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Campus Announcements

MiamiTHRIVE takes a student-centric lens to strategic planning

Approximately 400 Miamians engage in initial phase; next phase begins

Campus Announcements

MiamiTHRIVE takes a student-centric lens to strategic planning

During the Miami University Board of Trustees' February meeting, Brent Shock, special assistant to the president for strategic planning, provided an update on the first phase of MiamiTHRIVE and debuted the guiding ambition for the university’s strategic planning process. This initial phase, in which approximately 400 Miamians participated, has set MiamiTHRIVE’s focus, which builds on the university’s many strengths, including its liberal arts foundation, while aligning with evolving student interests and needs. To thrive in the future, Miami has set a student-centric ambition: Preparing our students to thrive and lead through exceptional lives and dynamic, lifelong career journeys.

“Much has changed throughout our proud 215-year history, but Miami University’s commitment to student success remains steadfast and strong,” Board of Trustees Chair Mary Schell said. “And with this guiding ambition for our strategic plan – and the ideas and creativity of our exceptional faculty, staff and students – our core commitment grows stronger.”

Five strategic pillars will support Miami’s ambition:

  • Flexible, skills-focused curriculum: Restructure the curriculum to ensure that all Miami students develop foundational, lifelong skills in key areas such as leadership, critical thinking, writing, communications, and collaboration, while expanding flexible and interdisciplinary offerings.
  • Leading programs within in-demand fields: Better meet long-term trends in student demand by expanding areas of excellence in core interdisciplinary areas, including health, business, data sciences, STEM, and public service.
  • Experiential learning for every student: Offer robust opportunities for experiential and applied learning in Oxford and beyond, including in key urban locations throughout the Midwest and select international markets.
  • Expansive partner ecosystem: Create academic, career, and experience opportunities through a market-leading network of industry and governmental partners, alumni, and communities. 
  • Reinvigorated campus experience: Create transformative, signature, inclusive experiences (e.g., through student organizations, Living-Learning Communities, athletics, creative arts) across Oxford and regional campuses. 

“I’m thrilled with the MiamiTHRIVE process so far and the high engagement and enthusiasm of the approximately 400 stakeholders who provided ideas and input during this first phase,” Miami President Gregory Crawford said. “The next phase will broaden participation even more to build out a transformational direction and shared vision for our future success.”

Crawford will work with campus leaders to assemble teams of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other stakeholders to evaluate and design strategic initiatives within the five pillars.

Additional committees championing Miami’s foundational strengths will provide early input into the process, ensuring that the university continues to build on its successes. A strategy and transformation team will support the MiamiTHRIVE committees as they develop their recommended strategies and plans, and coordinate with Finance and Business Services to assess risks and validate plans and investment opportunities.

“​​The strategic plan is intended to reimagine Miami’s direction, building on Miami’s many strengths,” Shock said. “The five strategic pillars are grounded in broad and deep future-back market data, long-term trends in student preferences, best practice innovations across higher education, and a process that gathered ideas from a multitude of Miami stakeholders.”   

The process will be similar to that of MiamiRISE but involving even more Miami community members in the strategic planning process.

For the initial phase of MiamiTHRIVE, Miami engaged Bain & Company’s higher education practice to conduct an environmental scan and initial assessment of Miami’s current strengths and performance across strategic, enrollment, and operational areas. This team helped Miami identify best practices and examples of innovation across the higher ed landscape, gathered and synthesized ideas from across campus, and facilitated discussions with the MiamiTHRIVE working teams to help the university identify potential future opportunities focused on serving the evolving needs of students in a rapidly changing environment.