President Shalala to Step Down

By UM News

President Shalala to Step Down

By UM News
UM President Donna E. Shalala has announced she is stepping down at the end of the 2014-15 academic year.

University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala has announced that she is stepping down on May 31 at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year after 14 years of distinguished service.

President Shalala has also served as a professor of political science, teaching one of the University’s largest and most popular courses focusing on the politics and economics of health care, featuring such special guest lecturers as former U.S. President Bill Clinton. She plans to return to the faculty as a professor of political science and health policy.

“President Shalala’s tenure as the University of Miami’s fifth president has been a fortuitous and celebrated circumstance of the right leader at the right place at the right time,” noted Stuart A. Miller, Chair of the University of Miami Board of Trustees, UM law school alumnus, and Chief Executive Officer of Lennar Corp.

UM’s current era was launched in June 2001 with the naming of Shalala as the fifth president in the history of the institution. Her presidency has been marked by accelerated progress in all key areas—teaching and learning, the discovery of new knowledge, the delivery of cutting-edge medical care, service to the region and beyond, and fundraising. Under her leadership, UM rapidly advanced into the top-tier of American higher education, joining the nation’s finest research universities.

Few individuals are as accomplished or as dedicated to public service as President Shalala, who commands more than 40 years of experience as a professor, scholar, and administrator. She has held the position of Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and President of Hunter College of the City University of New York.

One of the most honored academics of her generation, she has been elected to seven national academies: The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the American Philosophical Society; the National Academy of Education; the National Academy of Social Insurance; the National Academy of Public Administration; and the National Academy of Political and Social Science.

Under the Clinton administration President Shalala served as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services for eight years, the longest serving HHS Secretary in U.S. history. In 2007, President George W. Bush handpicked President Shalala to co-chair with Senator Bob Dole the Commission on Care for Returning Wounded Warriors. In June of 2008, he presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nation’s highest civilian award.

Milestones during President Shalala’s tenure at the University of Miami include:

  • The University received 32,000 freshman applications for fall 2015—more than twice the 14,721 received in 2001. Between 2001 and 2015, the mean SAT score of incoming freshmen rose from 1190 to 1325, while those in the top 10 percent of their high school classes now compose more than 70 percent of our freshman class, up from 51 percent in 2001. The six-year graduation rate, another standard measure of success in higher education, has risen from 63 percent to 81 percent since 2001.

  • With almost 17,000 undergraduate and graduate students, diversity has never been higher. In Fall 2013 enrollment was 47 percent minority students, including 26 percent Hispanic or Latino, 8 percent black, and 13 percent Asian/Pacific Islander—up from 39 percent in 2000.

  • Faculty research and sponsored program expenditures have increased by more than 71 percent, from $202 million in 2001 to more than $346 million in Fiscal Year ’13 in support of more than 2,250 extramurally funded projects. For Fiscal Year ’13 the UM Miller School of Medicine was No. 38 in National Institutes of Health funding. NIH funding in 2013 reached $118 million, solidifying the Miller School as the top NIH-funded medical school in Florida. The UM School of Nursing and Health Studies is the top NIH-funded nursing school in the state.

  • In 2003 the University announced Momentum: The Campaign for the University of Miami, the most far-reaching and ambitious comprehensive campaign in its history. The historic fundraising drive surpassed its $1 billion goal in January 2006, a year and a half ahead of schedule, and ended December 31, 2007, having raised $1.4 billion, the first university in Florida to successfully mount a billion-dollar campaign.

  • In 2012 the University launched Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami, a $1.6 billion effort that was surpassed in April 2015.

  • The Momentum campaigns represent an extraordinary $3 billion philanthropic legacy that has transformed the University and the South Florida community.

  • The University of Miami has hosted a wide variety of high-profile events during the Shalala years. Some 63 million people tuned in to a live broadcast of the 2004 Bush-Kerry presidential debate held on the Coral Gables campus; a few years later, UM and Univision Communications presented the first-ever internationally televised candidates’ forums targeting Spanish speakers.

  • Among the many other dignitaries and luminaries who have visited UM to speak during President Shalala’s tenure: the late poet Maya Angelou, columnist George Will, award-winning journalists Anderson Cooper, Thomas Friedman, and Fareed Zakaria, television host Rachel Maddow, filmmaker Spike Lee, novelist and Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Supreme Court justices Sonia Sotomayor, Anthony Kennedy, and Stephen Bryer, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, who visited twice, Tenzin Gyatso, primatologist Jane Goodall, and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón.

  • In 2010 and 2015 the University hosted the Clinton Global Initiative University. UM is the only university to be selected twice for this honor.

  • An independent study of UM’s economic impact conducted in 2012 found that the University has a total economic impact of $5.62 billion on Miami-Dade County and an impact of $6.1 billion on the tri-county (Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach) region. One of the largest employers in Miami-Dade County, the University is a major engine that contributes widely across the area, with its employment and expenditures driving further economic activity that affects multiple sectors in the economy.

  • President Shalala’s presidency has seen an unprecedented growth in facilities totaling more than $2 billion of new construction and comprising 2.7 million square feet of projects completed or in process, plus 1.7 million of existing square feet renovated. Major projects on the Coral Gables campus include the BankUnited Center, Student Activities Center, University Village student housing, the Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence, and the Newman Alumni Center among others. Additions to the Miller School of Medicine campus include the Clinical Research Building, University of Miami Hospital, Biomedical Research Building, and UM Life Science and Technology Park. Next month the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science will dedicate the Alfred C. Glassell, Jr. SUSTAIN Building and Marine Technology & Life Sciences Seawater Complex.

  • President Shalala has become the consummate Miamian, deeply involved in its civic, business, and cultural life. Through her efforts as the leader of the region’s oldest university, she has helped advance Miami’s world-class status and raised the bar in the arts, education, health care, and community engagement. In 2014 she received the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s highest honor, the Sand in My Shoes Award.

In her September 2014 letter announcing her plans to step down, President Shalala gave praise to the University of Miami family—students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, supporters, and donors: “Collectively we have accomplished what we set out to do—secure the University of Miami’s place as the next great American research university.” (For full text of President Shalala’s statement, click here.)


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