Welcome back! I hope you had a safe and healthy winter break. As we begin the new semester, we do so with a sense of hope and optimism for what lies ahead. I share many details about our accomplishments in 2020 and our plans for 2021 in this Welcome Back video.
For nearly a year, our campus community has rallied to adjust to new ways of teaching, learning, and engaging. Nearly every aspect of our lives – both personally and professionally – has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has not always been easy or smooth. But through it all, we have learned how to be innovative and resilient, adapting to challenges we couldn’t have expected just 12 months ago.
This is the third semester that has been impacted by COVID-19. We have learned so much in the past year about how to live in a pandemic. However, with more highly contagious variants of the virus starting to appear worldwide, we cannot become complacent about our efforts. As we move into the spring semester, you can expect two primary commitments from Miami:
The health and wellness of our students, faculty, and staff will continue to guide our decision making. We have a strategic and comprehensive testing program, and strong partnerships with TriHealth as our medical providers and with the Butler County General Health District. As we’ve done to date, we will continue to update and supplement our prevention and response efforts as new guidance and resources become available. Likewise, if we see improvement in local conditions, we will reevaluate our COVID-19 related policies to begin to loosen restrictions if and when it is safe to do so. Finally, we will work closely with the State of Ohio to distribute vaccines when they become available to us.
We remain committed to providing a high quality education to every student, regardless of class modality, residing locally or studying remotely from home. This is our purpose and will always be our priority. If, as a student, you are struggling to get the most out of a class due to the class format, talk to your professor, your department chair, or your academic advisor. We have many resources to help you succeed, and we want to know if your Miami experience is not matching your expectations. As a student, we need commitments from you as well:
The past year has presented many challenges. In addition to the global pandemic and economic fallout from COVID-19 restrictions, we faced a charged political environment and a national reckoning on racial justice. Despite those challenges, Miami University is poised to accelerate into the post-COVID world with courage and confidence rooted in our mission, and to do so together as One Miami. We launch 2021 celebrating the well-deserved honors that came from our accomplishments, and determined to accelerate our mission through our resilience. For Miami, we do not look to the end of this crisis as a way to return to the past. Instead we look forward to taking what we’ve learned this year to advance into an even better future for ourselves, our community, and our society.
Love and Honor,
President Gregory P. Crawford