9-12-19 Weekly Three

Dear Colleagues,

This week, the U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Colleges 2020” guidebook recognized Miami as one of the top five national institutions for “unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching." This marks the 10th time Miami has been included on the list. Included in the list of top 50 best national public universities (#39) and top 100 of public and private universities and colleges combined (#91), Miami remains in elite company.

I also want to highlight our stellar student success measures:

  • 33rd in freshman to sophomore retention
  • 15th in four-year graduation rate
  • 32nd in 6-year graduation
  • 3rd in undergraduate research/creative projects

Our strategic plan will amplify our traditional strengths and drive us toward leadership in important higher education discussions. You can learn more about these “Best College 2020” rankings, including #8 ranking for undergraduate engineering among U.S. public universities without a doctorate program here.

These and all our other accolades occur because every staff and faculty member is committed to supporting our students and our our mission to be an extraordinary place for exemplary people to do work that makes the world a better place. Thanks to each one of you.

Now, three updates for you to consider:

Faculty Assembly Meeting Update - At Tuesday’s Faculty Assembly meeting, a resolution was approved to return the “Notification of Police Reports, Arrest, Criminal Charges and Indictments” policy (previously approved in April 2019) to University Senate for further consideration. What is remarkable to me was the respectful, articulate, and civil way everyone has discussed this complex and important issue. We, as an institution, will continue to support diversity and inclusion through respectful engagement, even over emotional or deeply-held concerns.

Another important take-away for President Crawford and myself, was the critical role that shared governance has in this discussion. Everything that happened was in line with how our shared governance is intended to work. While I think there is always room for improvement, the campus community needs to know that we value and celebrate effective shared governance. Please be aware that any member of the university community can reach out to their University Senate representative to raise concerns or make recommendations about any policy, or to propose a new policy for consideration.

At the meeting, I also provided an update about Boldly Creative and Miami’s new Strategic Plan, including information about our year one priorities and the roll out of the Plan.

Benefits Update - At Monday’s University Senate meeting, Karen Wilson, Director of Benefits and Wellness in Human Resources, provided updates about important changes coming in 2020 to Miami employee health and retirement benefits:

Anthem has been selected as Miami’s health care provider beginning in 2020 (replacing UMR). There is a 99.2% health provider match between UMR and Anthem and during the open enrollment period of October 7-31, employees will be able to select a plan and confirm or find providers available through Anthem’s provider network. This transition will also include a change in Pharmacy benefits from OptumRx pharmacy to IngenioRx. The Benefits and Wellness website provides information and FAQs about the change to Anthem and they will be sending an Open Enrollment Guide to all employees this month.

As part of a state-wide review by public universities through the Inter-University Council of Ohio and further review by Miami via an independent investment advising organization (The Cammack Retirement Group), Miami will be making changes to the options available to employees under our Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) and 403(b) plans. Employees participating in ARP and 403(b) plans will receive more information about these changes in mid-October and will need to confirm or make investment decisions during the November 4 – December 20, 2019 election period. For now, more information and details can be found here.

Save the Date: President Crawford will present his State of the University Address on Wednesday, October 23 (4:15 pm) ASC Wilks Theater. We also expect a strategic plan related event/celebration to follow. Please plan on attending both events.

Next week we have the opportunity to share all this good work and accomplishment with our trustees and foundation board. I continue to be deeply thankful to be able to support you and the mission of this institution.

Love and Honor,