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Strategic Plan and Initiatives


Miami University has initiated an ambitious and innovative project to identify opportunities to strengthen Miami to better support its teaching, research, and service missions. As we begin strategic planning in early 2024, MiamiTHRIVE will guide the university in reimagining Miami to the dynamic needs and interests of students now and in the future.

Beta Bells taken in the spring behind a lilac tree



Miami University Mission & Vision Revision

Miami's mission statement serves as our University’s guiding document.  Last updated in 2015, the mission will be undergoing a review and possible revision in 2023-2024 to ensure that it is aligned with the current culture and course of the University.  Co-led by Amy Bergerson, Dean of Undergraduate Education, and Gwen Fears, Assistant Vice President for Student Life, a task force will be formed to oversee a revised university mission (statement of what we do daily), vision (statement of who we want to be) and values statement (ideals we uphold) that will serve as the foundation for our next strategic planning efforts.

Teacher-Scholar Initiative

As higher education confronts unprecedented challenges in the post-pandemic environment, the “teacher-scholar” model is now more pertinent than ever.  Institutions of higher education need faculty and staff who are committed to communicating, expanding and integrating scholarly knowledge inside and outside of the classroom and to preparing students for confronting the prevailing problems of today’s world.  Miami University has long embraced the belief that the teacher-scholar model enriches the student experience, accelerates faculty scholarship and creative activities, and elevates the institution’s impact on society.

Spearheaded by our most accomplished and forward-thinking faculty, staff, students, partners and alumni, Miami University will embark on an ambitious initiative to reaffirm, reinvigorate, transform and promote the most integral ingredient of our academic mission: the teacher-scholar model. Led by our faculty development centers and units, we will focus on such questions as:

  • How might the Teacher Scholar Model be redefined or enhanced at Miami University to address the complex challenges of a post-pandemic higher educational landscape and to better prepare our students for lifelong and professional success in a tumultuous world?
  • What are some of the most promising, forward-thinking examples of the Teacher-Scholar Model at Miami?
  • What cutting-edge changes need to be made to our policies, procedures and infrastructure to enact and sustain this new definition & vision?
  • How can we communicate our definition, vision and progress steps to the public and achieve a greater national recognition for Miami and the new Teacher Scholar Model?

Strengthening the Humanities

One of the Provost’s priorities for the future is to strengthen the Humanities at Miami and to create innovative, sustainable solutions in the face of declining national enrollments. In the “Strengthening the Humanities at Miami” project, the Provost will work with faculty and chairs in the humanities disciplines to demonstrate the relevance of the humanities for students in other fields and also help humanities majors to become more prepared for productive careers.  In addition to emphasizing the important skills and knowledge honed by the humanities – critical thinking, clear written and oral communication, cross-cultural competence – Miami will explore new integrative and immersive experiences and programs to ensure our graduates can realize the power of humanities-based learning. 

The Provost is forming three interrelated committees to tackle this issue:

  1. Curricular innovations
  2. Tackling internal barriers and leveraging strategic enhancements
  3. Advancing career development through partnerships with alumni and career centers   

Ohio Higher Education Enhancement Act

The "Ohio Higher Education Enhancement Act" (OHEA) is a higher education bill passed by the Ohio Senate (SB83) and House (HB151) in 2023. The bill creates new policies for “intellectual diversity” and controversial concepts; bans mandatory DEI programs and training (with some exceptions); bans affinity groups and affirmative action policies; bans public positions on controversial issues; requires a three-credit US history/political science course; mandates online posting of course syllabi; establishes criteria for performance evaluations; bans striking; revises faculty workload policies; and requires disciplinary procedures for violations.

In collaboration with deans and leaders across the University and relying upon shared governance principles, the Office of the Provost is taking active steps to address all of the provisions in the OHEA.  Key implementation steps include: revising the Miami Plan to eliminate mandatory DEI requirements and to include the required new US history/political science course; developing syllabi templates and submission procedures and securing an online platform for displaying syllabi; and revising appropriate policies relating to performance reviews and workload as well as post-tenure review.

Developing the Initial Collective Bargaining Contract with Faculty Alliance of Miami (FAM)

Significant investment of time over the next year will be dedicated to negotiating the initial contract for Miami University so that it sets the stage for positive relationships that enhance the long-term success of the University and its faculty, students and staff. Such steps include: conducting an audit of critical financial and other relevant data, identifying the appropriate members of the negotiating team, gaining an understanding of the interests of the faculty bargaining team members and the labor organization itself, understanding the legal landscape, and creating a communication plan for ensuring that all stakeholders are informed of strategies and processes.

Long-Term Planning for Financial Stability

Similar to most universities across the nation, Miami University must undertake a long-term, 

collaborative analysis of our budget resulting in a comprehensive, three-year budget strategy to align expenses with revenue. Currently, our revenues are not keeping pace with expenses. Multiple factors--including rising costs of insurance and benefits, inflation, limited state funding, tuition discounting, and fierce competition for student enrollment--have contributed to a significant deficit.  While we have managed the shortfall by leveraging reserves, this stop-gap strategy does not eliminate the shortage on a recurring basis and thus is not sustainable.  We must enact budget reductions that address the problem permanently.

