Annual Address

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Gregory P. Crawford
October 23, 2019

Celebrating the Past Year, Transforming for a Bright Future

Thank you, Jaylen, for the kind introduction. I am grateful for your leadership and service to Miami University. It has been a privilege to work with you and your Associated Student Government team.

Welcome, esteemed faculty, dedicated staff, exceptional students, extraordinary loyal alumni, and valued stakeholders and partners, to our Miami 2019 State of the University address. It is great to have you with us, here or in cyberspace.

After 3 years on the job, Renate and I feel so fortunate to be part of this incredible institution, full of passionate and committed students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

It has been another outstanding year for Miami University. We have advanced our mission and purpose in powerful ways, accelerated by a bold strategic plan created by our community. We also made significant and targeted investments in the academy.

In this dynamic world full of uncertainties, I am certain of one thing – I have never seen any other university so committed to the student experience. We stand here on the most beautiful campus that ever there was, but the real beauty and distinctiveness of this place is its people. Each day I see tangible examples of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni living out Love and Honor through their studies, teaching, scholarship, work, and outreach.

Before I discuss our future, let me start with a celebration of this past year. Thank you to all community members who have shaped and transformed Miami University. These individu­­­als live our core values, embrace our mission, elevate our ­­­purpose, and uplift our community. Here are a few examples.

We had another year of strong research results – the second year in a row above $24 million in sponsored research. For example, Chemistry Professor Ellen Yezierski received a $1.9M National Science Foundation grant to help high school chemistry teachers elevate their teaching methods.

Our faculty placed their scholarship with some of the most prestigious publishing houses in the world, such as Johns Hopkins University Press, Yale University Press, and the University of Pennsylvania Press.  Several prestigious publications covered the scholarship of Classics Professor Steve Tuck to discover where survivors settled who fled Mt. Vesuvius in Pompeii.  Our students also publish – Creative writing, Classical Humanities, and Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies 2019 graduate, Hannah Clarke, published “Scapegracers” and two sequels.

Chemical, Paper and Bioengineering Professor Andrew Jones and his lab have discovered a rapid way to produce the psychedelic drug found in mushrooms that shows great promise for treating depression and addiction. Junior Lexie Adams was lead author on a peer-reviewed publication in the journal   Metabolic Engineering.

We named the John W. Altman Institute for Entrepreneurship through the generosity of our esteemed alum and Board of Trustees emeritus. Director Tim Holcomb led the Institute to its highest national ranking ever – 7th among public institutions. More than 4,200 students from nearly 100 majors took an entrepreneurship course. Two recent alums and winners of our campus competitions, Christie Currie and Kamilah Dotson, AND seniors Laura Mena and Andy Newman, were named top entrepreneurs under age 25 in Cincinnati.

Dr. Valerie Robinson, assistant dean for graduate admissions, co-taught a Truth and Reconciliation Project graduate seminar with Family Science and Social Work Professor Anthony James that focused on memorializing lynchings in the 1800’s, including two in Oxford. Funded by our Office of Research and Scholarship, they and their students presented their work at the 2019 Civil Rights Conference.

This was a big year for our Men’s Glee Club and its leader. Generous alums Lee and Rose Mary Fisher created the endowed Fisher-Holoviak Director of the Glee Club, to be held by Professor of Music Jeremy Jones. We also celebrated as Miami’s Glee Club traveled to Rome and performed at the Vatican.

Miami Regionals launched an exciting program led by the commitment of Dr. Pete Haverkos, Senior Assistant Dean of Student and Academic Success; Mr. Randi Thomas, Director of Institutional Relations; and Butler County State Senator Bill Coley. Students in any major in the Work Plus program are employed part-time by a local company, earn a salary, and the employer pays their tuition. It’s a debt-free, experiential learning education. Thank you to our partners – Deceuninck North America, The Fischer Group, Butler County Regional Transit Authority, and Thysssenkrupp Bilstein of America. Thank you to the City of Hamilton leadership for your incredible support of our Work Plus efforts.

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