4-25-20 Message to Community


As the semester winds toward finals week, we continue to monitor our incoming and returning classes, graduate student admissions, budget information, and events from around the nation as higher education continues to adjust to COVID-19. I am thankful for the expressions of support from many corners of campus, and for all the faculty and staff leaders who are moving us forward. Here are some updates from the Provost Office as we look forward to the coming week. I hope you all are able to enjoy the nice weather over the rest of the weekend.


  1. Summer Courses Online
  2. Academic Affairs Return to Campus—shared governance working groups
  3. Tune in to our Undergraduate Research Forum
  4. Commencement information coming Monday
  5. Update from the Humanities Center

Summer courses

This past week we shared an announcement with the entire university community affirming what many of us have been discussing: that we will offer all summer courses fully online as we cannot predict when the various “stay-at-home” or limitations on gathering will be lifted.

Academic Affairs “Return to Campus” Working Group Update

University Senate Executive Committee Chair-Elect, Dr. Bielo and I have put out a call to all faculty and staff senators to join our AAO Return to Campus (R2C) working group. This will be our attempt at getting broad representation and diverse perspectives around the virtual table to discuss the many complexities of planning for a semester with so many unknowns. We will be updating the campus community regularly (hopefully weekly) as we move forward, and we will consider how to further engage the broader community in these discussions.

Each division will have their own more focused RtC committee, formed by their dean. I encourage everyone to work locally to surface the concerns, challenges, and opportunities unique to your discipline or context, to talk within departments and divisions. The provost office leadership and I will be meeting regularly with our deans to hear the outcomes of these discussions, and between these two groups, hope to successfully open campus safely when the time comes.

Undergraduate Research Forum

Our 26th Undergraduate Research Forum on Wednesday, April 29th, 2020, will be an online event, with over 300 student presenters expected to participate. Poster presentations and talks will be delivered using Webex. Additionally, an event website is available to preview research projects using keywords for discipline and major, and to peruse submitted abstracts, and “gallery walks” of PowerPoint images. Presenters and mentors are being encouraged to use Twitter to showcase their projects and engage with the university community. #MiamiOHUndergradResearch #MiamiOH_URForum2020

Celebrating the Miami University Class of 2020

The Miami University Virtual Commencement Experience, May 16 & 17, 2020 is in rapid development, and stakeholders from across our campuses are engaged. A total of 3,531 graduates with an additional 62 who planned to walk in May, as well as the entire Miami Community of faculty, staff, alumni, parents, family and friends, will be invited to this virtual celebration. It will be a blend of the main commencement ceremony with divisional elements, like timing, dean's speeches, and the sense of community for a one-of-a-kind, uniquely immersive, interactive, and unprecedented event - that will bring the "Miami Experience" not only to our graduates - but to the world. The Class of 2020 will receive a personal invitation on Monday announcing the virtual ceremonies, and you will receive more information on how to participate very soon. Stay tuned.

Humanities Center update

Humanities Center Director Dr. Tim Melley, invites you all to join him via Webex May 1, 2020 (10 am - 12pm) for a special 2019-2020 Geoffrion Undergraduate Fellows Symposium, “COVID Temporality.” Our six (6) extraordinarily accomplished Geoffrion Fellows will each give a 10 minute research talk on some aspect of the Altman Program theme, “Time and Temporality.” After a Q & A session, they will then engage in a roundtable discussion on how the response to COVID has affected their sense of time and how their year-long study of time and temporality has in turn affected their experience of the current crisis. The session will conclude with an unveiling of the group’s collaborative podcast series on “Time and Temporality.”

Love and Honor,
Jason Osborne