WILMINGTON, NC – Gary L. Miller, provost and vice president for academic affairs and research at Wichita State University since 2006, has been elected chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington by the Board of Governors of the 17-campus University of North Carolina. UNC President Tom Ross placed Miller’s name in nomination today (May 3) during a special meeting of the board held on the UNCW campus. Miller, 57, will assume his new duties no later than July 1, succeeding Rosemary DePaolo, who is retiring after eight years in the post.

In recommending Miller to the Board of Governors, Ross said:  “Over the past 25 years, Gary Miller has taught and held key leadership positions at several highly respected universities, both public and private. At each step along the way, he has proven himself to be an innovative leader who promotes collaboration and inclusiveness and who understands the integral relationship between excellent undergraduate instruction and high-quality research. He also has earned a reputation for great integrity, creative problem-solving, and a deep-rooted commitment to partnering with the local and business communities. I believe Gary Miller has the right blend of skills and experience to be a strong, effective leader for UNCW, and I am delighted that he has agreed to join our leadership team.”

One of three research universities in the Kansas Board of Regents System, Wichita State University is an urban doctoral research university enrolling approximately 14,500 students at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels. WSU faculty attract more than $40 million annually in external research grants and have particular research strengths in engineering, networks, psychology, bioscience, aviation technology, public finance, and business. As provost and vice president for academic affairs and research, Miller is WSU’s chief academic and research officer. In that role, he has been responsible for the overall vision, mission, and operations of all undergraduate and graduate academic programs on WSU’s main and satellite campuses, as well as providing leadership for academic support, research, strategic planning, outreach programs, and international programs.

A native of Dayton, Va., Miller graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in anthropology. After completing a master’s degree in biology (1979) at William and Mary, he earned his doctorate in biological sciences from Mississippi State University in 1982.   He also has attended programs in educational leadership at Harvard University and Yale University.

Miller began his academic career in 1983 as an assistant professor of entomology at Mississippi State and two years later joined the faculty of Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.  In 1989, he began a 14-year tenure at the University of Mississippi, where he rose through the academic ranks and served for seven years as chair of the Department of Biology.  In 2002, he was recruited to serve as dean of arts and sciences at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., where he was instrumental in expanding programs in the sciences, organizing a full revision of the general education program, and increasing enrollment. He left California in 2006 to join WSU as provost and vice president for academic affairs and research.

At WSU, Miller has been credited with strengthening relationships with the business community and keeping the university strategically focused on the future, even as it makes significant operational changes required by reductions in state funding. Under his leadership, the campus is reshaping its general education program and has completed a full review and reorientation of the university honors program, undertaken a campus-wide globalization initiative, and expanded multicultural program. New programs in adult education, teacher training, and e-learning have also been initiated. WSU has also launched the Graduation Partnership, a university-wide effort to improve graduation rates through better advising, strategic academic interventions, a more substantive orientation program, and more attention to the needs of transfer students. In addition, the campus has established new degree programs to meet pressing state needs, significantly increased its volume of sponsored research, and launched four new interdisciplinary research centers with business and government partners (networking, aging, sustainability, biomaterials).

A former president of the American Arachnological Society and former associate editor of the Journal of Arachnology, Miller has published in the areas of population, community, and behavioral ecology, with much of his work focused on reproductive biology and mating systems of wolf spiders. He is co-author of Ecology, a comprehensive senior/graduate level textbook in ecology.  Active in professional and civic organizations, he currently serves on the National Advisory Panel of the Educational Testing Service, as well as an Advisory Committee on Science, Technology and the Future established by U.S. Senator Pat Roberts. He also has served on boards or held other leadership positions with the United Way, the YWCA, the American Red Cross, and the Nature Conservancy of Mississippi.

Miller is married to Georgia Nix Miller. They have three adult children and one grandchild. 

University of North Carolina at Wilmington:

Located adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Fear River estuary, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington is dedicated to learning through the integration of teaching and mentoring with research and service.  Formerly Wilmington College, it was established in 1947 as a county institution under the control of the New Hanover County Board of Education. A constituent institution of the 17-campus University of North Carolina since 1969, UNCW has grown in size and stature to become a major cultural, scientific, and educational force in the region and the state. Today it has a student body of approximately 13,000 and 900 faculty. It offers undergraduate degree programs in 52 majors and 35 graduate degree programs. Given its location, marine science teaching, research and service have been a long-standing focus.

The University of North Carolina

The oldest public university in the nation, the University of North Carolina enrolls more than 220,000 students and encompasses all 16 of North Carolina’s public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees, as well as the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation’s first public residential high school for gifted students. UNC campuses support a broad array of distinguished liberal-arts programs, two medical schools and one teaching hospital, two law schools, a veterinary school, a school of pharmacy, 11 nursing programs, 15 schools of education, three schools of engineering, and a specialized school for performing artists. The UNC Center for Public Television, with its 11-station statewide broadcast network, is also under the University umbrella.



UNC WILMINGTON CONTACT: Dana Fischetti , Media Relations Manager, 910-962-7259 or fischettid@uncw.edu .

UNC Wilmington

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

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