WCU announces new vice chancellor for student affairs

Miller_Sam07H. Samuel Miller Jr. (pictured), associate vice president for student affairs at the University of Connecticut, has been selected as the next vice chancellor for student affairs at Western Carolina University.

Miller’s appointment, which will be effective Aug. 1 pending approval of the university’s board of trustees, was announced Wednesday, May 23, by WCU Chancellor John Bardo following a nationwide search that began in December. A member of the student affairs division at Connecticut since 1999, Miller will be filling a vacancy created by the retirement this summer of Robert Caruso, vice chancellor for student affairs at WCU since 1998.

“As a nationally known figure in higher education administration with 37 years of experience in leading innovative programs to serve students and promote their growth and development as citizens, Bob Caruso leaves behind some mighty big shoes to fill,” Bardo said in announcing the appointment. “Sam Miller has a reputation as one of the brightest young professionals in the student affairs field, and we know he will hit the ground running and continue to build upon the extremely solid foundation he will find in the Division of Student Affairs at Western.”

As associate vice president for student affairs at UConn, Miller supervises the Department of Residential Life, which provides on-campus housing to about 12,000 students; the Department of Dining Services, which has an annual operating budget of $35.7 million; and The Center for Students with Disabilities, which works with some 1,200 students annually. He is co-director of the university’s master’s degree program in higher education and student affairs, and he previously served as assistant vice chancellor for student affairs and interim director of campus activities.

“I’m very excited to be joining the Western Carolina University family,” Miller said. “Given the strength of the staff in the Student Affairs Division and the successful partnerships with academic colleagues, I believe Western has tremendous potential to continue developing the kinds of transformative learning experiences that positively impact every aspect of student life. I’m looking forward to working with local community members, and faculty and staff colleagues, and I’m especially looking forward to meeting Western’s students and their families. This is a dynamic period in Western’s history and I’m proud to be a new member of this campus community.”

During his career, Miller also has held student affairs positions at the University of Virginia and the University of Alabama. He earned his bachelor’s degree in human resources management in 1987 and his master’s degree in business administration in 1989, both from the University of Alabama, and his doctorate in education from the University of Virginia.

As vice chancellor for student affairs at WCU, Miller will provide leadership, coordination and support for all programs and personnel in the Division of Student Affairs, including Residential Living, Student Community Ethics, Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Health Center, Intramurals, Fitness Center, Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound-Math/Science, Multicultural Affairs, Women’s Center, and Kneedler Child Development Center. He also will administer staff and programs of the A.K. Hinds University Center and a new student recreation center, currently under construction.