Annual Address

1

2

3

[4]

5

6

Gregory P. Crawford
October 23, 2019

In July, we implemented an agility-focused budget and resource distribution model, aimed at five years but constantly reviewed. The plan reduces spending, capitalizes on efficiencies and productivity, and redirects those resources to our top priorities: faculty, staff, and students.

This budget model is not only about money. It is not replacing our RCM budget model. Rather, it will direct our resources to accomplish top priorities, enhance our mission, and fulfill our purpose. Aligning our budget with our priorities is vital in an environment where bold investments in new or evolving academic disciplines must happen more frequently. We must either keep pace with changes driven by the digital revolution or risk losing our relevance. Our units must continuously discern what is working and what is not.

What is becoming obsolete and what is emerging. Our resource limits are real. We cannot do everything, but we can be premier in areas critical to our mission. It will not always be easy, but this rapid response to new opportunities will keep us ahead of our competition and at the forefront of national conversations.

As we press forward with agile budgeting, we will undertake two major reviews. The strategic plan calls us to review our programs. The Provost Office will lead this initiative in the coming year. Also, I have charged our Chief Financial Officer to scrutinize campus operations. We must find new ways of operating, including considering centralized versus non-centralized operations, and leveraging technology to perform day-to-day tasks.

While we pursue prudent budgeting strategies, we must also grow our resources to advance our mission. This combination of creating efficiencies, reallocation of resources, investing in new academic areas and improving revenue will create powerful momentum launching us on the path toward the future.

To achieve that, we are making change-focused investments – large enough new investments to make us world-class in select fields. We are redirecting resources to build on and sustain a $50M Boldly Creative investment fund that is already supporting new initiatives in health, data and analytics, and automation and robotics.

Smaller seed investments have been made in a new plus-one master’s program in business management for graduates without a formal business education, e-sports curriculum, certificate programs for continuous learning, and cybersecurity.

We mean to make this fund a permanent feature of Miami, supporting great initiatives and big ideas that advance the university’s academic mission. Our faculty generate the ideas that bolster areas of strength or move us in new directions, generate interest and therefore new resources, and are sustainable in the long term.

We have expanded our focus on innovation, meaning value creation. This new pull-focused approach is very different from the conventional technology transfer model.

Rather than only pushing out university-based ideas to others to develop, co-develop, or license, our forward-looking approach also pulls in ideas from outside the University. We will utilize our robust intellectual infrastructure, creativity, and value creation ecosystem to leverage ideas from partners to create societal benefit. Our partners already include area industries and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. These collaborations will provide both enhanced opportunities for our students and faculty and possible new resources for growth and re-investment.

These are a few ways Miami is poised for dynamic change. We will elevate our strengths through strategic funding, eliminate resource demands that are not future-focused or mission critical, partner to enrich the pool of ideas, and move into the future with a powerful competitive edge.

SECOND New strategic plan

Last year, Julia Guichard, Professor and Chair of Theater, and Bob Applebaum, Professor of Sociology and Gerontology, co-chaired the Strategic Planning Committee – 12 members on the steering committee, 74 on six subcommittees. Let us thank these colleagues for their incredible work.

This diverse team engaged campus through listening sessions, meetings, and a website that engaged more than 600 faculty, staff, students, and community members.

They called the plan by the Myaamia word aanceelintaakani (ON-J-LIN-Dog-Konnie) that means “an instrument used to change how one thinks.” The committee presented the plan to campus in May 2019 and to the Board of Trustees at its June meeting, where it was enthusiastically accepted. The plan is tactical, forward looking, and aspirational – a vision for our future AND challenge to us to change, create, and respond, while being agile, prudent, and smart with our resources.

1

2

3

[4]

5

6