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Campus Announcements

University looks forward with MiamiTHRIVE

Ambitious new project seeks to position Miami to thrive across its teaching, research, and service missions now and in the decades to come

Campus Announcements

University looks forward with MiamiTHRIVE

Miami University has initiated an ambitious and innovative project to identify opportunities to strengthen Miami to better support its teaching, research, and service missions. As we begin strategic planning in early 2024, MiamiTHRIVE will guide the university in reimagining Miami to serve dynamic needs and interests of students now and in the future.

With this work, together WE WILL:

Transform our university

Honor our mission

Realize our potential

Innovate programs and offerings

Value our people

Embrace excellence

“Since welcoming our first class nearly 200 years ago, we have continued to create bold initiatives and enhancements that have led to successful outcomes for students,” Miami University President Gregory Crawford said. “We will seek input from our campuses and beyond to ensure that our plans fit our students and the broader community's future goals and needs. The outcome will be a stronger Miami that is even more equipped to prepare our students for a lifetime of success and impact while remaining true to our liberal arts foundation. MiamiTHRIVE will facilitate that next-level, high-impact innovation that continues to set Miami apart, help our students achieve lives of success and impact, and propel the passions of our faculty, staff, and entire community.”

MiamiTHRIVE working group leadership

The beginning phase of this initiative will be led and run by about 45 Miami faculty and staff administrators who have been selected to join four working groups that will identify opportunities to strengthen Miami’s programs, offerings, and position within the higher education landscape. These team members from across the university bring critical expertise in their respective areas and deep knowledge of the university and its constituents. The groups have begun meeting and will solicit engagement and input from all disciplines and areas across the Miami community. These work streams and teams are:

Miami Bold Strategy will evaluate students’ needs and how those needs will evolve to develop bold strategies and paths forward to meet those needs. This work group is led by:

  • Michael Crowder (lead), Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School​; Jayne Brownell, SVP Student Life​; Brad Bundy, VP, University Advancement​; David Creamer, SVP Finance and Business Services​; Brooke Flinders, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Professor of Nursing​; Eric Hodgson, Associate Professor, Emerging Technology in Business and Design​; Cody Powell, Associate VP, Facilities Planning and Operations​; Melissa Thomasson, Associate Dean for Faculty Excellence and Professor of Economics.

Academic Programs will consider what academic program options Miami should consider to support the Miami Bold Strategy. ​This work group is led by:

  • Carolyn Haynes (lead), Sr. Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives​; Cristina Alcalde, VP for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion​; Renée Baernstein, Senior Associate Dean and Professor of History​; Anne Farrell, Professor and Interim Chair of Accountancy​; Nancy Parkinson, Clinical Faculty Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Health​; Anna Radke, Associate Professor of Psychology​; DJ Rao, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Systems Analysis​; Drew Reffett, Associate Dean for Educational Excellence and Professor of Accountancy.

Enrollment Strategy will explore and develop opportunities that Miami can focus on to build student interest in Miami and optimize student enrollment. This work group is led by:

  • Brent Shock (lead), VP Enrollment Management and Student Success​; Amy Bergerson, Associate Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education​; Greg Brainard, Sr. Director of Miami Online​; Cathy Heinz, AVP Enrollment Marketing and Communications​; Bethany Perkins, AVP Admissions​; Jessica Rivinius, VP and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer​; BaShaun Smith, Associate VP and Dean of Students.

Operational Improvement will assess how Miami is performing across key operational areas and identify opportunities for Miami to improve in these areas. This work group is comprised of sub-groups across multiple areas, and led by:

  • Advancement: Brad Bundy (lead), VP, University Advancement; Bruce Guiot, Associate Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer, Miami Foundation; Mackenzie Rice, President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Miami University Foundation, Assistant Vice President for University Advancement, Donor Engagement, and Board Relations.   
  • Auxiliaries and Facilities: Cody Powell (lead), Associate VP, Facilities Planning and Operations; David Sayler, Director of Athletics; Geno Svec, Special Assistant, Housing, Dining, Recreation and Business Services.
  • Finance: David Ellis (lead), Associate Vice President for Budgeting and Analysis; Lindsay Carpenter, Associate Vice President for Budget and Analytics; Bruce Guiot, Associate Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer, Miami Foundation; Jennifer Morrison, Chief Accounting Officer; Jeff Pidcock, Director of Budgeting and Business Transformation.   
  • Human Resources: Dawn Fahner (lead), Associate VP of Human Resources; Kenya Ash, Associate Vice President for Equity and Equal Opportunity, Title IX Coordinator, and Section 504 and ADA Coordinator; Gary Barnes, Director of Compensation; Ruth Groom, Associate Vice President for Academic Personnel. 
  • Instruction and Research: Susan McDowell (lead), Vice President for Research and Innovation; Lindsay Carpenter, Associate Vice President for Budget and Analytics; Tom Mays, Associate Professor of Commerce; Darryl Rice, Associate Professor of Management; Padma Patil, Associate Vice President, Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness.
  • IT Services: David Seidl (lead), Vice President, Information Technology and CIO; Troy Travis, Assistant Vice President, Enterprise Operations.
  • Procurement: Mark Taylor (lead), Chief Procurement Officer; Allen Sizemore, Associate Director of Analytics and Data Administration.

Steering Committee

Support and guidance to the work groups outlined above will be provided by a Steering Committee composed of leaders from the Board of Trustees and Executive and Academic Leadership. The Steering Committee:

  • Board Chair Mary Schell and Trustees: ​Steve Anderson, Biff Bowman, and Mark Sullivan.
  • President Gregory Crawford and President’s Executive Cabinet members: Jayne Brownell, SVP Student Life​; David Creamer, SVP for Finance and Business Services and Treasurer​; Ande Durojaiye, VP, Miami Regionals​; Elizabeth Mullenix, Provost and EVP for Academic Affairs​; Ted Pickerill, Chief of Staff and Secretary to the Board of Trustees​; Jessica Rivinius, VP, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer​; Brent Shock, VP, Enrollment Management and Student Success​; David Seidl, VP for Information Technology and CIO​; Amy Shoemaker, VP and General Counsel​; Randi Thomas, Esq., VP, ASPIRE​. 
  • Deans: Jenny Darroch, Dean, Farmer School of Business​; Jason Lane, Dean, College of Education, Health, and Society​; Beena Sukumaran, Dean, College of Engineering and Computing​; Jerome Conley, Dean and University Librarian.


Last month, university leaders announced the new initiative and began assembling the work groups. Bain & Company, a global management consulting firm with deep expertise advising institutions of higher education on areas such as strategy and growth, began conducting a strategic opportunities assessment and will be providing a review of the current higher education landscape. The initial assessment will include extensive engagement across the Miami community in a variety of forms, including interviews, working sessions, focus groups, and surveys. This assessment, which will serve as a foundation to the strategic planning process, will be presented to the Board of Trustees early next year. From there, the university will build its new strategic plan with the input and involvement of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and all its stakeholders.

We welcome your ideas and feedback

Now that we have begun the MiamiTHRIVE project, we are asking every member of the community - faculty, staff, and students - to participate by identifying potential opportunities that will help us to THRIVE over the next 10-15 years and beyond. If you have an idea for an initiative for us to consider, please use this link to submit your idea.