MiamiRISE 2021 Dashboard and Updates

2021 Dashboard and Updates

Miami University’s core values have endured through generations. Our new strategic plan, called MiamiRISE, anchors our community in those values and blazes a trail forward. It is bold and brave, driving transformational change to guide Miami through unprecedented volatility in higher education. More than 600 members of our diverse Miami community engaged in the plan’s development. Join them as we RISE to the moment.

Measuring Our Progress

Annual External Research Funds Received

Current: $28.3m

Baseline (2019): $24.1m

Trend: trending up

Number of Grant Proposals Submitted

Current: 349

Baseline (2019): 377

Trend: trending down

Number of National Fellowship Recipients

Current: 24

Baseline (2020): 29

Trend: trending down

Number of Graduate Students

Current: 2,261

Baseline (2020): 2,471

Trend: trending down

MiamiRISE Milestones

Miami is accomplishing the proposed initiatives in the strategic plan

  • Honors College exceeded its enrollment goals for its inaugural cohort and began a new faculty-in-residence program
  • A second program for high-ability students, the Prodesse Scholars Program, was launched
  • Office of Research and Innovation has been created, led by Susan MacDowell, vice president for research and innovation
  • The Academic Program Evaluation, Improvement, and Prioritization (APEIP) Project deactivated more than 40 programs and created curricular improvement plans for continuing programs
  • The Department Planning and Improvement Process has been developed and will launch in 2024
  • The Miami Academic Program Incubator (MAPI) launched with a goal to develop new academic programs and transform existing programs for greater success
  • A new University Accreditation and Planning Council was formed with the goal of ensuring steady progress toward meeting strategic planning goals and accreditation requirements
  • Led by Jaime Hunt, vice president of communication and chief marketing officer, Miami is undertaking an ambitious and innovative approach to strategic marketing and communication based upon the Beckhard-Harris Change Equation

Research, Scholarship, and Artistry

Increased Funded Research

Miami reached an all-time high of $28.3 million in funded research in 2020-2021, a 20% increase over the past years.

VP for Research and Innovation

Susan MacDowell is Miami’s new Vice President for Research and Innovation. MacDowell was most recently Vice Provost for Research at Ball State University where she provided leadership to the University’s Sponsored Projects Administration and the Office of Research Integrity. She received bachelor’s degrees in biology and secondary education from Thomas More College, a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and conducted postdoctoral training at Eli Lilly & Co.

Strategic Support for Centers and Institutes

The Office of Research and Innovation in collaboration with academic deans has created new guidelines for research centers and institutes with the goal of enhancing outcomes through strategic planning and assessment.

Research Support

The Office of Research and Innovation (ORI) revamped the Committee of Faculty Research (CFR) grant program to better prepare faculty to compete for external funding. In addition, the Provost provided $1 million to expand this year’s CFR funding and to provide bridge funds (Rapid Investment Program) to faculty who were adversely affected by COVID. The Office of Research and Innovation also launched GrantForward, a funding opportunity service that allows faculty to search for grant opportunities from over 18,000 sponsors. ORI also launched Inventions, a Cayuse module that allows for faculty and researchers to disclose new inventions and to track tech transfer and patent applications. Finally, ORI launched another Cayuse module called FundManager, which will allow faculty to track grant spending and provide post-award support.


Miami Global Plan

A new liberal education plan, the Miami Global Plan, was approved by University Senate in spring 2021. The new plan will advance Four Pillars of Learning: (1) communication and expression, (2) civic-mindedness and social engagement, (3) collaboration and innovation, and (4) critical and integrative thinking. To be officially launched in fall 2023, the plan features three main components:

  • Perspective Areas ensure that students gain knowledge in a variety of disciplines.
  • Signature Inquiries promote integrative, innovative, and engaged learning through broad, interdisciplinary themes on issues of global importance.
  • Knowledge in Action features culminating, professionalizing, and integrative outcomes through a senior capstone and experiential learning.

Supported by a new MGP Fellows Program, faculty are designing and refreshing curricular offerings that meet the highest expectations for the new MGP. Departments and programs are making new connections across disciplines and rethinking their curricular ecologies.

