Seven trends for higher education in 2018: How does Miami look?

We all know that higher education is changing dramatically. I would encourage you to read this recent article from “Inside Higher Ed,” outlining seven trends facing higher education in 2018. I found it interesting and wanted to offer you a few thoughts on how Miami is responding and will respond in the future.

First – I believe that at Miami, we are working from a strong position. We offer an immersive undergraduate experience with access to outstanding faculty and excellent research. Our students work side-by-side with our faculty, making our education highly personalized and distinctive. We offer access through regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown and the VOA Learning Center in West Chester. Miami is routinely ranked among the top public universities nationally for our commitment to teaching, and for preparing our graduates for future success in careers or post-graduate education. Our commitment to curriculum that reaches across disciplines will pay dividends in the future. These factors continue to give us a significant edge in higher education.

Second – We will continue to invest in the things that are important. We have taken difficult steps in the last decade to become more efficient. Our Board of Trustees is crystal-clear about our priorities to prepare our students for the workforce, create jobs and investment in Ohio, increase access, attract the best and brightest, and place our graduates in top graduate and professional schools. That is where we will focus our resources. Academic enrichment and scholarships will be the focus of our investments and campaigns.

Third – We are dedicated to diversity and inclusive excellence, not as an isolated program but as a value that permeates everything we do. We want Miami University campuses to be places where everyone can fulfill their potential – period. This spring, I have charged a working group led by Professor Rodney Coates to focus on an inclusive student experience – how we leverage our diversity, promote and sustain inclusion, and create the most welcoming, barrier-free environment. Also this spring, we will communicate results from our campus climate survey and how we will use these results to enhance our university climate. We will have more information on those initiatives later in the spring semester.

Fourth – Keeping our campuses safe is not negotiable. It is paramount. We need to accept the fact that high-risk drinking, with its associated unsafe and unhealthy outcomes, is a threat to a safe and secure campus. Miami University does not condone it. We are focused on creative approaches we have developed internally as well as best practices that have demonstrated success at other institutions, and we will continue to emphasize to students the importance of making smart and healthy choices.

Comments? Feel free to respond on Twitter @PresGreg or at

The World Needs Love and Honor

Amid the excitement of moving to Oxford and beginning my first week as president of Miami, the flag at half-staff outside of Roudebush and the continuous news reports of lives cut short – club-goers in Orlando, black men in Minnesota and Louisiana, then police in Dallas, and more – was a somber reminder of the tragedy and turmoil that gripped the nation this summer.

A reflective walk for inspiration at the Freedom Summer Memorial on Miami’s Western campus renewed my hope. These times bear striking resemblance to the struggles of the 1960s. Just as those who gathered at Western in the summer of ’64 made a difference— a difference that still reverberates today — Miamians will continue to do so.

My fervent hope at Miami is for us to continuously reflect upon our values, advance our thinking to be all-inclusive, and seek unity as we progress towards a model of inclusive excellence. We must recognize the enormous power of diversity to boost creativity and innovation, to introduce fresh ideas for consideration, synthesis, and refinement.

We must aim to become a model of how to organize our community to reflect a healthy society that practices civil discourse.  We don’t have to agree, but we have to be able to have conversations where we truly listen, with respect and a genuine desire to understand.

The values summed up in our Code of Love and Honor immediately resonated with me, especially those tied to character, integrity, and respect for “the dignity of other persons”…and welcoming “a diversity of people, ideas, and experiences.” That commitment motivated our Freedom Summer predecessors, and it is fully alive today. It forms the starting point for any solution to divisions we face, here at Miami as well as globally.

In the short time I have been here, I’ve seen the power of a Miami education every day in students, faculty, staff, and alumni who are oriented toward social justice and who are passionate about making a difference. While we have much to do on our way to becoming a model for inclusive excellence, these dedicated Miamians can be our inspiration.

The flag at half-staff reminds us of how far we have to go – here at Miami and as we move on in the world – to achieve the justice and equality that we seek. The Freedom Summer Memorial reminds us that Miamians have the wisdom and understanding to remain focused on achieving justice and equality in the midst of upheaval, violence, and complexity; the empathy to inspire unity; and the courage to lead through these tumultuous times.

Love and Honor,


Group photo of attendees at the 2015 Freedom Summer Memorial conference and reunion

Attendees gather at the Freedom Summer Memorial for the 2015 conference and reunion.