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Campus Announcements

MiamiTHRIVE strategic planning update and upcoming focus groups

Faculty and staff welcome to join focus groups to be held in early February

Campus Announcements

MiamiTHRIVE strategic planning update and upcoming focus groups

Over the past few months, more than 230 Miami University faculty, students and staff have engaged with the MiamiTHRIVE team on preparations to launch fully into the strategic planning process this spring, including information gathering, identifying and discussing higher education trends, and analyzing the competitive environment.

In the next few weeks, the MiamiTHRIVE team will assemble focus groups of faculty, staff, students, and alumni to further explore identified themes and to better understand our community’s ideas and perspectives on the direction of the university across several key areas. This will conclude the preliminary stages of this work and help inform the larger strategic planning process, which will involve the whole university. The process will be similar to that of MiamiRISE but involving even more Miami community members in the strategic planning process. 

Preliminary work

The preliminary phase of this process has focused on conducting an environmental scan and identifying potential areas of opportunity. The more than 60 members of the MiamiTHRIVE working groups and steering committee have:

  •     Interviewed more than 130 Miami faculty, staff, alumni, and students to gather their ideas;
  •     Reviewed all ideas submitted through the MiamiTHRIVE feedback form.
  •     Surveyed more than 125 associate deans, department chairs, and functional experts;
  •     Completed dozens of small group discussions on topics related to the future of Miami; and
  •     Reviewed data from the initial environmental scan, including higher education trends, the current state of Miami, benchmarks, and innovations;

This work has revealed many important themes that are expected to remain core elements of Miami’s strategy moving forward.

  •     Ensuring Lifelong Skills: Ensuring our students build lifelong skills in critical thinking, leadership, communication, collaboration, writing, emotional intelligence, and creativity.
  •     Increasing Academic Program Flexibility: Increasing academic program flexibility for our students to pursue their passions.
  •     Growing Experiential and Applied Learning: Growing opportunities for our students to engage in experiential and applied learning, including in research and scholarship, creative arts, private and public sector internships and co-ops, and service.
  •     Enhancing the Student Experience: Enhancing the student experience, on and beyond our campuses, and supporting students with varied learning pathways and backgrounds
  •     Expanding Research, Scholarship, and Creativity

This next round of in-person focus groups for faculty and staff will be held on Thursday, Feb. 1; Monday, Feb. 5; and Tuesday, Feb. 6. Those interested in participating in a focus group can email Provost Elizabeth Mullenix and Brent Shock at by Monday, Jan. 29, with the focus group topic(s) you would be interested in discussing and at least two specific ideas you have for the future of the university in the respective area(s). The MiamiTHRIVE team will then follow up with details around the scheduling of these sessions. Additional focus groups will be held this spring for those unable to participate in these sessions.

Moving forward

Following the Focus Groups, the MiamiTHRIVE team will engage even more deeply through the shared governance model throughout the move toward the second phase of the strategic planning process this spring. During the second phase, the MiamiTHRIVE team will refine its ambition and potential opportunity areas based on feedback from across campus, including from University Senate and other campus groups. The MiamiTHRIVE team will launch working groups that are expected to be comprised of well over 100 faculty, staff, students, and alumni, and work with these groups to define the MiamiTHRIVE vision, strategies, initiatives, and plans. These working groups will also gather ongoing feedback from across the community, following a process similar to that of our last strategic plan, MiamiRISE.

The MiamiTHRIVE team will continue to share updates as this effort progresses.