e-Veritas Archive | July, 2017

Mark Diaz Steps Down After 18 Years of Service

UM News

Mark Diaz

Mark Diaz

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (July 28, 2017)–After 18 years of leadership and service to the University, Mark Diaz, the vice president for budget and planning who launched UM’s Family Night with the Marlins, is stepping down to pursue other opportunities, effective July 31.

“There is no part of our University that has not been touched and improved due to his work,” Thomas J. LeBlanc, UM’s outgoing executive vice president and provost wrote in announcing Diaz’s departure. “He led the effort to reshape the budget process to ensure that our resources and our aspirations were aligned, and that budget priorities would drive and sustain academic excellence.”

An avid ’Canes fan and alumnus who joined the University administration in 1999 as executive director of medical finance operations and budget at the Miller School of Medicine, Diaz moved to LeBlanc’s leadership team as associate vice president for budget and planning in 2005, and was named vice president for budget and planning in 2012. He concurrently served as interim CFO of the Miller School and UHealth from 2013 to 2016.

Among his many responsibilities, Diaz oversaw the strategic development of the University’s budget and capital plans, as well as organizational and business development within the academic and administrative units.

Under his guidance, the University budget increased annual contingency funding to protect the academic programs from unforeseen budget shortfalls, and also increased annual funding for deferred maintenance to assure that University facilities support the academic mission.

He also led the effort to identify the resources for the massive renovation of the Cox Science Building, as well as the development of the Cox Science Plaza. He budgeted and staffed a new organization to oversee space across our campuses, which included an online space management system.

An early proponent and vocal supporter of UM’s culture transformation effort, Diaz dedicated many hours of his own time in support of this important work. Now in its 12th year, his popular Family Night with the Marlins draws more than 20,000 employees and their families to Marlins Park for a celebration of America’s pastime, and of the U.

Diaz, who earned his initial accounting degree from UM in 1992, said it’s been his privilege to work for and with tremendous people to advance one of South Florida’s jewels.

“Borrowing from a familiar phrase, it’s all about the people!” Diaz said. “I can’t think of a better way to dedicate 18 years than to serve and support faculty, staff, trustees, students, patients, and countless others who make up a place that I truly care about. I never would have imagined that I would return to the University that launched me into the ‘real world.’ I wore the U proudly as an alum and employee. I just hope that I, in turn, made the U proud. It really was and always will be all about the U–the phrase that really matters.”

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Eastern Airlines Archive Lands at UM

By Cory Czajkowski
University of Miami Libraries

Eastern Miami

In this undated photograph from the archive, members of American Legion Post 292 reflect the community’s pride in Eastern Airlines.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (July 27, 2017) – On an overcast day, a line of uniformed men are positioned side by side in front of a towering DC-4 aircraft, its four propellers at rest. Flanked by an American flag and a banner identifying the group as American Legion Post 292, the men proudly stand at attention with marching drums slung over their shoulders. The skin of a bass drum placed on the runway nearby is lettered with paint to pinpoint the location: Miami, Florida. The American Legion troop in front of the DC-4 represents the company, Eastern Airlines.

This black-and-white photograph, although undated and without a formal description, helps set a tone for how significant the aviation industry was to the development of South Florida. The print is just one of many items in the 440 linear feet of materials in the Eastern Airlines Archive, which was recently donated by the Eastern Airlines Retirees Association to the University of Miami Libraries Special Collections. Open to researchers and the general public, the complete Eastern Archive—which includes a number of unidentified items, such as the photograph of Legion Post 292—embodies a nostalgic pride for an airline that still remains in the hearts and minds of its local and global community of former employees.

“These records trace the dramatic growth of Miami as a major tourist destination when Eastern was at one time the largest corporate employer and airline in Florida,” says Roland Moore, Eastern Airlines’ former director of legal affairs. “Over 12,000 employees resided in Orlando, Tampa, and South Florida.”

Founded in 1926 as a mail carrier, Eastern Airlines was first based in New York City and headed by Edward Vernon Rickenbacker, recognized locally as the namesake for Miami’s Rickenbacker Causeway. A decorated World War I flying ace and pioneer in air transportation, Rickenbacker acquired Eastern’s earliest transportation routes to Florida after World War II. He promoted Florida as a tourist and business destination with easy access to Latin America and the Caribbean, and Eastern soon became the leading airline in the Sunshine State.

In 1975 the airline relocated to Miami under the direction of former NASA astronaut and Apollo 8 commander Frank Borman. With headquarters at Miami International Airport, the company quickly made Miami the capital of Latin American and Caribbean aviation, boosted business at local airports, created tourism booms in several countries, and eventually distinguished itself as one of America’s most recognized air carriers until it ceased operations in 1991.

“The Eastern donation is a perfect complement to our airline industry holdings, further establishing Special Collections as a premier destination for research into the history of exploration, as well as air and sea navigation,” says Charles Eckman, dean of University of Miami Libraries. “These materials amount to a rich and unique repository, with a deep research value that’s tightly woven into our South Florida culture.”

The archive is comprised of historical materials including correspondence, tens of thousands of photographs and slides, labor files, business records, newsletters, print and video travel advertisements, posters, memorabilia, and artifacts such as flight attendants’ uniforms.

“This collection is a microcosm of the worlds of business, public relations, advertising, fashion, technological advances—all through the fascinating lens of the aviation industry,” says Cristina Favretto, head of Special Collections. “It will appeal to a very wide range of users, from scholars writing very focused books and articles to high school students interested in early aviation history, to people who were connected to Eastern directly and indirectly as employees or passengers. The collection will also appeal to our creative side, because it appeals to the explorer in all of us.”

