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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Miller named associate provost

    Thomas P. Miller, a distinguished faculty member in the UA English Department, has been appointed as Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs.

    Miller, who joined the UA faculty in 1988, was chosen from a group of qualified applicants selected through a search committee headed by Thomas Peterson, dean of the College of Engineering and Mines.

    “”There were quite a number of applicants and this was an internal search,”” Peterson said. “”These applicants were from all corners of the campus, but we had a very large number of very outstanding applicants.””

    Miller directed the writing program and graduate program in rhetoric, composition and the teaching of English. He has also spent his time mentoring graduate students and working with the Graduate Professional Student Council.

    Capturing several regional and national awards, Miller is also a two-time winner of the National Endowment for Humanities Fellowship.

    A post previously held by Juan Garcia, the provost’s duties consist of monitoring and aiding in processes such as review of tenure, promotions and sabbatical leave for university professors. Garcia moved to occupy the title of Vice President for Instruction and Dean of the University College in February.

    In addition to such responsibilities, Miller will be working on ways to enrich faculty involvement, he said.

    “”What we’ll really be looking at is, when facing budget constraints, how can we help faculty and administration to be more efficient and more effective?”” said Miller.

    The University of Texas graduate hopes to achieve this by working with professors as they are being hired, as well as with the heads of various departments to “”create a more seamless web of support for faculty and others teaching at the university.””

    One core concern of Miller’s is the UA’s status as a nationally ranked research facility. Finding ways to involve students in their own education is another part of Miller’s goal to improve the university’s research mission.

    “”I think students need to take more responsibility for classes beyond just going to class,”” Miller said. “”Sometimes it is thought that going from class to class is synonymous with getting an education.””

    Looking at ways to involve students through upcoming and recent online innovations is another avenue he has personally been working on. Giving more control to students over their courses electronically is something Miller said will help this vision.

    Making the college experience integrative for undergraduates is not a new idea, and it has “”been the byword here for a long time,”” Miller said.

    He is on board to make such goals a reality, pointing out the benefits to getting an education at a university over a less-pricey community college.

    “”Research has shown people who feel more engaged with the university are more likely to stick around and feel more involved and connected,”” Miller said.

    The university has tremendous resources. Students can regularly attend seminars, as well as visit art galleries on campus, but it is a tragedy that many students often do not take advantage of these assets Miller said.

    “”It’s pretty incredible,”” he said. “”We have to remind ourselves when we’re walking to classes with our heads down thinking about exams, and in one building, there’s someone working on nuclear physics, and in another there’s someone studying the free market and what’s going on in Ghana.””

    The final decision for the position was made by Meredith Hay, the executive vice president and provost, who could not be reached for comment due to a current leave of absence.

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