A new health science building will increase cross-disciplinary collaboration and sustain Miami’s cutting-edge academic excellence — President Gregory Crawford.
A new health science building will increase cross-disciplinary collaboration and sustain Miami’s cutting-edge academic excellence — President Gregory Crawford.
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Miami University takes first step toward new health science building

New building to fill demand for health care jobs

By Cliff Peale, university news and communications

Miami University's board of trustees took the first step toward a new health science building on the Oxford campus, authorizing a contract for planning and design.

At its Sept. 20 regular business meeting, the board unanimously authorized Miami’s administration to sign contracts of up to $4.5 million for preconstruction services for the new building. This follows the work completed last year on the cost, feasibility and early site selection for the project.

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Miami expanded its successful nursing program to Oxford from regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown.

President Gregory Crawford said the building is needed to fill demand for health care jobs and align with planning for new academic programs. It would be Miami’s first new academic building since the Farmer School of Business opened in fall 2009.

“Preparing students for growing careers helps expand the Ohio economy,” President Crawford said. “A new health science building will increase cross-disciplinary collaboration and sustain Miami’s cutting-edge academic excellence.”

Health care programs are growing at Miami. Last year, Miami expanded its successful nursing program to Oxford from regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown, and the program has grown to 80 students this fall. Miami also has plans for a physician assistant program to start in 2022.

A new academic building located on the Oxford campus close to the existing health services center will promote collaboration with existing health programs including kinesiology and health and speech pathology and audiology. Miami said construction of a 170,000-square-foot building would cost up to $96 million and be completed by summer 2022. Funding sources would include state capital funds, sponsorship or naming opportunities, existing budgets and newly issued bonds.

First round of Boldly Creative projects underway

Provost Jason Osborne updated the board on Boldly Creative, Miami’s $50 million academic development fund. The first round of projects funded in 2018-2019 included data analytics, health care, robotics and automation, micro-credentials and certificates, a master’s program in business management, and feasibility studies for expanded cybersecurity and esports curriculum.

Funding for those projects will ramp up in the current academic year. Faculty proposals for the second round of projects are due later in the fall semester. Osborne also updated trustees on the launch this fall of Miami’s new strategic plan, called MiamiRISE.

President Crawford and David Creamer, senior vice president of finance and business services, provided a budget update on Miami’s progress against a long-term budget plan adopted in February 2019.

Miami welcomed its largest first-year class this fall, maintaining academic quality and attracting the largest-ever group of students of color. However, applications from international students declined for the fall 2019 class, and the trend appears likely to continue.

In other action, the Board of Trustees:

  • Approved compensation for President Crawford and University Ambassador Renate Crawford.
  • Appointed Mark Sullivan (Miami ’81) as a national trustee for a three-year term ending in September 2022. Sullivan started his career on Wall Street with Citigroup in 1981. He ran equity derivatives at D.E. Shaw from 1997-1999 and retired in 2009 from KBC Financial Products. He has served on the board of directors for the Miami University Foundation for the past 11 years.
  • Named four retired faculty members as professor emerita, one staff member as administrator emerita and two as administrator emeritus.
  • Approved the separation of the dean of the graduate school and vice provost for research and scholarship into two positions. The second position will be renamed vice president of research and innovation.
  • Approved the naming of the Lynn and Tim Pistell Greenhouse in Pearson Hall on the Oxford campus.
  • Received a report from Tom Herbert, senior vice president of university advancement, on the progress of the comprehensive campaign.
  • Adopted a policy for the use of administrative fees.