New Innovative Graduate and Professional Programs

Supported by the Boldly Creative initiative and the Miami Academic Program Incubator, Miami faculty have developed several exciting new programs at the undergraduate and graduate level, such as:

Some of these innovative programs will be housed in two state-of-the-art academic buildings which are already under development: the Clinical Health Sciences and Wellness Facility and the Richard M. McVey Data Science Building.

Honors College

Founded in August 2021, the Honors College is Miami's only residential college located in several halls on the Western Campus. Not only are students offered a wide range of honors courses and seminars, but they also are provided a wealth of out-of-class leadership, intellectual, and social experiences, including the opportunity to live and learn in state-of-the-art residence halls that offer a range of programming, including book and film clubs led by the faculty-in-residence.

Student Success

Dean of Undergraduate Education

Amy Bergerson was appointed Miami's inaugural Dean of Undergraduate Education and Associate Provost in 2021. Her mission is to advance student success, advising and academic support, and excellence in undergraduate education.

Office Of Exploratory Studies

The Office of Exploratory Studies supports students who are still exploring majors when they arrive at Miami University. Student Success Navigators work with these students to understand how their interests and passions can align with various majors and post-college plans. Once students have selected a major, they will transition to academic advising within their major's division.

Early Alerts/Sprints In Reserve

Faculty identify students having difficulties in their courses at two points – two weeks into the semester and four weeks into the semester. If the faculty member identifies students who might want to consider withdrawing from the course, students are contacted and informed of the option to drop the course and enroll in a sprint course for the remainder of the semester. Sprint course options meet Miami Plan requirements, allowing students to continue progressing towards their degree and with full-time status.

Six-Year Graduation Push

To improve upon our current six-year graduation rate of 83%, Miami students who are in their fifth year, and who do not have a graduation plan in Banner, are workshopped with a group of advisors and other student success staff, to determine the most efficient path toward graduation. This holistic consideration includes exploring financial aid ramifications. Students are then contacted by an advisor who presents the completion plan and encourages them to stay on track to completion before six years have passed.

Exploratory Major Maps

Using Exploratory Major Maps, students will plan their curricular and co-curricular experiences at Miami University. The maps will provide a foundation for understanding how all of their experiences tie together to prepare students for their post-college plans. Maps for each Miami University program are in development, with specialized maps for Miami Regionals students and transfer students.

Transfer Collaborative

In 2021, Miami kicked off the Miami University Transfer Collaborative which leverages a community of transfer champions from Academic Affairs, Admission, Registrar, and other units to forge strategies and an infrastructure designed to increase and support students transferring into all of Miami University's campuses.


New Diversity and Inclusion Leadership

Under the leadership of our new vice president for institutional diversity and inclusion, Cristina Alcalde, is collaborating with leaders across the university to galvanize a new vision and leadership for university-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, advancement, and enhancement. Alongside the university's DEI task force, she will work across the university to fully integrate and advance DEI efforts, impacting students, faculty, staff, and the Miami community.

Moon Shot for Equity

Miami University, along with strategic partners (Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Gateway Community and Technical College, and Northern Kentucky University), has joined the Moon Shot for Equity partnership. The four institutions from greater Cincinnati will follow a program designed by EAB that focuses on systematically implementing a series of goals designed to remove barriers and create solutions focused on reducing equity gaps in higher education by 2030.

Cutting-Edge Education for Miami Alumni

Miami has developed two outstanding professional online certificate of completion programs for our alumni population which exceeds more than 220,000. Initiated in 2020, the Miami MiniMBA: Beyond Ready For the Future leverages the university's Farmer School of Business talent and resources to help participants face the unprecedented economic challenges of the coronavirus pandemic with practical knowledge to advance their skill levels. More recently, the Roger and Joyce Howe Center for Writing Excellence rolled out the Miami Writing Institute, which is a self-paced online module free for Miami faculty, staff, students, and alumni.


In 2020, Miami launched ASPIRE which is a new vice-presidential division, led by Randi Thomas, and designed to coordinate community engagement, government relations, advocacy, and business development initiatives.


Made possible through a collaboration between Miami University and the City of Oxford, College@Elm encompasses a three-block area of uptown Oxford that includes a renovated community arts center, green space, and a vacant building owned by Miami. The renovated building will serve as an incubator for start-ups, workforce development, innovation, and manufacturing.