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MU seeks input on regional campus plan

Forums to be held to voice student, faculty opinions on proposal

By Jenn Smola
On February 20, 2012

A series of forums regarding the future of Miami University's regional campuses will take place over the next few weeks.

Miami faculty, staff and students are invited by the Miami University Senate's Academic Policy Committee as well as by the Regional Faculty Committee to voice their opinions about the current proposal to create a new academic division for Miami's regional campuses.

The proposal suggests creating a new academic division for regional campuses that would have the authority to develop new degree programs and hire new faculty autonomously.

The proposal also stipulates that the new division could not offer the same degrees offered by other academic divisions. Additionally, if approved, a name will be determined for the new division, which will then be specified on the diploma of regional campus students.

"I think this is a very poor proposal that doesn't do anything to increase the quality of Miami University," David Berg, professor of zoology at the Hamilton Campus, said.

Seventy faculty members from the Oxford and regional campuses signed a letter to President David Hodge and Provost Bobby Gempesaw in January describing concerns about creating a new division.

According to Rob Schorman, chair of the Regional Campus Faculty Committee, the forums aren't directly because of the letter but are being held to help prepare for a report that both committees are putting together along with the proposal for the university senate.

"[The forums are] obviously related," Schorman said, "But I think we would have been having the forums whether the letter had been written or not."

Because of the controversial nature of the proposal, the two committees are hoping to gather as much input as possible from the Miami community regarding the proposed changes, Schorman said.

"We wanted to have a chance to have as many voices as possible heard," Schorman said. "We're interested in getting a broad range of views in the campus community."

The forums will be held in Oxford, Middletown, Hamilton and in West Chester at the Voice of America Learning Center beginning this week.

"I'm hopeful that the forums allow us to influence the way the administration thinks about this issue," Berg said. "Hopefully they'll make a difference."

Senior Lauren Hall transferred to the Oxford campus after beginning her education at the Hamilton branch. Hall said she thinks very highly of the regional campuses and hopes the proposed changes will not hurt them.

"I think the regional campuses are great," Hall said. "If they're able to do this with keeping the quality of professors and quality of degree programs, I might be for it."

However, if the changes threaten the quality of teachers and programs, the university would be lowering its standards, Hall said.

"I would hate to see the quality of regional campuses go down," she said.

Hall said she thinks the upcoming forums are very significant. Hall attended similar forums regarding different issues in the past that were very helpful.

"I would definitely go," Hall said. "I think it's really important."

The university senate will consider the proposed changes in early April and the board of trustees will vote on the proposal during their April 27 meeting.

Dates and locations for the

forums are as follows:

Tuesday, Feb. 21

Hamilton campus,

Wilks Conference Center

1:15-2:15 for students

2:30-3:30 for staff

3:45-5:00 for faculty

Wednesday, Feb. 22

Middletown campus,

Miriam Knol

Community Center, JHN 142 

1:15-2:15 for students

2:30-3:30 for staff

3:45-5:00 for faculty

Monday, Feb. 27

Oxford campus, Benton 102

4:10-5:25

Middletown community

forum, Miriam Knoll

Community Center, JHN 142

5:30-6:30

Tuesday, Feb. 28

Oxford campus,

McGuffey 322

4:10-5:25

Hamilton community forum,

Wilks Conference Center

5:30-6:30

Wednesday, Feb. 29

West Chester community

forum, Voice of America

Learning Center Auditorium

5:30-6:30

It is the policy of The Miami Student to publish corrections. In the Feb. 10 issue of The Miami Student in the article "Miami acts to curb illegal note-sharing," StudyBlue.com was listed as a website that pays students for uploading their notes to their site. However, StudyBlue.com does not pay students for notes, although it was listed in the memo sent to Miami faculty about illegal note-sharing.


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