing targeted courses from a traditional to a hybrid or online format.
  • Increase appropriate online course offerings that span the Oxford and regional campuses.
  • Develop and increase faculty development opportunities in e-learning.

Challenges & Opportunities:

  • Providing the instructional design support, information technology services and hardware, and faculty development to meet this metric
  • Securing students for online programs given Miami’s comparatively high tuition cost and reputation for residential learning.