Deeply grateful, President Crawford emphasizes successes and looks to Miami's future

In his end-of-year address, President Greg Crawford thanked the Miami University community for moving the university forward, despite the global pandemic.

“Miamians are sturdy hearted, pure of soul,” Crawford said. “We were united in our response—always asking—how can we help?”

The year 2020 will be remembered as one of the most challenging. Our nation and the world faced critical health issues, economic hardships, political and social change.

“As this year comes to an end, I am proud to say of Miami: ‘We persevered and succeeded together,’” he said.

In the transition from in-person to remote learning in the spring, and then to reopening in the fall, Miamians embraced the mission of the university through innovation and service.

Among the many efforts by faculty, staff and students, Crawford said, “We enjoyed Miami’s rich life in new ways through their grace, service and creativity.”

  • Faculty innovated and adapted to meet, deliver content remotely, invert the classroom, hold office hours, and more.
  • Staff found ways to maintain services for students from housing and dining to residence halls to student activities.
  • The Greek organizations helped the community through Miami’s partnership with the Hoxworth Blood Center. Dozens of students who have recovered from COVID-19 donated their plasma to treat patients suffering from the disease.
  • More than a 220,000 strong alumni network rose up and demonstrated their Love and Honor by giving nearly $1 million to an emergency relief fund for students.
  • The Diversity Equity and Inclusion Task Force broadly engaged Miami’s campuses and community. They generated 44 recommendations for transformational change. Many recommendations have already been implemented from naming the Campus Avenue Building after Miami’s first African American Graduate, Nellie Craig Walker, to the creation of a $1.25 M DEI fund to support programs, scholarship and events.
  • The Safe Return to Campus Committee leveraged scientific and health expertise, public health wisdom, and best practices – always with compassion for students and the health of the campuses in mind. They created a coding and tracking system for the residence halls that allowed the University to identify potential outbreaks and prevent them from spreading.
  • Miami’s partners; Governor Mike DeWine’s office, the other 13 Ohio public institutions, Butler County Health District, and TriHealth were united with Miami every step of the way.
  • Miami’s sustainability efforts have been forward-looking and innovative for a decade. This year, Miami signed the President’s Climate Leadership Commitment along with more than 400 other schools.

Crawford listed just a few of the many accomplishments in 2020.

  • The Farmer School’s John W. Altman Institute for Entrepreneurship was named the winner of the 2020 NASDAQ Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence Award. Just recently, the institute placed seventh nationally among public universities by Princeton Review and Entrepreneurship magazine.
  • The HEED Award – Higher Education Excellence Award in Diversity from INSIGHT into Diversity. The HEED Award recognizes achievement and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on Miami’s campuses through initiatives, programs, and outreach; student recruitment, retention, and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.
  • The Regional online bachelor’s degree programs placed 17th in the country on Online U’s 2021 Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees: Colleges with the Highest Return on Investment. This ranking – which appeared in Forbes Magazine –showcases commitment to student success and instructional excellence in online learning.
  • The Regionals Work+ program this year became a model for the whole state of Ohio. This program partners with companies where students work part-time, earn a salary and graduate debt-free.
  • The Naval ROTC program was selected for the ROTC Excellence Award from the Secretary of Defense.
Looking ahead, Crawford spoke about Miami’s Boldly Creative initiative that has already resulted in 12 new degree programs, 12 new graduate programs and 24 new certificate and micro-credential programs.

Finally, Miami will move forward with new infrastructure: a new data science building made possible by a $20 million gift from alumnus Rick McVey; and a new clinical health sciences and wellness building.

The data science building will be the epicenter of data science on campus pulling together many disciplines, providing state of the art space for our students to learn, engage and grow.

The new clinical health building will bring nursing, physician assistant, speech pathology, and audiology programs together in one place– along with student health services and Miami’s TriHealth partner, Speech and Hearing Clinic and Counseling Services.

“Our collective efforts and collaborations have brought us to the conclusion of a semester like no other,” Crawford said. “I deeply admire the perseverance, commitment and spirit of this Miami family. I could not be more thrilled, pleased, and honored to be your president.”