1-24-19 Weekly Three

January 24, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

For me, this is a special Weekly 3 and I ask you to excuse the length, but I have news I would like to share with all of you. This is my 31st year at Miami University, and I am honored to be a member of this faculty. To have worked with so many of our talented undergraduate and graduate students has truly been one of the greatest joys of my life. I have also had the privilege of serving as the Dean of the College of Arts and Science and, for the last four years, to serve as your Provost. I value the work we have done together - faculty and staff - to accomplish so much and to ensure Miami remains the great university that it is.

Now I share with you that I have communicated to the Board of Trustees, President Crawford, members of the President’s Executive Cabinet, the Deans, and my staff that I will be retiring from Miami University later this year. The exact timing will depend on the search process to identify the next Provost.

We still have a great deal of work to do, and, until my retirement, I will continue to work with the wonderful, talented, and dedicated students, staff, and faculty who make Miami the outstanding institution that it is.

I thank you all for the valuable work you do and the kindness and collegiality so many of you have shown me over the years.

Now, to this week’s (lengthy) Three:

Good News Items - You have done an outstanding job of embracing new initiatives and completing university mandates. These important accomplishments take the efforts and time of staff and faculty across all divisions. Thank you for your contributions and hard work.

  • Miami is 100% compliant in meeting all course matches for Career Technical Assurance Guides, and over 97% compliant for all Transfer Assurance Guides. More than 40 faculty proposed course matches in the last year.
  • More than 95% of academic departments and 100% of academic support units submitted their annual assessment reports for the 2018 calendar year.
  • More than one third of Miami faculty (across all academic ranks and faculty status) elected to engage in programs and services provided by the Center for Teaching Excellence during the 2017-18 academic year.
  • In fall 2018, 62% of Miami students completed online course evaluations—the highest return rate since we started using online evaluations.
  • Miami recently received two grants from the Ohio Department of Higher Education: a $3,000 grant for collaborating with other two- and four-year higher education institutions in southwest Ohio to develop a toolkit for transfer students; and a $17,000 grant to improve support and courses for students who need remediation.


  • Campus Climate Survey Open Forums - After identifying key issues in the Campus Climate Survey Report (completed last year), the Survey task force created a brief list of Climate Survey Task Force Recommendations (PDF). They will be seeking input about the recommendations at open forums scheduled on all three campuses this spring. I encourage you to review the recommendations, attend a forum and provide your feedback.
  • Wil Haygood ‘76, Boadway Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence and award-winning author, will be on campus the week of March 4-8, 2019. Mr. Haygood will be teaching classes, meeting with students, faculty and staff, providing public talks at both Oxford’s Lane Public Library (March 5) and Miami University (March 6 (6:30-8:00 pm) Armstrong Student Center - Wilks Theatre). He will be discussing his writing and journalism careers and his critically acclaimed, Tigerland: 1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart and a Magical Season of Healing, which was our Summer Reading Book for all first-year students.
  • Academic Affairs Website- With the assistance of University Communications, we have updated and reorganized the Academic Affairs Website. While it may look different, the information that you can access via the site is still available. Please visit the new website, and contact Becky Sanders, in the Provost’s office, with any suggestions or questions.

Important Dates for Spring Semester:

  • Faculty Assembly is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 7 (4:15-5:15 pm) 152 Shideler Hall. President Crawford will be delivering additional important information about the state of the University.
  • Spring semester classes begin on Monday, January 28 and end on Saturday, May 11. Classes are to be held on all regularly scheduled dates. In particular, Spring Break is scheduled for Monday, March 25 thru Sunday, March 31. All classes should meet at scheduled times the week prior to and following Spring Break. This includes Green Beer Day - Thursday, March 21. The full academic calendar is available here.
  • Final exams are scheduled the week of May 13-18. Please remember to include information about final exams in your course syllabi.
  • University Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 18 at 1:30 pm. Divisional Recognition Ceremonies are scheduled on May 18 and 19. As always, faculty are encouraged to participate in these important events.
  • Textbooks for courses: when assigning textbooks, please confirm the correct textbooks are listed for your courses on the Bookstore’s ecampus site and/or provide information to students prior to the start of the semester via Canvas or email.
  • Miami University Events Calendar & Religious holy days and holidays  - Before finalizing any dates, please make sure to check these websites as you plan speakers, events, and activities for the spring semester or the 2019-20 academic year. Doing so may identify a conflicting event and will assist in attracting a larger, more inclusive audience.

I look forward to continuing our work to meet the opportunities and challenges of a new semester.

Thank you,