May 2, 2011

Andrew Miller to Lead New Diversity Initiatives Office

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The University announced Monday that Andrew Thompson Miller, director and founder of the Global Intercultural Experience for Undergraduates program at the University of Michigan, will become the associate vice provost for academic diversity initiatives at Cornell.

Miller will lead the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives, which changed from the Office of Minority Educational Affairs in March. Miller will assume his newly-created position July 1, and he will report to Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Laura Brown, according to the University.

Miller’s role is one of three new high-level diversity positions created by the University. Earlier this month, Renee Alexander ’74 was named to the new position of associate dean of students and director of intercultural programs.

According to the University, the search for the third position, the associate dean for inclusion and professional development for the Graduate School, is currently underway.

Dean of Students Kent Hubbell ’67 said that Miller “seems to have wonderful credentials and has a very interesting background.”

Miller has also been coordinator of Multicultural Teaching and Learning at Michigan, where he was responsible for supporting diversity interests, according to Cornell.

Miller was chosen from 141 applicants by a search committee made up of faculty, staff and students, according to Brown. The search committee posted the position in early October and the University brought the three finalists to campus in the last week of January and first week of February, she said.

“He was the person with the most creative relationships to working with diversity and has had a range of different experiences,” Brown said. “It was really the depth of his experience and his innovative teaching practices that set him apart.”

Brown also emphasized the importance of collaboration between Alexander and Miller as they assume their new positions.

“Although Miller will be primarily responsible for academic initiatives regarding diversity and Alexander will work more closely with student groups, it is important for them to be as connected as possible,” Brown said.

According to the University, Miller will work with faculty across campus to promote academic achievement among students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, as well as low-income and first-generation  students.

Miller will also collaborate on academic initiatives such as undergraduate research and faculty programs in the residence halls. He will play a direct role in supporting teaching and learning, and will oversee the Center for Teaching Excellence, the University said.

Brown said she found the creation of Miller’s position to be “a significant change for Cornell.”

“These three people showing up really represents a significant commitment to diversity on the part of the University” she said.

Miller could not be reached for comment on Monday night.

Original Author: Liz Camuti