Javier Miyares is president of University of Maryland University College, America's largest public online university and a constituent institution of the University System of Maryland. Since his appointment in 2012, he has expanded access and opportunities for adult learners through key initiatives and has been in the forefront of leveraging "big data" and analytics to fuel advances in learning science.
The university has also expanded its corporate and institutional alliances under his leadership. UMUC has established an agreement with the federal Office of Personnel Management to help fill identified skills gaps in the 2.7-million-strong federal workforce. He also established the UMUC Completion Scholarship, enabling Maryland community college graduates to earn a bachelor’s degree from UMUC for a total cost of $20,000.
Most recently, the USM Board of Regents approved a UMUC plan to spin off its highly successful Office of Analytics into a new company, HelioCampus, that will offer business intelligence products and services to universities nationwide. The university has committed to using profits generated by HelioCampus to support scholarship programs that would further reduce and perhaps ultimately eliminate tuition costs for graduates of Maryland community colleges who seek to earn their bachelor's degrees at UMUC.
Recognizing the university’s expertise in providing education to the U.S. military, the Department of Defense in 2015 awarded UMUC a new seven-year contract to continue offering coursework and academic support services to our U.S. troops in the Asia Pacific region. In 2013, UMUC secured the DoD contract to continue providing instruction to U.S. troops across Europe for the next 10 years.
Under Miyares's leadership, the Pillars of Strength Scholarship program has been established in association with the Yellow Ribbon Fund and the The Blewitt Foundation. This unique partnership awards full UMUC scholarships to the volunteer caregivers of wounded military servicemembers.
Also during Miyares's tenure, the UMUC Cyber Padawans—the university's cybersecurity competition team comprising students, faculty, and alumni—won the 2014 Global CyberLympics in Barcelona, Spain, as well as the Maryland Cyber Challenge in 2013 and 2014, and the inaugural Cyber DiploHack competition organized by the prestigious Center for Strategic and International Studies in 2015.
UMUC has received numerous honors during Miyares's tenure. The university was named 2015 Global Educator of the Year by the World Affairs Council of Washington, D.C. for its leadership in academic innovation. UMUC's service to veterans has been cited by Military Times, which ranked the university No. 1 in its 2015 "Best for Vets: Colleges" list. UMUC also received the 2015 President's Award from the Open Education Consortium for its exceptional leadership in adopting open-source material in all classes by fall 2016.
Miyares has often cited higher education as his gateway to the American Dream. Born in Havana, Cuba, he was spirited out of the country by his Jesuit teachers on July 4, 1961, at age 14, after his father was taken prisoner by Fidel Castro during the Bay of Pigs invasion. Miyares later joined Operation Pedro Pan and eventually moved to Maryland, where he attended the University of Maryland, College Park, earning bachelor's and master's degrees in sociology. He completed all the requirements but the dissertation for a doctorate in educational measurement and statistics.
About University of Maryland University College
A pioneer in distance education since 1947, University of Maryland University College is today a world leader in innovative educational models, with award-winning online programs in disciplines including cybersecurity, data analytics, biotechnology, and information technology that are in high demand in today's increasingly technical, global workplace. UMUC offers open access with a global footprint and a specific mission—to meet the learning needs of adult students whose responsibilities often include jobs, families, and military service. Today, UMUC is harnessing the power of learning science and technology to deliver high quality education that is accessible and affordable.