Provost explains importance of his role

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Every student on campus has had a significant interaction in some way with him but very few know who the man upstairs making the decisions is.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, John Miller, has a hand in every big change that happens on campus.

The registrar, university libraries, athletics, institutional research and assessment, international programs, diversity, and the Center for a Sustainable Society all report to him about executive decisions.

Miller is in President Lesley Hallick’s cabinet, sits on the faculty senate and convenes the university council.

Miller said he does not get much interaction with students because he is working so hard at making sure everything is working on a larger scale.

Among the projects Miller and the faculty and university council are debating currently are strengthening the university’s relationship in Hawaii, increasing the diversity in the demographics of students, investing in new programs, integrating technology into classrooms, university handbook changes and the possibility of offering more summer courses.

Miller said a number of the faculty are having good debates in the faculty senate and the colleges.

“We have to ask ourselves, how do we stay relevant? Some people don’t want to change but we have to stick to our mission and still change with it,” said Miller.

He said he enjoys his work with the Student Senate, but his job is designed so that students don’t see him much. Although he has a part in nearly every aspect of campus Miller said he thinks it’s good that students don’t see him much because it’s more important that they spend time with their professors.

A day for the provost is filled with constant meetings. Miller said most of his work with academic affairs happens on the Forest Grove, Hillsboro, and Eugene campuses because programs are always reporting to him one on one.

He said it can get to be very stressful and to have his job he has to really enjoy being around people.

“It can be like stretching and reaching for that final finish line on Friday, every week,” said Miller.

He said the job is made easier because he has been doing it for so long and because he has an opportunity to work with great people.


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