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

Annual Address 2011

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David C. Hodge
September 29, 2011

A Culture of Entrepreneurial Spirit


Good afternoon. Last spring, Indra Nooyi, our commencement speaker, advised students to follow their passions, to strive to do well in everything they do, and to be optimistic in their view of the future, noting that while "optimism is not a life's plan … it is a great tailwind at your back." That is great advice for our graduates, and it is great advice for all of us at Miami. I am honored to have the opportunity today to build on that advice by sharing with you some thoughts on our deep passion for our mission, our relentless commitment to excellence, the very substantial progress we have accomplished in meeting the challenges posed by the recession, and the confident path we are on toward future success. Most importantly, I would like to reflect at some depth on the evolving entrepreneurial culture at Miami.

Before I turn specifically to those themes, I would like to take a moment to focus on an extraordinary area of achievement and importance to Miami. In August, I had the great pleasure of declaring this "The Year of the Arts at Miami University." This declaration highlights the arts as a vital part of a liberal education. It gives us the opportunity to highlight the great talent of our faculty, staff, and students; to extend Miami's reach into the surrounding communities, including the rich arts environment in Cincinnati; and to reflect on what the arts bring to our lives, from the appreciation of the aesthetic to a deeper understanding of what it means to be human. Of course, above all, the arts are to be experienced. Thus, it is with great pleasure that I ask Max Jansen to come forth and share just a moment of artistic inspiration. Max will sing a selection from this year’s opera, "Pirates of Penzance."

Max is a first-year voice major who won the Schmidt Voice Competition last May right here in Hall Auditorium. The competition offers high school singers from throughout the region the opportunity to showcase their amazing talent. All of this is made possible by the wonderful support of Bill and Casiana Schmidt, whose love of music and of students inspires the participants and all of us fortunate enough to listen to their beautiful voices, as I did. Thus it is with great personal pleasure that I introduce Max Jansen who is accompanied today by Brad Caldwell, coach and accompanist in the Department of Music.

I encourage everyone to be even more active in enjoying all of the arts this year. They play a special role on and off campus and in our personal lives. Celebrate, enjoy, and support the arts. They are indeed an essential part of our university and our lives.

Charting a Strategic Path

Last year at this time, the Oxford campus was involved in a series of public forums exploring the draft recommendations of the Strategic Priorities Task Force (SPTF). Those discussions led to revisions and a final report that was submitted in October. In December, I presented to the Board of Trustees a complete assessment of all recommendations and work plans for advancing them. Since then, much progress has been made, and we have already benefited greatly from that progress. As a result of cost savings from increased efficiencies, for example, we were able to provide raises in July, and future efforts in cost savings are directed to continuing to provide the resources to invest in our highest priorities, most especially the faculty and staff who make Miami extraordinary. We have successfully recruited one of our best classes ever at the Oxford campus, reduced our energy use and carbon footprint, developed next steps for improving retention and graduation rates and interdisciplinary activity, and we have launched Niihka, our new collaboration and learning environment, to name just a few of the many substantial steps forward.

It is natural to focus on the specific recommendations as discrete actions that we need to undertake. While these individual actions are each important, the SPTF Report encourages us to consider the collective impact of these recommendations in shaping a more forward-looking culture. They note:

....the long-term success of the institution will require more than the “simple” implementation of the proposed changes. More important will be to build a culture that is more externally focused, one that is aware of and attentive to how we are perceived by our external stakeholders. The recommendations…are offered in the spirit of forging a new culture at Miami, one in which we continue to pursue excellence in undergraduate education while being careful stewards of our institution’s resources.

This viewpoint draws from the recognition that the environment in which we operate is changing rapidly and dramatically. For Miami to advance, we need both the understanding of those changes, and the vision to move forward. The charge to the SPTF was to build a stable, sustainable budget and more importantly, to create a sustainable budget that will result in an even stronger, more nationally prominent university.

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Locations
Luxembourg
West Chester
Middletown
Hamilton
Oxford
  • Luxembourg
    Luxembourg

    John E. Dolibois European Center, Luxembourg

    One of Miami's oldest continuous study abroad programs, the Miami University John E. Dolibois Center (MUDEC) in Luxembourg offers students the opportunity to enroll in Miami classes taught by European-based and Ohio-based Miami faculty. Students enjoy a unique combination of first-class academics, engagement in the local community, and various faculty-guided and independent travel opportunities.

    Contact and emergency information for the Luxembourg Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    Château de Differdange
    1, Impasse du Château
    L-4524 Differdange
    Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
    luxembourg@MiamiOH.edu
    MiamiOH.edu/luxembourg

    217-222 MacMillan Hall
    531 E. Spring Street
    Oxford, Ohio 45056, USA

    Directions

    Main Operator: 011-352-582222-1
    Oxford-based Coordinator: 513-529-5050
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • West Chester
    West Chester

    Voice of America Learning Center

    Located midway between Cincinnati and Dayton along I-75, the Voice of America Learning Center (VOALC) offers undergraduate and graduate courses and programs drawn from Miami's Regional and Oxford campuses. Home to Miami's MBA program, the Learning Center provides ready access to graduate programs for area educators and courses leading to the BIS degree for undergraduates.

    Contact and emergency information for the Voice of America Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    7847 VOA Park Dr.
    (Corner of VOA Park Dr. and Cox Rd.)
    West Chester, OH 45069
     
    voalc@MiamiOH.edu
    MiamiOH.edu/voalc

    Printable Floor Plan
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-895-8862
    (From Middletown) 513-217-8862
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Middletown
    Middletown

    Middletown Regional Campus

    Nestled on 141 acres near I-75, Miami University Middletown offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Nearby Greentree Health Science Academy immerses Miami's nursing and health information technology students in the health care experience while taking classes.

    Contact and emergency information for the Middletown Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

     4200 N. University Blvd.
    Middletown, OH 45042
    regionalwebmaster@MiamiOH.edu
    regionals.MiamiOH.edu

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-727-3200
    (Toll-free) 1-86-MIAMI-MID
    Office of Admission: 513-727-3216
    Campus Status Line: 513-727-3477
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Hamilton
    Hamilton

    Hamilton Regional Campus

    A compact, friendly, commuter campus, Miami Hamilton offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Small class sizes, on-site child care, and flexible scheduling make Miami Hamilton attractive to students at all stages of life and career.

    Contact and emergency information for the Hamilton Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    1601 University Blvd.
    Hamilton, OH 45011
    regionalwebmaster@MiamiOH.edu
    regionals.MiamiOH.edu

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-785-3000
    Office of Admission: 513-785-3111
    Campus Status Line: 513-785-3077
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Oxford
    Oxford

    Miami University, Oxford Ohio

    Nationally recognized as one of the most outstanding undergraduate institutions, Miami University is a public university located in Oxford, Ohio. With a student body of 16,000, Miami effectively combines a wide range of strong academic programs with faculty who love to teach and the personal attention ordinarily found only at much smaller institutions.

    Contact and emergency information for the Oxford Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    501 E. High St.
    Oxford, OH 45056

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-529-1809
    Office of Admission: 513-529-2531
    Vine Hotline: 513-529-6400
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency