Potential Changes to Miami Regional Campuses Spark Controversy
Major changes could be coming to the regional campuses of Miami University, and it has some students, faculty and alumni upset.
A task force recently presented recommendations to the University and it included everything from changing what's on the diplomas to even merging the two regional campuses.
About 1,500 people signed a petition in response to these proposed changes.
"I am Miami" is a phrase the University initiated to unite everyone as Miamians. But lately, some regional campus students believe "I am Miami, sort of" is a better depiction of what's really going on and there's a sense of elitism, especially seeing ads like "Miami, the Public Ivy" in malls.
"They can say 'we are Miami' as much as they want but the fact is if you are a regional student and you take classes in Oxford, you don't tell anyone you are a regional student, students or faculty, because you're going to be treated different," said Miami junior Samantha Young.
Samantha Young and many others signed this petition to fight diversity related opposition. The task force discussed varying accreditation or even a degree differentiation.
"To put a notation on our classes or degrees that we went to Hamilton, not Oxford, seems more of a financial issue to me than anything," said Miami junior Jaree Naqvi.
Junior Jaree Naqvi splits time between the Oxford and the regional campuses.
"I can tell you education is absolutely equal," said Naqvi.
Oxford spokesperson Claire Wagner stresses the regional campuses are a strong part of Miami, but there are some differences.
"They have had a different identity. The Oxford campus has had a very selective admissions process whereas our regional campuses have been open enrollment," said Wagner.
Wagner says higher education is being challenged at schools across Ohio, and the task force also discussed adding bachelor degree opportunities to Hamilton and Middletown.
"Now we really want to give them the autonomy to add more four year degrees that aren't necessarily duplicating what Oxford offers, but are available to the students who enroll at the regional campuses," said Wagner.
Naqvi is thrilled that there's been community input through this task force, but adds certain changes could lead to even more segregation.
"There still needs to be a lot more research done before they make huge jumps like that," said Naqvi.
None of these changes are final. President Hodge and the Board of Trustees plan on discussing these recommendations from the task force this Friday. A steering committee will also present an additional report to the Trustees this Spring.