February 1, 2016
Dear University of Miami Community,
We have successfully completed an extraordinary week of events marking my inauguration as the sixth president of the University of Miami. (A video of the week's activities can be found here.) I am deeply grateful to each and every one of you for your participation in those events and for your daily commitment to our University.
In my installation address, I spoke about “Charting the Course to Our New Century.” This roadmap builds on the intensive listening exercise we engaged in last fall. While I will always be listening, we are now ready to move toward implementation. Through the listening exercise, new opportunities have surfaced with potential for the University of Miami to distinguish itself, even as we continue to pursue our current work. In my address I alluded to eight specific initiatives:
- 100 new talents for 100 years: Create 100 new endowed chairs over the next decade
- Investment in basic and applied science and engineering: Enhance excellence in these fields, propelled by the transformational gift from Phillip and Patricia Frost and other investments
- Problem-based interdisciplinary collaboration: Pursue excellence and relevance by seeding innovative projects across disciplines to address complex challenges such as rising sea levels
- University-wide platform for educational innovation: Support enhanced teaching and learning opportunities for students and faculty
- Hemispheric innovation hub: Develop partnerships to transform Miami into a hub for technological innovation and new ventures across the Americas
- Hemispheric university consortium: Promote UM as a center for research and education collaboration across the hemisphere
- Access with excellence: Minimize barriers for deserving students by increasing aid to meet 100 percent of student financial need
- Culture of belonging: Deepen a campus culture where all members of the UM community feel valued and have the opportunity to add value
Following consultation with senior leaders across the University, small working groups of faculty, staff, and students have been tasked with developing the specific elements of each initiative, including criteria for priority setting, estimates of resource requirements, and initial identification of potential funding strategies. These groups, whose members will be announced in the coming days, commence their work this week and will deliver their recommendations by the end of the academic year. Throughout this process, we will continue to consult with faculty, staff, and students for your input. The proposals that emerge will be channeled through our regular governance mechanisms involving the Faculty Senate and the Board of Trustees.
Inauguration week showcased the remarkable accomplishments of the University of Miami since its founding and the strength of our community. I look forward to working with all of you as we transform our University for its new century.