We understand that life happens and the unexpected can make you feel unsteady. The Dean of Students office is ready and willing to be your ally when faced with academic, social or co-curricular challenges.
We envision a Miami campus that embodies the values articulated in the Code of Love & Honor.
I Am Miami.
- I believe that a liberal education is grounded in qualities of character and intellect.
- I stand for honesty, integrity, and the importance of moral conduct.
- I respect the dignity, rights, and property of others and their right to hold and express disparate beliefs.
- I defend the freedom of inquiry that is the heart of learning.
- I exercise good judgment and believe in personal responsibility.
- I welcome a diversity of people, ideas, and experiences.
- I embrace the spirit, academic rigor, opportunities, and challenges of a Miami Experience, preparing me to make the world a better place.
- I demonstrate Love and Honor by supporting and caring for my fellow Miamians.
And because I Am Miami,
- I act through my words and deeds in ways that reflect these values and beliefs.
- With a deep sense of accomplishment and gratitude, I will Love, Honor, and make proud those who help me earn the joy and privilege of saying:
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Miami University’s absence policy?
- Each individual faculty member sets the attendance policy for their courses. It is the responsibility of the individual faculty member to inform students of that policy in the course syllabus or other written document at the first class meeting of the semester, term, or sprint part of semester or term.
- Only faculty can decide whether an absence in their class will be considered “excused.” There are no University-recognized excused absences except for religious observances that require absence from a class session and other required class activities. Students are required to notify their faculty of absences due to religious observances and the dates of those absences during the first week of classes. Students are ultimately responsible for material covered in class, regardless of whether the student is absent or present.
- For more information about class absences, please review the General Attendance Policies.
How do I handle a class absence due to illness?
- Students who are ill are encouraged to directly notify and work with their faculty regarding absences and missed classwork. It is up to each student to contact their faculty directly and it is up to each faculty to decide how absences and missed work will be handled.
How do I request a faculty notification from the Dean of Students?
- The Dean of Students Office does not excuse student absences from class. However, our office can verify absences and will notify faculty in cases where a student is hospitalized or experiences a death in the immediate family (grandparent, parent, or sibling).
- If your absence meets the criteria for an official notification, please fill out the Faculty Notification Request Form to request that our office verify your absence. Please note: you will still need to work directly with your faculty regarding your absence and any missed work when able.
What should I do if I have a concern about a student’s wellbeing?
- For urgent situations, including concerns about a missing student, call MUPD (513-529-2222)
Faculty & Staff
- For student medical emergencies that occur during class, please review this protocol.
- Non-emergency concerns about students in distress should be submitted to the Dean of Students Office via the online Student Concern Management System. Concerns submitted through the online reporting system are routed to the appropriate staff member and addressed in a timely manner. Please note that if you feel a situation should be addressed immediately, that may indicate that MUPD should be called (513-529-2222).
Parents & Family Members
- If you believe your student is in any type of immediate danger, call MUPD at 513-529-2222.
- If you are worried about an on-campus student but do not believe them to be in immediate danger, you can reach out to their Resident Director (the full-time staff member that lives in their hall) and request a well-check for your student. If your student lives off-campus, you may try contacting a roommate or call the City of Oxford Police Department to request a well-check at 513-529-4321.
- If you are worried about your student’s mental health, direct them to contact Student Counseling Services. Students can call 513-529-4634 or walk in and request an emergency consultation for help with resources and coping strategies.
- If you have a concern and you are not sure where to start, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 513-529-1877 or DeanofStudents@MiamiOH.edu and any staff member or student worker will be able to direct you to the appropriate office or resource.
- If you are a student who is concerned about a fellow student, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 513-529-1877 or DeanofStudents@MiamiOH.edu to share your concern and any staff member or student worker will be able to direct you to the appropriate office or resource.
*When in doubt, call MUPD at 513-529-2222
How do I report an incident?
- For urgent situations/incidents, call 911 or MUPD (513-529-2222)
- Report an incident where there is no active or immediate threat.
- Report misconduct.
How do I get connected with counseling services?
- Call Student Counseling Service (SCS) to set up a consultation at 513-529-4634. Initial consultations and the first 3 counseling sessions are covered by your general student fees, so there is no copay.
