Current Academic Affairs Initiatives

 Professor Lori Isaacson assists students in her medical research lab
Art Professor Hatch works with student on a project
 FSB's Professor Ellram converses with student in her class
Regional campus faculty and staff talk after conference
Mechnical Engineering professor works with student in summers scholar program
Professor Noltemeyer talks to students in her Educational Psychology classroom

 

Accessibility

The Office of the Provost, in collaboration with Student Disability Services and IT Services provides information, training, and support for faculty and academic advisors to enable students with disabilities find their place at Miami, engage with the community, and succeed and reach academic and personal success. All faculty and staff in Academic Affairs are expected to complete an online accessibility training module. University websites also must be made compliant with accessibility standards. 

Accreditation Reviews

In summer 2019, the University will submit its Assurance Argument for an online review by reviewers from the Higher Learning Commission.  The Assurance Argument consists of multiple narratives that describe how well the University is meeting the criteria for accreditation.  Miami’s next comprehensive review will occur in 2025.

Affordable and Open Educational Resources

Led by the University Affordable and Open Educational Resources Committee which includes the associate provost, librarians as well as faculty representatives from each academic division, Miami is taking active steps to promote the use of affordable and open educational resources. Support programs and resources have been created to assist faculty in exploring, adopting or creating OERs and other affordable learning materials for their courses. Beginning in spring 2020, Miami will pilot the Unizin Engage platform which will deliver e-textbooks to students via the Canvas Learning Management System at a substantial cost savings.

Assessment of the Global Miami Plan

As part of the accreditation requirements of the Higher Learning Commission, the Office of Liberal Education will be launching its plan for direct assessment of the signature learning outcomes related to the Global Miami Plan: critical thinking and writing.  These outcomes will be assessed via a major written assignment or project in all capstone courses.  All capstone instructors must:

  1. Identify one assignment in the course that involves critical thinking and writing;
  2. Load the assignment prompt and three samples of students’ work for that assignment into a Google Drive folder.

The Office of Liberal Education will send instructions to capstone instructors each semester..

Boldly Creative - Strategic Academic Enrichment Initiative 

On December 8, 2017, the Miami Board of Trustees passed a resolution directing the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Services to “establish a Strategic Initiatives Fund of at least $50 million from the carry forward and reserves of the University for the purpose of funding new academic program initiatives as determined by the Provost and President.” The Boldly Creative Strategic Academic Enrichment Initiative will focus on funding promising academic programs and research projects that meet the following criteria:

  • Advance knowledge in the professional fields considered most in-demand throughout Ohio, the region and the nation.
  • Prepare students with the versatile skills and mindset to meet the needs of a demanding and dynamic workforce, with an emphasis on disciplinary diversity.
  • Advance Miami’s reputation for excellence and innovation in broad, transdisciplinary areas of research and pedagogy.
  • Develop/enhance partnerships from the government, non-profit, corporate, higher education and/or health care sectors to enhance programming and learning outcomes.
  • Demonstrate a long-term sustainability plan that generates net new revenue by increasing enrollment beyond the residential capacity of the Oxford campus or from external sources. This may include programming that offers professional credentials, develops increased e-learning offerings that will attract students beyond Oxford’s residential population, and/or supports growth on Regional Campuses.

Groups of faculty submit proposals that are aligned with the criteria. Deans collectively review and evaluate these proposals, and make recommendations to the Provost who consults with the President before awarding funding. The first round of proposals has been completed.  Funded projects include new robotics engineering programs, an expanded nursing and new physician assistant program, e-sports and data analytics programs.

Diversity and Inclusion

In the spring of 2018, Miami received the report on the campus climate assessment conducted by Rankin & Associates Consulting.  The goal of this project was to evaluate the experience of the current campus climate by all members of our community; identify successful diversity and inclusion initiatives, reveal challenges facing members of our community, and recommend strategies to address the challenges and build on successes. Additionally, a presidential task force, led by Dr. Rodney Coates, was appointed and developed a preliminary report which included suggested recommendations for fostering a more welcoming and inclusive learning, working and living environment at Miami University.  This year, Miami community members will be invited to review and offer input on the recommendations of both reports. 

 

Guaranteed Transfer to Degree Pathways

As part of our obligations to the Ohio Department of Higher Education, Miami is participating in the development of statewide guaranteed transfer pathways from two-year to four-year degree programs in an equivalent field. These pathways are being created by statewide faculty panel members which include representatives from Miami University. Transfer pathways are being developed in clusters with associated specific majors within each cluster. Cluster areas include: Business; Social and Behavioral Sciences and Human Services; Education; Arts, Humanities, Communication, History, and Design; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics; Public Safety; Health Sciences; and Industry/Manufacturing and Construction. Approximately 50 major specific pathways will fall under the eight clusters. See ODHE website for more information.

 

Strategic Planning

Miami embarked in 2019 on a comprehensive strategic planning process.  The strategic planning committee has developed a set of 30 preliminary recommendations which focus on the following priorities: academic excellence, excellence in research, transformational student experience, diversity and inclusion, financial sustainability and a national university.  Recommendations range from developing an honors college to advancing cross-disciplinary learning and research opportunities, conducting a comprehensive review of undergraduate and graduate programs, enhancing the Global Miami Plan, and improving town-gown relations. The 2019-2020 academic year will be dedicated to developing implementation plans for the initial recommendations. 

Strong Start to Finish Initiative

Miami is participating in a new initiative, called “Strong Start to Finish,” which is supported by the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Education Commission of the States.  The goal of this initiative is to advance college completion among entering Miami students who are academically underprepared for college. 

Research shows that only 35% of students who enroll in developmental or remedial education courses graduate from college within six years.  These success rates, however, dramatically improve when students are provided:

  1. Co-requisite support courses or programming for gateway math and English courses
  2. Clear term-by term schedules or degree maps
  3. Accurate placement assessment
  4. Academic advising with encouragement to enroll in at least 30 credits during their first academic year.

A group of Miami faculty and staff experts in teaching math and writing courses and advising students will collaboratively develop a plan for implementing these four elements.