Miller, longest-serving

Nancy Ngo

The University’s longest-serving dean will take a list of memories with him when he retires this June, but colleagues say he will leave 27 years of influence behind.
Harold Miller will leave his role as head of University College to devote more time to his Christian faith. He said he will also spend more time skiing and reading, two of his favorite pastimes.
Miller was the college’s fourth dean in its 85-year existence. As dean, he merged the University College and the continuing education and extension department into one resource-sharing umbrella. The college, with a $50 million annual budget, is among the largest of its kind in the country.
The college is also one of the largest at the University, serving 60,000 part-time students throughout the state and 25,000 people in noncredit classes.
This week, Miller’s colleagues called him “the people’s dean” because of his accessibility to his administration, University students and the outside community.
“He’s an advocate for adult part-time learning,” said Raleigh Kaminsky, who’s worked with Miller for 25 years. The executive assistant said Miller was instrumental in making sure those who could not attend full-time classes had access to University courses.
In 1994 he developed degree-granting partnerships with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and community colleges. The joint programs let degree-seeking students take lower division courses elsewhere before finishing up their programs at the University.
Miller said he wants to make sure those who cannot be full-time students have more access to course, degree and certificate options.
“I would like to see the University College continue to develop programs that meet the needs of older, part-time students in their career development and continued education needs,” he said.
Miller also helped develop summer session programs for outside community members, including K-12 instructors and work professionals.
When he leaves, Miller said he would like to see the college grow as well as meet the challenges that lie ahead, which include maintaining programs with an uncertain budgetary future.
Bob Bruininks, executive vice president and provost, said an interim dean will be appointed by the time Miller leaves. A national search for his replacement will be held in the fall.