News Release

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Joe Urell receives Miami's first Distinguished Service Award


The first Miami University Distinguished Service Award has been presented to Joseph Urell, associate provost emeritus, who retired June 30 after 35 years with the university.

The award, the most significant recognition that Miami has to offer for service to the university, was created by University Senate this year.

Urell spent 13 years in the College of Arts and Science as assistant to the dean, assistant dean, associate dean and acting dean. During the next 21 years, he served as associate provost, senior associate provost, vice provost and associate vice president for academic affairs, and twice as acting provost.

“Joe always provided me and all of his university colleagues with wise counsel and stood out as a model of integrity and humility,” said President Jim Garland in presenting the award during Miami’s fall commencement ceremony, Dec. 16.

Valued for his tact and intellect, Urell was often charged with sensitive or difficult tasks. He chaired the committee that developed a plan for implementing health care cost-sharing by all employees. As acting provost, he saw the university through a time of severe budget constraints. He also was the driving force behind getting new promotion and tenure guidelines passed and codified to more accurately reflect expectations.

“The university owes Joe a huge thank you and today we express our appreciation by making him the first recipient of this Miami University Distinguished Service Award,” Garland said.


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