Annual Address 2012
David C. Hodge
September 6, 2012
The second goal is to "Ensure Excellence in Graduate Education." We began this effort with our first ever comprehensive review of all graduate programs. As a result of the review, we eliminated some programs and reallocated budgets to provide better support for those programs that were viewed as of high quality and central to our offerings.
We also added new graduate programs that reflect higher levels of collaboration:
- Interdisciplinary PhD programs in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology and Molecular and Structural Biology.
- A joint international masters in demography and social gerontology with Mahidol University in Thailand.
- A new joint MA in Social Work with Wright State University.
We implemented a Certificate in College Education to better prepare our graduate students for college teaching, and we created an annual Graduate Research Forum to facilitate dissemination of graduate scholarship.
Finally, we approved changes to MUPIM to encourage and facilitate an expansion of 4+1 programs, giving our undergraduate students a much better pathway to a seamless progression to a graduate degree. This fall we have 20 programs in place that are offering this option.
The third goal is to "Raise the Level of Scholarly Accomplishments." Our primary objective here is to strengthen the central role that research, inquiry, and creativity play in defining the Miami experience for faculty, staff, and students. It transcends specific research projects, infusing the habits of mind of research into all aspects of our campuses.
In addition to developing the "habits of mind" through curriculum reform in the Top 25 Project, several other programs have been developed specifically to enhance the research experience of students:
- The First Year Research Experience pairs incoming first year students with a faculty mentor and a research project.
- The Undergraduate Research Forum has grown from 520 to 650 participants.
- The number of students engaged in undergraduate research with a faculty or staff member has grown from 1,456 to 1,870 (our goal is to get to 2,400).
We have also taken a number of other steps to focus, strengthen, and increase recognition for research on our campuses:
- Nominated six Ohio Centers of Excellence with three approved: the Center for Structural Biology and Metabonomics, Scripps Gerontology Center, and the Institute for Entrepreneurship.
- Re-invigorated the "RedHawk Cluster" that offers high-end research computing support for our campuses. One of the strengths of Miami is the sharing and leveraging of research equipment. This reduces our costs and increases the opportunity for cross-fertilization of ideas.
- Added a staff position to support the commercialization of Miami research. We began with a shared position with Wright State University and found it to be so valuable that we increased it to a full-time position.
The funded research environment has been affected by both the economic downturn and increased competition. While we have maintained our total funded research dollars at around $25 million, we have not advanced towards our goal of $35 million.
The fourth goal is to "Maximize Miami's Contributions to Regional, State, National, and Global Communities." As a public university, Miami bears a special responsibility to the citizens of our region and state and a broad responsibility to contribute to the future prosperity of our national and global communities. We discharge this responsibility partially through the opportunities we provide our students and in turn, the contributions our students make to the region:
- The Miami Access Initiative exceeded its target of 700 in fall 2011. This program provides access and opportunity to students coming to Miami from families with limited financial resources.
- We have grown the number of out-of-state students from 30 percent to 39 percent of this year's incoming class, adding to the national reputation of Miami and to the local and state economy. A recent newspaper article pointed out that the approximately 1,000 international students on campus this fall contribute at least $31 million to Butler County while broadening our international ties and perspective.