Miami University President Gregory Crawford shares updates; highlights students and employees

In a video message to the community, Miami University President Gregory Crawford shared a comprehensive update of actions taken during the COVID-19 pandemic and shared examples of students and employees uplifting the well-being of others.

Crawford addressed four major areas during the speech: creating opportunities for students, commending faculty and staff for their dedication to teaching, advancing Miami in a time of change, and living out our core values.

Over the last several weeks, faculty and staff made more than 15,000 individual calls in a bold effort to reach every student. Crawford listed several actions steps taken to better serve students:
  • Created remote tutoring opportunities through the Rinella Learning Center, the Miller Center for Student Disability Services, the Howe Center for Writing Excellence and The Regionals student support centers.
  • Assisted students in finding resources remotely through the Miami University Libraries.
    Offered programs through the Center for Career Exploration and Student Success and Regional Career Services and Professional Development Office.
  • Reached out to alumni to help our graduates with their careers.
  • Distributed nearly $27M in refunds to students and families for room, board and other fees.
  • Planned celebrations for the class of 2020. There will be an immersive, online graduation ceremony May 16 and 17, with plans for an in-person event in September.

He commended faculty and staff, in awe of the innovation, creativity and ingenuity, they demonstrated as the university switched to remote learning.

“They maintained their teaching, research, service, and their shared governance of this university. I am in awe of their excellence. No words can express my gratitude,” he said.

Crawford addressed Miami’s solid financial position upon entering the crisis. Because of budgeting practices introduced after the 2008 financial crisis and the recent agile budgeting model, Miami reached the top financial ranking in Ohio, and is ranked No. 1 in the country for efficiency. This is providing Miami with valuable time to gather and evaluate information moving forward.

Some of the actions Miami has taken during the COVID-19 pandemic to secure Miami’s future include:

  • Continued hiring for critical positions.
  • Placed most infrastructure projects on pause to provide flexibility and liquidity.
  • Slowed or halted spending by scrutinizing expenditures.
  • Hired to date about 100 supplemental faculty for the next academic year and will continue to reevaluate our need for additional supplemental teaching faculty after the acceptance deadline for our incoming class.
  • In addition, President Crawford took a voluntary 25% salary reduction, and other senior leaders and deans took a voluntary 10% reduction. The savings will be directed to support students.

During the message, Crawford highlighted several examples of exceptional students and employees who served during this crisis, from donating thousands of personal protective equipment to Miami’s more than 2,500 alumni who are physicians and 4,000 nurses — many working on the front lines — to adapting on-campus programming remotely, and to giving their time to help others. “They inspire us all,” Crawford said.