Michael Crowder, the current chair of Miami University’s Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, has been named the new associate provost and dean of the graduate school effective July 1.
This is Crowder’s 25th year at Miami. He started as an assistant professor in 1995, and he’s held the position of chair of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department since 2013.
Crowder did not apply to the graduate dean position when it was first available. However, his concerns of low revenue, low national visibility and low enrollment numbers for the graduate program compelled him to apply for the position.
Crowder will also serve as interim vice president for research and innovation (VPRI).
Jim Oris held the position of associate provost, graduate school dean and VPRI until October 2019. Then, the positions were split, and Oris remained the VPRI and became associate dean of the graduate school. Rose Marie Ward became the interim dean of the graduate school and associate provost.
As of July 1, Crowder will hold all the positions, returning the responsibilities to one person.
“I believe that Jim and Rose Marie did remarkable jobs under incredibly tough situations,” Crowder wrote in an email to The Miami Student.
“There are incredible challenges facing both positions, given budget issues caused by [the novel] coronavirus and pressures in higher education,” Crowder wrote. “So our teams need to be extremely strategic in the use of valuable resources and time.
Crowder’s vision for the graduate school has three aspects: to strengthen, build and modernize the program.
To strengthen the graduate school, Crowder aims to increase national visibility and create competition with other domestic graduate programs.
To build the graduate school, Crowder hopes to create new programs within the graduate school to gain revenue and enroll a larger student body.
To modernize the graduate school, Crowder aims to create a requirement of students to take an internship in their preferred occupation and to set up a study abroad opportunity if the funding is available. He also wants to increase the graduate school’s online presence.
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“Miami is known for its undergraduate program, not the graduate program,” Crowder said. “But grad education is very important. In order to have a good undergrad program, we need a good grad program.”