Envisioning MU in 2020
Published: Friday, September 7, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 7, 2012 01:09
What will Miami University look like in 2020? That was the question Miami President David Hodge tried to answer his annual address to the university Thursday. During this address Hodge outlined his plan to continue to provide quality education in 2020 despite the troubles facing higher education today.
“While we cannot exactly know the future, we can still reasonably anticipate some of the major shifts that will change the higher education environment, and we can determine how we want to position ourselves to build an ever stronger, more impactful, and more highly regarded university,” Hodge said.
Hodge divided his address into three main parts: “how have we done?,” “building the future,” and “creating the Miami 2020 plan.”
According to Hodge, like most universities, Miami had a major crisis to contend with after the 2008 economic downturn.
“Our reserves were rapidly exhausted, our state funding was cut, and we were under-enrolled for the incoming class in the fall of 2009,” Hodge said.
As a result Miami had to focus more of its attention on its immediate economic needs. However, with the creation of the Strategic Priorities Task Force (SPTF) in March 2010, Miami was still able to plan for its future, according to Hodge.
SPTF created a list of five major goals Miami needed to accomplish in order to create a sustainable budget and become a more well-known university on a national scale. The goals included improving both the undergraduate and graduate experience at Miami, increasing scholarly accomplishments, contributing to regional, state, national and global communities and maximizing university resources.
According to Hodge, the SPTF goals helped Miami weather the changes to higher education, but in order to be prepared for the upcoming years Miami must continue planning for the future.
“These changes [to higher education] are not temporary disruptions; they are, in fact, changes that are framing a new normal,” Hodge said. “Success in this environment requires anticipating these changes and effectively adapting them to the core missions of the university. More specifically, success requires an inspiring vision, focused goals and high performance execution.”
Like Hodge, Provost Bobby Gempesaw, who also spoke at the address, encouraged the Miami community to meet these challenges head on.
“We have an enormous opportunity and challenge as we initiate the Miami 2020 Plan,” Gempesaw said. “We must anticipate and lead.”
Hodge also spoke of another five goals, the goals for Miami in 2020.
These goals include the creation of a learning environment to engage undergraduate and graduate students both inside and outside the classroom, to create an environment for faculty and staff where they are rewarding innovative thinking and performance, to extend Miami’s global reach, to maintain financial sustainability and academic achievement and to keep improving service, learning, research and the future success of students.
There is one large Coordinating Team (CT) and several smaller Target Goal Teams (TGT) that will help develop these goals and make recommendations for the future.
One of the members of Coordinating Team, Associated Student Government (ASG) Student Body President John Stefanski, said the address helped present the 2020 plan to the whole university.
“I thought [the address] was really good,” Stefanski said. “I think this presents [the 2020 plan] for the entire university to see that we are going to be proactive looking forward in the next seven years.”
Stefanski also said the address was important for him to help make sure ASG has the same goals as the university.