Paul A. Miller

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Paul A. Miller
6th President of the Rochester Institute of Technology
In office
Preceded by Mark W. Ellingson
Succeeded by M. Richard Rose
Personal details
Born Paul Ausborn Miller
(1917-03-22)March 22, 1917
East Liverpool, Ohio
Died June 5, 2015(2015-06-05) (aged 98)
Montrose, Colorado
Nationality American
Spouse(s) Catherine Spiker
Francena Lounsbery
Children Thomas A. Miller
Paula Miller Nolan
Parents Harry Ausborn Miller
Mamie Elizabeth Stewart
Alma mater West Virginia University
Michigan State University
Profession Administrator

Paul Ausborn Miller (March 22, 1917 – June 5, 2015) was the 6th president of the Rochester Institute of Technology, succeeding Mark W. Ellingson, from 1969–1979. He oversaw the completion of the move of the campus to Henrietta and the steady growth of RIT between 1969 and 1981.[1]

Miller spent most of his childhood on a small family farm in West Virginia. His father ran the farm part-time and made ends meet with factory work. As a boy, he participated in 4-H.[2] As a young man, Miller attended Bethany College and then moved to West Virginia University from which he received an agricultural degree in 1939. Miller's first job was as an agent at the agricultural extensions for Ritchie and Nicholas Counties.[3] In 1942, he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps as a navigator.[4]

Miller married Catherine Spiker and raised a son and a daughter. He later married social science professor Francena Lounsbery.

After the war, he studied for a doctorate in anthropology and sociology at Michigan State College. After graduating in 1953, Miller began as a professor of Sociology at Michigan State, becoming director of their Cooperative Extension and eventually provost.[4] He moved back to West Virginia to assume the presidency of West Virginia University in 1962 where he promoted the university's agricultural extension.[4] In 1966, Lyndon Johnson appointed him the first assistant secretary for education in the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare where he was responsible for making the arrangements for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf to start operations.[5]:270

He helped establish the Colombian Institute of Agriculture in Bogotá and the Morogoro Institute of Technology in Tanzania.[1]

Anticipating the change in administrations in 1967, Miller moved to a teaching position at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.[5]:270

In 1969, he became president of the Rochester Institute of Technology which had moved from its old campus in downtown Rochester, New York to a much larger campus on a former farm in the suburb of Henrietta, New York.[6] Miller inherited a nearly 12% budget deficit, the result of declining enrollment, higher attrition, and higher costs for the new campus which resulted in several years of austerity.[5]:271 Miller implemented zero-based budgeting, forecasting of student enrollment, and made the dormitories co-ed.[7] Additionally, Miller quelled student demonstrations in the wake of the Kent State shootings[5]:277–279 and oversaw precautions taken to defend against the flooding of Hurricane Agnes.[5]:286 Miller attempted to overcome persistent vandalism of the dormitories[5]:284 by staying in them with the students[5]:274 and later instituting a carrot-and-stick repair or improve budget for each dorm.[5]:314 Miller improved faculty compensation[5]:288 and student representation in the Institute equivalent of the faculty senate.[5]:289 Miller hired RIT's first provost, Todd Bullard, in 1970.[5]:301

After stepping down from the presidency in 1979, Miller served in a number of volunteer and civic roles including heading the advisory committee of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation,[8] worked to form Greater Rochester Fights Back, an anti-drug advocacy group, and served on the board of trustees of both Nazareth College and Monroe Savings Bank.[1] He was briefly a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Buffalo Branch.[1]

After retiring from RIT, he taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri. He funded the Paul A. Miller Professorship in Adult and Continuing Adult Education at RIT after retiring[9] and the Paul A. and Francena L. Miller Presidential Scholarship at WVU in 2006.[10] He moved to Montrose, Colorado in 2011.

Selected works[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Retired RIT President Paul Miller dies at 98". Democrat and Chronicle. Rochester, New York. 2015-06-06. ISSN 1088-5153. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
  2. ^ "Former university president Paul Miller dies at 98". The Washington Times. Washington, D.C. 2015-06-08. ISSN 0732-8494. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
  3. ^ "Miller, WVU president in the '60s, dies at 98". The Charleston Gazette. Charleston, West Virginia. 2015-06-08. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
  4. ^ a b c "WVU's 15th President, Paul Miller, Passed Away June 5". Weston, West Virginia: WDTV. 2015-06-08. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Gordon, Dane R. (2007). Rochester Institute of Technology: Industrial Development and Educational Innovation in an American City, 1829-2006 (2 ed.). Henrietta, New York: RIT Press. ISBN 9781933360232. OCLC 80360669. 
  6. ^ "N. Carolina Educator New RIT President". Democrat and Chronicle. Rochester, New York. June 26, 1969. p. 1B. 
  7. ^ "RIT remembers President Emeritus Paul Miller". Henrietta, New York: Rochester Institute of Technology. 2015-06-08. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
  8. ^ "Kellogg Foundation appoints 2 part-time program consultants". Battle Creek Enquirer. Battle Creek, Michigan. November 29, 1978. p. B-7. 
  9. ^ "Former RIT president Miller dies". Rochester Business Journal. Rochester, New York. 2015-06-08. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
  10. ^ "WVU announces death of former president Miller". Morgantown, West Virginia: West Virginia MetroNews. 2015-06-08. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Elvis Jacob Stahr, Jr.
President of West Virginia University
Succeeded by
James Gindling Harlow
Preceded by
Mark W. Ellingson
President of the Rochester Institute of Technology
October 1, 1969 – January 1, 1979
Succeeded by
M. Richard Rose