Strategic Plan Priorities

The Steering Committee will deploy sub-committees to engage each of the following themes, developing a concise set of priorities related to each area, and explicitly connecting to the overarching tenets that anchor our University mission.

Academic Excellence

The number one reason students choose a particular university is academics. Miami’s reputation is founded on engaged learning, strong interactions with faculty, and an excellent liberal arts program for all students regardless of major. Two of Miami’s hallmarks are its teacher-scholar model and the outstanding personal and professional success of its graduates. As the workforce becomes more globalized and fluid, Miami will also need to promote advanced education (beyond the bachelor’s degree), post-graduate credentials, and cutting-edge scholarship that addresses the world’s most pressing issues. The Academic Excellence Sub-Committee should focus on the following guiding questions: 

How do we ensure the appropriate mixture of high-quality academic programs and courses that leverage faculty talents effectively, while meeting the needs of diverse students, the region, the state, the nation, and an increasingly globalized and dynamic world? How do we use our academic resources wisely? In addition to a strong, focused curriculum, how do we offer more inter- and trans-disciplinary programs and research? How do we advance the appropriate mixture of high-quality graduate and certificate programs and other credentials to meet the dynamic needs of the region, state, nation, and world? 

[Please note: Three important areas have already been identified as part of Boldly Creative: (1) health; (2) data and analytics; and (3) entrepreneurship and innovation. What additional areas of emerging and broad interest and relevance should be developed?]

The charge of the sub-committee is to examine gaps in our current offerings and recommend a process to evaluate and modify our curriculum, and in some cases reallocate resources, given the dynamic environment that we live and work in today. The committee is charged with developing a design to support academic innovation, including the optimal divisional and departmental structure to ensure that Miami’s high-quality academic programs excel in the future. As part of this effort, the subcommittee should also pursue strategies for offering a successful slate of graduate, certificate, and other post-baccalaureate programs, and strategies for expanding our research opportunities for graduate students, and undergraduates.

Excellence in Research and Scholarship

Linked to the success of our academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels is research and scholarship, including receiving externally funded research support. Miami has developed an excellent reputation for our teaching and is well-known for our research in an array of fields. However, our support from external funding sources is lower than most state universities in Ohio. With this as the context, the questions for the Excellence in Research and Scholarship Sub-Committee are:

How can we strengthen research and scholarship at Miami without detracting from our academic excellence in the classroom? How can we build on Boldly Creative ideas and the new campaign to enhance our research profile? Working with the academic excellence sub-committee, should departments or divisions be organized in a different way to build better synergy for the research goals of Miami? What building or infrastructure changes are required to enhance research? Should Miami adopt a research faculty model?

The charge of the subcommittee is to address how Miami can enhance its research and scholarship and increase external funding, while at the same time supporting its excellent academic efforts. As a University with a strong emphasis on the undergraduate experience, is an increased research profile feasible; and if so, how can it be achieved? The committee should develop a specific set of recommendations and corresponding metrics to address this topic. Information from the National University sub-committee should be incorporated into the work of this group

Transformational Student Experience to Integrate Life and Learning

Miami has achieved national acclaim for cultivating student success. As our study body diversifies and the world becomes more complex, it is imperative that we continue to institute best practices for student success. The Transformational Student Experience Sub-Committee should explore the following guiding question:

How can Miami promote a transformational student experience that leads to a sense of belonging and successful academic achievement?

The charge of the subcommittee is to critically examine the approaches now used to integrate life and learning at Miami. How can we assure that the strength of the residential campus is leveraged as the University continues to experience change?

Do we have the right model for integrating academics and life outside the classroom? Is the coordination between academic advising and residence life advising structured in a way that accelerates student success personally and professionally? Are non-residential (Oxford) and regional campus students getting sufficient developmental support?

Diversity and Inclusion

Miami University must establish and sustain the values of Love and Honor by welcoming faculty, students, and staff of diverse backgrounds and ensuring their holistic development and success. The Diversity and Inclusion Sub-Committee should consider this guiding question:

How does Miami cultivate and sustain a learning and working environment that provides fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all of its members?

The charge of the subcommittee is to develop recommendations about how to continue our improvements in attracting, retaining, and supporting a diversity of people at all levels of the Miami community – students, faculty, and staff. The subcommittee will work with the Academic Excellence sub-committee, the Research and Scholarship sub-committee and the Transformational Student Experience to Integrate Life and Learning sub-committee to ensure diversity and inclusion are reflected in their strategic recommendations. This sub-committee should also integrate the work of the Climate Survey Task Force into the strategic plan.

Financial Sustainability

To address the unprecedented fluctuations in our volatile and uncertain economic environment, Miami University must continue to design proactive, market-appropriate academic and financial blueprints that empower the university to plan strategically, allocate its resources wisely, invest wisely, comply with increasing government regulations, and mitigate risks. The Financial Sustainability Sub-Committee should address the following guiding question:

How do we enhance our organizational stewardship (processes and structures that manage, allocate, and monitor resources) to advance Miami’s academic priorities and mission?

The charge of the sub-committee is to recommend the best financial model for Miami to ensure strength in support of our University mission. As part of this effort, the sub-committee will assess the strengths and weaknesses of the current Responsibility Centered Management model (RCM).

A National University

Miami’s commitment to undergraduate education with a strong focus and unwavering belief in the value of the liberal arts and our commitment to strong and selective graduate programs position us well to be recognized as a national university. The National University Sub-Committee will consider the important attributes of a national university and will focus on the following guiding questions:

What are the attributes of a National University? Which of these attributes does Miami already have and which must we acquire to achieve an even more prominent status as a National University?

The charge of the sub-committee will be to identify the benchmarks of a National University, to assess where Miami stands relative to those markers, and to provide input to the other sub-committees about how Miami can achieve those standards. Should Miami become a “National University,” and would such a shift require a change in mission?

We undertake this strategic planning process from a position of strength and confidence, unlike the crisis management required of some institutions in these challenging times. Our 209-year foundation of teaching, research, service, and values has earned us status as an Original Public Ivy and renown for undergraduate teaching excellence, premier graduate programs, and unsurpassed residential campus experience. Our successful student-centric model and the bold imagination that we bring to the development of an innovative strategic plan will position Miami University to help redefine higher education.

To seize this opportunity, we must dedicate ourselves to the hard work of appraising, planning, promoting, and implementing the changes that will help us thrive in a competitive, fast-moving, and innovation-demanding environment. The responsibilities of this commitment in the next two years are not in conflict with the daily job of fulfilling our educational mission; they are necessary to assure that we continue to flourish long into the future.