AKRON, Ohio — The University of Akron’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Wednesday to choose Gary Miller to be the university’s 18th president.
Miller, who currently serves as chancellor at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, will assume his new position on Oct. 1.
Interim President John Green will remain in his current role until October, and then serve as special assistant to the president for strategy and transition until Jan 31, 2020.
“I am honored and excited by the prospect of leading the faculty and staff of the University of Akron,” Miller said. “They have done so much in a very short time to ready this university for reaffirmation, renewal, innovation and growth.”
Prior to taking the chancellor job at UW-GB, Miller worked as chancellor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, provost and vice president for academic affairs and research at Wichita State University and dean of the arts and sciences college at the University of the Pacific.
Miller has a doctorate in biological sciences from Mississippi State University and co-authored an ecology textbook during his time as professor and chair of the biology department at the University of Mississippi. He also has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from the College of William and Mary.
Miller has three adult children with his wife, Georgia, who also spoke briefly before the board on Wednesday.
Board Chair Joseph Gingo said Miller was selected after an eight-month presidential search.
“Dr. Miller has an outstanding record as an effective higher education leader and consensus builder,” Gingo said. “He brings not only two decades of senior-level higher education leadership, but also first-hand experience as a member of the teaching faculty and as a researcher. My board colleagues and I believe he is the right person at the right time to lead our university.”
At a news conference, Gingo declined to disclose how many presidential candidates were interviewed or Miller’s salary, since the search was closed and Miller has not been formally hired by the university.
Miller said he appreciates his post in Green Bay and he would not have applied to be president of UA if it was an open search.
“I commend the selection committee on a fine choice for this vital position,” said Green, who has been interim president since May 2018.
While serving as special assistant to Miller, Green will also keep his titles of director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics and distinguished professor of political science.
Miller is UA’s fourth leader since 2014. Following Luis Proenza’s 15-year tenure, Scott Scarborough became president before resigning amid a failed re-brand, budget cuts and clashes with faculty. Matthew Wilson replaced Scarborough in 2017, but also resigned to spend more time with family.
The incoming president said Wednesday that he recognizes the university’s recent challenges and is looking forward to opportunities to address them.
“This university, over the last year and a half, has done some really hard work and it’s laid the foundation for developing a strategy, making that into a strong vision and figuring a way to execute that so we can move toward the university of the future that we all want,” Miller said.
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