- If you have an urgent but not life-threatening need for counseling, you may call SCS (513-529-4634) and request a crisis/emergency appointment and they will get you in to see someone as soon as possible for a consultation. After business hours, call the Community and Crisis Center’s 24 hour hotline at 1-844-427-4747.
- If you are feeling suicidal or you are afraid someone else may try to commit suicide, do not hesitate to call 911 or MUPD (513-529-2222) OR the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
- Visit the Student Counseling Service website for more information about counseling, resources and services.
How do I connect to substance abuse treatment or recovery housing?
Where can I find resources to help me through the conduct process?
- The process of going through a hearing or investigation can be intimidating. It is important that students fully understand their options throughout the process. Students are encouraged to contact Community Standards directly at CommunityStandards@MiamiOH.edu or 513-529-1417 to consult with staff regarding their options and resources.
- Students may also contact Community Standards to request a Student Consultant.
What is a summary suspension?
- If the Dean of Students has reasonable cause to believe that a student or student organization poses a risk to safety by being on campus, a summary suspension may be considered. This is a provisional suspension that is put in place until a formal investigation or hearing is conducted through the Community Standards process.
- If a student’s or student organization’s presence on campus is considered to be a substantial risk to safety, the Dean of Students can summarily suspend immediately and give the option for a summary hearing within three business days. Otherwise, the Dean of Students can request a hearing with the student or organization (with 24 hours notice) to decide if a provisional suspension is necessary.
- Responsibility for a violation is not decided at a summary suspension hearing; the summary hearing is solely to decide if there is a potential risk to safety.
- The summary suspension hearing is a meeting between the student or organization with the Dean of Students. This is the student’s chance to understand the allegations and share their perspective about the incident.
- Students may bring an advisor or attorney to their summary suspension hearing, however, the attorney or advisor will not be able to speak on the student's behalf.
- You can find more about Summary Suspensions in the Code of Student Conduct.
What does the Office of the Dean of Students do?
The Office of the Dean of Students (DOS) provides advocacy, support, and care through student-centered programs, services, and resources to foster growth, learning, and success.
We understand that life happens and the unexpected can make you feel unsteady. The DOS is ready and willing to be your ally when faced with academic, social or co-curricular challenges.
Here are a few ways in which the DOS can help you navigate your collegiate experience:
- Advocacy: We believe in empowering you to identify concerns or challenges and ask for help. Through conversation, resource connection, and plan development the DOS helps you identify ways to reduce or remove barriers to your success.
- Program or Idea Support: A university can be a challenging place to navigate. Oftentimes you may have concerns or ideas you would like to share, but are unsure who to talk to or how to bring your ideas to fruition. The DOS is a great place to start.
- Resource Connection: The Office of the Dean of Students (DOS) is the expert on finding the expert... if you or a peer are seeking support the DOS can connect you with the most appropriate resource to overcome challenges or achieve your academic and co-curricular goals. After a conversation to better understand your needs, we will provide options for support and walk with you until you receive the support you need.
- Helping Students in Need: At Miami we encourage students to “step up” to help one another. If you are aware of another student who has articulated needing help or have witnessed a student displaying concerning behavior, you can help them by starting with our office. Contact the DOS for more information on how we can help, DeanofStudents@MiamiOH.edu or 513-529-1877.
In what ways does the DOS advocate for students?
- We believe in empowering you to identify concerns or challenges and ask for help. Through conversation, resource connection, and plan development the DOS helps you identify ways to reduce or remove barriers to your success.
Do I need the Office of the Dean of Students or the Office of an Academic Dean?
- Academic Deans Offices run a specific academic unit or division. Academic Deans Offices handle their division’s Dean’s List, assist in the approval of rescheduling exams in extenuating circumstances, and help troubleshoot academic issues within their division.
- The Office of the Dean of Students and reporting offices are part of the division of Student Life. The primary focus of the Office of the Dean of Students is to provide advocacy, support, and care through student-centered programs, services, and resources to foster growth, learning, and success.
How do I get a form signed by the Dean of Students?
- Please use the Dean’s Signature Form to submit certifications to be processed and signed.
How do I get tuition insurance verifications signed by the Dean?
- Please use the Dean’s Signature Form to have your certifications processed and signed.
How do I schedule an appointment with the Dean?