Tools include: stabilizing and growing enrollment where possible; careful review of support services and operations for possible reductions; continuing strategic hiring of faculty and staff; reducing, improving and reorganizing programs for greater efficiency; and continuing advocacy for state budget and donations.  The Office of the Provost will work collaboratively with academic deans and other leaders to tackle this critical project over the next three years.

Academic Program Prioritization and Evaluation Project

Using a shared governance approach, in 2021, Miami completed a comprehensive evaluation of its academic programs that included:

  1. Collecting and analyzing extensive data relating to student and employer demand, finances, and staffing for each of Miami’s degree programs/majors at the graduate and undergraduate level.
  2. Providing guidelines for departments and divisions to use in interpreting the data and developing curricular plan that respond to data findings.
  3. Creating, vetting, and approving departmental curricular plans.
  4. Assessing the overall impact and progress made in implementing the departmental curricular plans.

Aligned with recommendations nineteen and twenty of Miami’s new strategic plan, the purpose of the Initiative is to ensure that Miami provides the best portfolio of academic degree programs and majors that will serve our students, ensure the financial success and longevity of the University, and leverage human and financial resources wisely. This initiative has been led by a steering committee that includes selected faculty Senate members (one from each division), chair of Fiscal Priorities Committee, Registrar staff, students, and ex-officio members (Associate Dean from each division, Associate Provost). Currently, and through 2024, departments are implementing action plans and reporting on progress annually. 

For more information, visit the Academic Program Prioritization and Evaluation Project Page.

Boldly Creative - Strategic Academic Enrichment Initiative 

On December 8, 2017, the Miami Board of Trustees passed a resolution directing the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Services to “establish a Strategic Initiatives Fund of at least $50 million from the carry forward and reserves of the University for the purpose of funding new academic program initiatives as determined by the Provost and President.” The Boldly Creative Strategic Academic Enrichment Initiative has funded promising academic programs and other projects that meet the following criteria:

  • Advance knowledge in the professional fields considered most in demand throughout Ohio, the region, and the nation.
  • Prepare students with the versatile skills and mindset to meet the needs of a demanding and dynamic workforce, with an emphasis on disciplinary diversity.
  • Advance Miami’s reputation for excellence and innovation in broad, transdisciplinary areas of research and pedagogy.
  • Develop/enhance partnerships from the government, non-profit, corporate, higher education, and/or healthcare sectors to enhance programming and learning outcomes.
  • Demonstrate a long-term sustainability plan that generates net new revenue by increasing enrollment beyond the residential capacity of the Oxford campus or from external sources. This may include programming that offers professional credentials, develops increased e-learning offerings that will attract students beyond Oxford’s residential population, and/or supports growth on Regional Campuses.

From 2019-2021, groups of faculty and staff submitted proposals that were aligned with the criteria. Deans collectively reviewed and evaluated, and made recommendations to the Provost who, in consultation with the President, awarded funding. Funded projects include new robotics engineering programs, new and expanded nursing programs, as well as a new physician associate program, e-sports programs, data analytics programs, online graduate and professional programs, micro-credentials, clinical engineering programs, and cybersecurity programs. The fourth and final round, focused on building a more robust infrastructure to sustain University diversity and inclusion initiatives. No additional rounds of proposals are planned at this time.  

Department Planning & Improvement

In response to recommendation 23 in the MiamiRISE strategic plan, the Academic Program Review Committee (chaired by the senior associate provost) developed a new process for the review of academic departments, including its academic programs.  This process focuses on the development of strategic improvement goals, an emphasis on continuous improvement, a revision of the review team’s role to include consultation on the strategic improvement goals along with evaluation, and more robust support for departments.  Departments will begin undergoing the DPI process beginning in 2024-2025, as the APEIP process concludes.  Approximately ten departments will undergo the DPI each year.

New Miami Plan

In April 2021, University Senate approved the new general education plan called the "Miami Plan." This revision addresses recommendation 17 of Miami's strategic plan, which called for "transforming the Global Miami Plan to better prepare students for success." The new plan has three major components:

  1. Perspectives which are foundational areas that include science and society, formal reasoning and communication, arts and humanities, and global citizenship.
  2. Signature inquiries which are innovative, integrative seminars focusing on broad interdisciplinary themes.
  3. Knowledge-in-Action which includes a capstone course and experiential learning requirement. 

The plan advances four learning objectives or "pillars":

  • Civic mindedness and social engagement.
  • Collaboration and innovation.
  • Critical & integrative thinking.
  • Communication and expression.

Currently, the Office of Liberal Education is accepting proposals for courses to meet requirements of the new Miami Plan.  OLE is also offering professional development opportunities for faculty to assist them in aligning their department's curricula to the new plan.