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About Focus

Focus is a new university-wide initiative to coordinate activities of many groups, centers, institutes, and departments to create a year-long exploration of an important, timely, “big idea” topic from multiple disciplinary perspectives.


Miami’s Focus Program is a collaboration that brings diverse perspectives to bear on a topic, question or problem of importance to the University, our region, and the world.  Grounded in the educational mission of Miami, the Focus theme provides opportunities for teaching, engagement, and learning both on campus and throughout Oxford, Middletown, and Hamilton. The events and activities surrounding each year’s theme help prepare incoming and returning Miami students for a rigorous academic experience, forge collaborations and partnerships across vice-presidential and academic divisions as well as our communities, and promote publicly engaged teaching and scholarship.

A center, institute, division, or other unit is invited to assemble a diverse team to develop a proposal for an annual theme at least three years in advance to enable proactive planning and high-quality outcomes. A university-wide steering committee co-led by leaders from the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice President of Student Life oversees the program. The steering committee includes members from a range of vice-presidential divisions, faculty, students as well as local community leaders. It collaborates with the President and Provost to identify annual themes, invites a unit to create a diverse team to develop a proposal related to the annual theme, guides the program’s communications, provides guidance to the annual team, and assesses the overall program. The program is also supported by several offices (Liberal Education, Orientation, and Transition Programs).

The invited team develops and oversees the plan for the Focus Theme program, ensuring that the Program outcomes, goals, and mission are achieved; receives input from the committee on the proposed plan; revises as appropriate and comes to agreement with the committee on the final outcomes and implementation plan which includes activities and other learning opportunities; and ensures that the timeline of action steps (marketing, supplemental materials, co-curricular activities, and other learning opportunities) is executed.

Focus Themes

2023-2024 | Environmental Justice led by the Institute for Environment and Sustainability

2022-2023 | Sovereignty led by the Myaamia Center

2021-2022 | Race and Racial Justice led by the Humanities Center