- You may email DeanofStudents@MiamiOH.edu or call 513-529-1877 to request an appointment. Please keep in mind that if the Dean is not available, you may be referred to one of the many capable staff members who specialize in different areas of student life. Referrals are made to get you to the most appropriate staff member to help with your issue in a timely manner.
- The Office of the Dean of Students does not have authority over scheduling or rescheduling exams. We may send a Faculty Notification if the reason for missing the exam is for hospitalization or a death in the immediate family (defined as parent, grandparent or sibling) but rescheduling any exam is still at the discretion of the instructor of the course and should be worked out with them directly.
- Students are not required to take four or more scheduled final examinations in any 24-hour period or three or more scheduled final examinations in a given day. Students in this situation may reschedule their exam for a later time with the consent of the instructor, or an earlier time with the consent of both the instructor and the dean of the academic division in which the course is given.
- In cases where a student is scheduled for four or more final examinations in any 24-hour period or for three or more final examinations in a given day and no agreement as stated above can be reached, the Provost's Office shall be empowered to make necessary adjustments.
- Rescheduling exams or final exams due to extenuating circumstances should be worked out directly with the instructor of the course. Rescheduling final exams will require that the instructor obtain approval from their Department Chair/Program Director and the Academic Dean of that particular division.
- Please visit the University Policy Library for more details about Miami's undergraduate exam policies.
What is a medical withdrawal?
- A medical withdrawal is a withdrawal from an entire term/semester for medical reasons.
How do I start the process of a medical withdrawal?
- Future Term: If the term has not started yet, you do not need to go through the process of medical withdrawal. Before the term starts or within the first five days of a full semester (first 3 days of summer/winter term or a sprint course), you can simply drop your courses or fill out the withdrawal app to have your classes canceled.
- Current Term or Previous Term: Please visit the Medical Withdrawal page for instructions on withdrawal for medical reasons or return from a medical withdrawal.
How can I find out if I am eligible for a reversal of fees or tuition credit after a medical withdrawal?
- Please fill out the MW Financial Inquiry Form to find out more about a fee reversal or tuition credit. Someone from the Bursar’s Office will pull your records and send you detailed information regarding your eligibility and options.
Is a call to the Office of the Dean of Students private?
- Visits, phone calls, and emails to the Office of the Dean of Students are all private but not always confidential. Staff and student workers have signed confidentiality agreements in order to work in the Office of the Dean of Students; so private information will not be shared in personal conversations. However, if a student’s well being or safety is a concern, our office may contact the student directly, consult with other offices on campus that are involved or contact the police.
What is FERPA?
- The Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) is a 1974 federal law also known as the Buckley Amendment. Although FERPA contains exceptions for the release of "directory information" without a student's prior written consent, students have the right to request that even such directory information not be disclosed. FERPA gives students the right to do the following:
- Control the disclosure of their education records to others
- Inspect and review their own education records
- Challenge the content of their education records
- For more information regarding FERPA guidelines, review the FERPA webpage.
Why does conduct need a separate release signature?
- The Office of Community Standards uses a separate Disciplinary FERPA waiver because the general university FERPA waiver only applies to student personal information, schedules, billing information, grades, financial aid and housing. The Disciplinary FERPA waiver is required in order to share student disciplinary records.
What does Title IX mean?
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex-based discrimination in educational programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment and sexual violence. Title IX applies to all public and private educational institutions receiving federal financial assistance.
Who is the contact person for Title IX issues?
- Title IX Coordinator- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in higher education. Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment and sexual violence. The University’s Title IX Coordinator is Ms. Kenya Ash, Associate Vice President Equity and Equal Opportunity, 111 Hanna House, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056, 513-529-7157 or ashkd@MiamiOH.edu
- Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students- Ms. Cecilie McGhehey, Deputy Title IX Coordinator for matters related to student sexual and interpersonal violence. This includes sexual misconduct, sexual violence, and sexual coercion of students. Ms. McGhehey also serves as the coordinator for matters relating to student domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Ms. McGhehey may be reached at 104 Warfield Hall, 451 E. Spring Street, Oxford, Ohio 45056, 513-529-1870 or TitleIX@MiamiOH.edu.
- Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Regional Students- Dr. Bennyce Hamilton, Regional Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives, is the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator for matters related to regional student sexual and interpersonal violence. This includes sexual misconduct, sexual violence, and sexual coercion of students. Dr. Hamilton also serves as the coordinator for matters relating to regional student domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Dr. Hamilton may be reached at 114 Rentschler Hall, 1601 University Boulevard, Hamilton, Ohio 45011, or 144 Johnston Hall, 4200 N. University Boulevard, Middletown, Ohio 45042, 513-785-3283 or hamiltbe@MiamiOH.edu.
- Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics- Ms. Jennifer A. Gilbert, Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator is the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator for matters related to equality of treatment and opportunity in Intercollegiate Athletics. This includes athletic financial assistance, accommodation of interest and abilities and equity of athletic program benefits. Ms. Gilbert may be reached at Millett Assembly Hall, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056, 513-529-3113 or jen.gilbert@MiamiOH.edu.
Where can I find more about Title IX?
- For more information about Title IX, visit the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity.
I’m having a disagreement with a professor...
- If you are unable to work out a disagreement with an instructor, your next step would be to contact the Department Chair or Program Director.
- Although the Office of the Dean of Students can offer support and advocacy in certain circumstances, faculty do not report to our office. Instructors report to the chair of their department and their Chair reports to the Dean of their division.
I’m having roommate trouble...
- On Campus: When differences arise, try talking out issues while using the communication skills that help most—be open and honest, listen closely, and be specific. Use the Roommate Agreement Form, reevaluate your living situation, and change the ground rules. You will both change throughout the year, which means that this document should change as well. However, if difficulties do arise in your roommate relationship, there are people and resources on campus available to assist you:
- Talk with a residence life staff member in your corridor or another staff member in the building.
- Seek assistance from your Resident Director.
- If you still have a need for further assistance, contact the Office of Residence Life at (513) 529-4000.
- Off Campus: Conflict among roommates who are living together for the first time in close quarters is bound to occur. Some common problems including paying bills on time, having guests over, cleaning (or not cleaning), and being too loud. While it's impossible to outline every potential conflict scenario, you and your roommates should discuss, in general terms, how you will handle conflict when it arises. Will you have a meeting to talk about issues? Will you be open to feedback? If you are in a situation in which conflict has already occurred and you have not discussed how you will handle those situations, you should take the time to discuss the situation openly and sensitively. Take the opportunity to come up with a formal agreement. Generally, talking about these issues will solve the problem; however, if the problem is serious and the conversation doesn't work, you can consider other options. If a roommate has violated or is violating the lease, the property manager may be able to get involved. If you experience physical threats or violence, call the police.
Steps to Resolving Conflicts:
- Everyone involved in the conflict should find a convenient time to meet.
- Each person should take a turn describing his/her perception of the situation - without interruption!
- Work together to come up with some options on how to solve the problem.
- Decide on the solution that is acceptable to everyone.
- Talk about the changes that need to take place in order to resolve the problem and set a timetable.
- Set a future date to evaluate the situation and renegotiate if necessary.
Avoid trying to "win" the argument. While getting others to take responsibility for their actions may feel good in the moment, it might be necessary to simply agree on how to live peacefully together moving forward without blaming or finger-pointing.
I’m feeling homesick or struggling to connect with other students...
- Homesickness is common and perfectly normal, however some students experience persistent and intense homesickness that interferes with their ability to interact socially or attend classes and other activities. Students who experience extreme homesickness are encouraged to call Student Counseling Service at 513-529-4634 to schedule a consultation where a counselor will help the student determine the best course for understanding and reducing these intense feelings.
- It is very common for students to have trouble connecting with other students and programs on campus. There are some things that students can do to get connected and we encourage the following:
- Try out a student organization to find other students who share your interests.
- Try volunteering or an on campus job to connect with other students and boost self esteem and competency.
- If you are experiencing intense social anxiety or feelings of isolation, you may want to set up a consultation with Student Counseling Service to help discover strategies to reduce these feelings.
I’m unable to contact my student and I’m worried...
- If you believe a student is missing, worried about a student’s safety or believe they are in immediate danger, do not hesitate to call 911 or MUPD (513-529-2222).
- If you are worried about an on campus student but do not believe them to be in immediate danger, you can reach out to the Resident Director in their hall and request a well check for your student. If your student lives off campus, you may try contacting a roommate, or call the City of Oxford Police Department to request a well check at 513-529-4321.
I believe I was treated unfairly by a faculty or staff member...
