April 15, 2005
I am constantly encouraged, but never surprised, by the passion
I encounter among faculty and staff here at UM. Our employees
are dedicated, caring, productive, and generous. This is never
more evident than during times of crisis like hurricanes and
other challenges, but is also evidenced daily in your pursuits
related to research, teaching, patient care, and the business
of running this university.
Together, we have now raised more than $858 million toward
our billion-dollar goal for the Momentum campaign.
That's a spectacular achievement, and we should all be very
proud. We are now in the home stretch, and it's time to catch
our second wind. Many of you have already made generous campaign
contributions. As a matter of fact, 100 percent of our vice
presidents and deans and almost all of our medical school
department chairs have made a campaign commitment.
This month we will launch the faculty and staff component
of the campaign, giving each of you an opportunity to show
your support. Dean Colson, chairman of the Board of Trustees,
will be contacting you soon and will send each of you a pledge
card -- or you may give online at www.miami.edu/campaign/donors/faculty-staff.html.
Every gift to the campaign, no matter how large or how small,
is greatly appreciated. I hope each of you will give what
you can and help close the gap toward our goal.
We recruited two new deans this spring. Classics scholar Michael
Halleran, currently divisional dean for arts and humanities
at the University of Washington, was named dean of the College
of Arts and Sciences, and Sam Grogg, dean of the American
Film Institute, was named dean of the School of Communication.
These tremendously talented individuals arrive on campus this
summer. We also recruited a director for our newly named Center
for Hemispheric Policy. Susan Kaufman Purcell was previously
vice president for the Council of the Americas; a distinguished
political scientist and native New Yorker, she arrived on
campus last week.
Two other major searches are under way -- executive vice
president and provost of the University and senior vice president
and dean of the Miller School of Medicine -- the two most
senior-level academic positions at the University. The search
for a new provost is nearing completion. The medical school
dean search, chaired by Provost Luis Glaser, is about to begin.
Our aggressive construction agenda continues. In January
we dedicated the spectacular new Marta and Austin Weeks Music
Library and Technology Center at the Frost School of Music.
University Village is emerging out of the ground along Red
Road and will be completed in time to welcome 800 resident
students there in fall 2006. The medical school's Clinical
Research Institute and Wellness Center, the M. Christine Schwartz
Center for Nursing and Health Studies, the Jorge M. Perez
Architecture Center, and the School of Communication Student
Center are on schedule, and we expect to occupy all of them
in the fall.
This summer we will break ground on Smathers Four Fillies
Farm in the Village of Pinecrest. Consisting of 32 beautiful
homes nestled within a lush 32-acre compound, these residences
will be available for sale to UM faculty members only. The
project is scheduled for completion by summer 2006. Eligible
faculty members will be receiving more information about purchasing
these homes in the next few days.
Several other major construction projects are in design and
will begin construction soon, including the School of Business
Administration's Miguel B. Fernandez Family Entrepreneurship
Building and the Miller School of Medicine's new wet lab research
building. With the University's recent purchase of Gables
One Tower on South Dixie Highway, several UM administrative
offices will move all or part of their operations there this
summer, including University Communications, General Counsel,
University Advancement, and the Miller School of Medicine
billing offices. And, thanks to a generous grant from the
Bernard Osher Foundation, the Institute for Retired Professionals
has been renamed the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and
will soon move to the site of the old Faculty Club on Brescia
Commencement is rapidly approaching. We have a terrific line-up
of honorary degree recipients and speakers that we will announce
publicly in the next few weeks. Acclaimed film director, screenwriter,
and actor Spike Lee will be the speaker for the Class of 2005
Convocation at the UM Convocation Center on Thursday, April
28, at 6 p.m. For the latest information on Commencement and
related activities, please visit www.miami.edu/commencement.
It is a privilege to work with such incredibly talented people.
Thank you for your continued commitment to our wonderful University.
Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
regarding any of the information in this edition of Dialogue
or any other University issue.