Miami U. hires next president from Notre Dame

Posted at 12:24 PM, Feb 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-19 13:02:10-05

OXFORD, Ohio – Miami University has chosen Gregory P. Crawford, a University of Notre Dame vice president and associate provost, as its 22nd president effective July 1.

The 50-year-old Crawford, a noted physics researcher and professor, will take over following the June 30 retirement of President David Hodge, the school announced Friday. Hodge has served for 10 years.

The board of trustees approved the Elyria, Ohio, native Friday in a unanimous vote. They are negotiating a five-year contract.

Crawford joined Notre Dame’s faculty in 2008 and previously served as dean of engineering at Brown University.

“Having spent my career at two institutions with a strong emphasis on undergraduate teaching and learning, focused on undergraduate research, scholarship and the creative and liberal arts, I believe Miami is a perfect fit for my experience, values and philosophy of higher education,” Crawford said.

Crawford said he and his wife Renate were "inspired" after visiting Miami’s campuses this week.

"We were truly inspired by the students, faculty and staff we met – their accomplishments, their passion for their work, their zeal for the institution," he said.

Miami board chair David Budig said Crawford "has vast credentials of experience in bringing together multiple disciplines, a passion for the liberal arts, a scholar mindset, and a dedication to community service.”

The Crawfords have close ties to Miami — her sister is a “Miami Merger” (the name for couples who meet at Miami and later marry), and he is close friends with legendary former Miami football coach Ara Parseghian.

Crawford has helped Parseghian raise about $2 million in research and clinical trial funds for the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation, which seeks to find a cure for Niemann-Pick Type C Disease (NP-C). Three of Parseghian’s grandchildren have the disease, which causes progressive deterioration of the nervous system.

In 2010, the Crawfords made a cross-country bicycle ride to raise awareness and funding. He has since completed five “Road to Discovery” rides, totaling nearly 15,000 miles.

Both Crawfords have doctorate in chemical physics from Kent State. He has published more than 400 research and education publications, review articles and book chapters, and holds more than 20 U.S. patents and patent applications.

READ more about Crawford on Miami's website.