Eastern’s archive joins other signature collections, such as the Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records, World Wings International, Inc. Records, Clipper Pioneers Collection, and the recently donated Jay I. Kislak Collection of the Early Americas, Exploration and Navigation. These collections form the core of a body of resources available to scholars and students who wish to discover more about how airline travel, the travel industry, historical navigation, and the impulse to explore new worlds shaped our present culture. Researchers can touch and examine the original documents, maps, photos, and other materials from these bygone eras, enabling a better understanding of the human industry, enterprise, and creativity that gave rise to these artifacts.

From the early days as a mail carrier in New York City, to growing into an internationally recognized airline that launched South Florida as a capital of aviation, Eastern Airlines continues to hold a special place in history for its legion of devotees—a history that visiting researchers and specialists can support by exploring the collection and potentially helping to identify some of the unknowns within the archive.

“The Eastern community in South Florida is still very close-knit and active, and we were confident that the University of Miami would make the best home for the archive,” Moore says. “We’re thrilled about the possibilities of this collaboration and the new scholarly research to come, but we’re most pleased that the legacy of Eastern will live on.”

A commemorative event is being planned to honor Eastern’s retirees association for their important donation to the University and community-at-large. For questions about the Eastern Airlines Archive or to lend your support to its processing and organization, please contact Cristina Favretto at 305-284-3247 or asc.library@miami.edu.



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Advisory from UM Real Estate and Facilities: New Power Poles Going Up Along Ponce Corridor

Florida Power & Light will install up to 50 taller poles along Ponce de Leon Boulevard this fall.

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Click on image to enlarge

Tree trimming and landscaping work will begin along Ponce de Leon Boulevard shortly, a telltale sign of the future installation of upgraded power line poles by the Florida Power & Light Company.

The tree work should begin around the first week in August, with the installation of the new, concrete 80-foot high poles set to take place between September and November.

The project extends from South Miami, along Ponce de Leon from Southwest 57th Avenue to an area past the Shops at Merrick Park, and continuing to the electrical substation located at Bird and Douglas roads.

In all, 74 poles will be installed along the entire route of an existing transmission power line, with 50 poles going up along the Ponce corridor. Current power poles are 65 feet high, with the new transmission poles rising to 80 feet.

The goal of the upgrade is to help make the “energy grid stronger and more storm-resilient,” with poles able to withstand winds up to 145 mph, the power company said in a letter to residents living within 500 feet of the pending work.

FPL will be removing or relocating trees along Ponce de Leon that would interfere with the installation of the new poles. But the company said it will be “replacing more trees and other vegetation than it is removing, per the codes of the City of Coral Gables.”

Most of the tree trimming and landscaping work will take place between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For additional information about the project, referred to as the Coconut Grove-Galloway project, people are encouraged to call 800-693-3267 or visit the website, www.FPL.com/coconutgrove, for updates.



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Update on the Problem-Based Interdisciplinary Inquiry Initiative

roadmap-updatesThrough the initiative on Problem-Based Interdisciplinary Inquiry, part of the Roadmap to Our New Century, the University of Miami is developing new structures, systems, and programs to expand multidisciplinary collaborations across the U to continue addressing the increasingly complex problems faced by our society in the 21st century.

Led by John Bixby, vice provost for research, the Problem-Based Interdisciplinary Inquiry action team initially has focused on planning the UM Laboratory for Integrative Knowledge (U-LINK), a university-wide platform for incubating ideas, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, and providing funding to facilitate new approaches to difficult problems. Currently, the action team is designing U-LINK’s inaugural grant competition, which, set to launch later this year, will invite interdisciplinary groups to seek funding for novel, solution-oriented projects. In the longer term, U-LINK is envisioned as not only a funding source, but also a physical space where scholars from disparate disciplines can productively “collide” in an inspirational setting conducive to developing and pursuing their projects.

To further support the initiative, action team member Susan Morgan, the associate dean for research and former director of the Center for Communication, Culture and Change at the School of Communication, has been appointed associate provost for research development and strategy. In this new role, Morgan will serve as an integral component of the U’s research infrastructure and will play an important part in the development of U-LINK.

The action team is also planning an August retreat to further the initiative’s implementation and identify members of an advisory group who can counsel the action team on U-LINK’s structure and assist in the proposal review process for the grant competition.

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Active Shooter Response Training August 1 and 2

In advance of the fall semester, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is offering all UM faculty, staff, and students two open sessions of Full Active Shooter Response Training on Tuesday, August 1, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and Wednesday, August 2 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. 

Both classes will be held in the Whitten Learning Center, room 180. Employees should preregister for the class of their choice in ULearn by searching in the catalog for “Gables Active Shooter Training.”

The Full Active Shooter Response Training is a 1.5-hour presentation and discussion of active shooter preparation techniques, warning signs, and survival tactics, based on material provided by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency and adapted for the UM campus community. The course is led by experienced members of the OEM and utilizes brief video content and a question-and-answer period to instruct attendees on the most up-to-date recommendations and methods of response. The training course is recommended for all units at all levels, including student workers.

Well ‘Canes Points:  Attendance for this training is worth 150 Well ‘Canes points for those participating in the Well ‘Canes program. To receive program credit, attendees must sign a wellness points attendance roster with their C number at the end of the class. Eligible participants will receive their points in four to six weeks.

For more information, please contact the Office of Emergency Management at oem@miami.edu or 305-284-8005 during business hours.

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