- If you believe you are or have been harassed, discriminated against or the victim of a bias-related incident, please start by reporting that incident here.
- If you have an issue with an instructor that you are unable to work out, you will want to contact the Department Chair for help or clarity. If your instructor is the chair of the department, contact the Dean of that division.
Meet the Staff
BaShaun Smith, Ed.D., Dean of Students
As the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students, Smith oversees and works collaboratively with the Office of the Dean of Students, Residence Life, Community Standards, Rinella Learning Center, and the Miller Center for Student Disability Services.
He graduated from Bowling Green State University with his Bachelor’s degree and graduated from the University of Dayton with his Master of Science degree in College Student Personnel. He also completed his Doctoral degree from Western Carolina University in Education Leadership.
Before coming to Miami in August of 2023, he worked at Western Carolina University for seven years in a variety of roles during his tenure.
Smith is excited about the opportunity to serve the Miami community and that he is back in Ohio because he is a Cleveland, Ohio native. Being a first-generation college student, he values relationships and encourages students to build as many as possible during their time at Miami.
Tim Parsons, Associate Dean of Students (he/him)
As the Associate Dean of Students, Parsons helps to support students throughout the campus who are dealing with particularly stressful issues that may impact their ability to be successful at Miami.
He graduated from Wright State University in 1996 with his Master of Science degree and is a licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in the state of Ohio. He also obtained his Master of Divinity degree in Theology from United Theological Seminary in 1993 and did his undergraduate work at The Ohio State University.
Prior to coming to Miami in 2008, Parsons and his family were living in Malaysia and working at Dalat International School.
He is clinically trained and has worked in various settings, including private practice, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, ministry and overseas international education.
Alex Wood, Assistant Dean of Students (he/him)
As the Assistant Dean of Students, Wood’s role is to support students who may be experiencing difficult situations on campus.
He graduated from Miami University in 2013 with his Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Speech Pathology. He went on to earn his Master's degree in Human Development Counseling from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, and is a Nationally Certified Counselor.
Having spent most of his career working in K-12 education as a School Counselor, Wood is excited to return to Miami to help college students navigate challenges that may impact their time inside and outside of the classroom.
Benjamin Williams, Assistant Dean of Students (he/him)
As the Assistant Dean of Students, Williams facilitates the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program, supports students navigating campus life, and coordinates student outreach for the Office of the Dean of Students - including the Dean's Advisory Board (DAB).
He graduated from Georgia State University with his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, from Miami University with his Master of Science degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education, and is a Doctoral Candidate at Georgia State University in Educational Policy Studies.
He brings prior experience in Orientation, Student Activities, Family Engagement, Off-Campus Housing, and Advancement to support the student experience to his role. Williams's focus is to help students grow and become the best version of themselves that they can be.
Cecilie McGhehey, Assistant Dean of Students and Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students (she/her)
As the Assistant Dean of Students and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, McGhehey is here to support all students going through the Title IX process and connect them with the appropriate resources.
She received her Bachelor's degree from Ohio University and is completing her Master of Social Work degree at Miami University. Before her current role, she was a case manager at Miami and worked with students and families to navigate unexpected circumstances on campus.
In addition to being an empathetic person by nature, McGhehey is a knowledgeable and well-connected resource for Miami students.
Venus Harvey, Intern (she/her)
Harvey is a senior majoring in political science and philosophy and serves as an intern for the Office of the Dean of Students (DOS).
She supports the various functions of the office's student advisory board, including the generation of the Love and Honor Story Project recipients each month. In addition to this, Harvey represents the DOS at university events and helps develop social media content for the department.
In addition to her internship, she is a senator for the Associated Student Government, sits as a student representative on the Student Community Relations Community, and serves as treasurer for the Students Demand Action chapter at Miami.
Jack Isphording, Intern (he/him)
Isphording is a junior majoring in organizational leadership and entrepreneurship and is an intern for the Office of the Dean of Students (DOS).
He supports our outreach efforts by connecting with students, identifying challenges, and finding solutions. He helps execute tabling events, engagement opportunities, and programs like the Dean's Dinners.
Outside the DOS, Isphording is the treasurer for the Global Business Brigades, is involved with the Governmental Relations Network, and serves as the Chief of Staff for Associated Student Government.
He is thrilled to support fellow students with their diverse needs and experiences through meaningful connections within the DOS!