President, University of Maryland University College
Dr. Javier Miyares often cites higher education as his gateway to the American Dream, having been “spirited out” of his home in Havana, Cuba, at age 14 by his Jesuit teachers after his father was taken prisoner by Fidel Castro during the Bay of Pigs invasion. He now serves as president of University of Maryland University College, a constituent institution of the University System of Maryland, a position he has held since 2012.
During his presidency, Javier has expanded access and opportunities for adult learners and has been in the forefront of leveraging big data and analytics to fuel advances in learning science. Under his leadership, the university expanded its corporate and institutional alliances, including an agreement with the federal Office of Personnel Management to help fill identified skills gaps in the 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.
In 2015, UMUC spun off its Office of Analytics into a new company, HelioCampus, which offers 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.
Also during Javier’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 Center for Strategic and International Studies in 2015.
UMUC has received numerous honors during his presidency, including 2015 Global Educator of the Year by the World Affairs Council of Washington, D.C. for its leadership in academic innovation; “Best for Vets” in 2015 by Military Times; and 2015 President’s Award from the Open Education Consortium for its exceptional leadership in adopting open-source material in all classes by fall 2016. Recognizing the university’s expertise in providing education to the U.S. military, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awarded UMUC a new seven-year contract to continue offering coursework and academic support services to 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 Javier's leadership, the Pillars of Strength Scholarship program has been established in association with the Yellow Ribbon Fund and The Blewitt Foundation, a partnership that awards full UMUC scholarships to the volunteer caregivers of wounded military service members.
Javier currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the American Council on Education and as a commissioner with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
He has completed all the requirements but the dissertation for a doctorate in educational measurement and statistics, and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology from University of Maryland, College Park.