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Miller to serve as College of Fine and Applied Arts’ director of strategic initiatives

BOONE—Professor Ray Miller will join the College of Fine and Applied Arts dean’s staff at Appalachian State University as director of strategic initiatives. The appointment begins July 1.

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As director of strategic initiatives, Miller will devise a process for and lead the efforts to create and articulate a new mission, vision and strategic plan for the College of Fine and Applied Arts that aligns with the university’s new strategic plan.

“The process that our college will undergo in the coming year may result in some structural changes,” said Dr. Glenda Treadaway, dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts. “The director of strategic initiatives will be responsible for overseeing these changes as well. A key component will be to get as many members of the college involved in the process and, once complete, communicate the mission, vision and strategic plan to our stakeholders. I have confidence that Ray is an ideal candidate to lead this process and am excited to work with him during this time of change and innovation.”

Miller came to Appalachian in fall 2005 and served as chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance through summer 2007. During that time, the department implemented the dance studies degree program, which was a long-time goal and major achievement for the department. From 2007 through 2012, Miller assisted with faculty development in the Hubbard Programs for Faculty Excellence. Last year, he served as interim chair of the Department of Cultural, Gender and Global Studies.

Miller is a faculty member in the Department of Theatre and Dance where his teaching focuses on dance history. He also directs and choreographs a production each year. In addition, he collaborated with university colleagues to create a Freshman Seminar course, titled Global Understandings, that connects students from Appalachian with counterparts in Thailand, Taiwan and China. Miller is also active in service to the university and with scholarly activity.

For the past several years, Miller has been interested in American higher education and its role within the changing global and technological world. “It has never been more important to have university leaders at all levels who can both recognize problems and take advantage of opportunities that inform higher education today,” Miller said, “and at the same time, articulate a clear vision that generates a synergy that can motivate students, colleagues and various constituencies to contribute their creativity, intelligence and energy to realizing the best for our universities and colleges.”

In his new position, Miller hopes to contribute to this “visioning forth” as it relates to the college’s position in the university. “This means fostering ongoing and meaningful conversations with colleagues and students from each of our programs about what they envision our future to be and how they think we can get there, collaborating with various entities and groups that share the goals and aspirations that a College of Fine and Applied Arts can contribute to the redefinition of what an undergraduate liberal arts education means in 2014 going forward, and creating ‘laboratories’ in which students and professors can investigate research and create new work that addresses real world questions and concerns,” he said.

Miller sees his role as one that will facilitate collaboration and dialogue that will help the college determine its direction and realize its goals and aspirations. He explains, “If implemented well, this role is not defined by any one individual but rather it should be viewed as a conduit or opportunity for all of us who make up this college to reach beyond our active, creative and busy siloes to thoughtfully and imaginatively build a vibrant culture that is unique to our college.”

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