Andrew Thompson Miller has been named associate vice provost for academic diversity initiatives at Cornell, heading the newly named Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives (OADI) and reporting to Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Laura Brown. Miller is currently faculty director of the Center for Global and Intercultural Study at the University of Michigan. He will assume his new position July 1.
"The search committee conducted an extensive external search, and A.T. Miller was identified as clearly the strongest candidate," said Brown. "His experience, his record of creativity and his background in the area of diversity make him an exceptionally strong leader for academic diversity and climate initiatives on campus."
This is the second of three new top Cornell diversity positions to be filled. Earlier this month, Renee Alexander '74, director of Diversity Alumni Programs in Alumni Affairs and Development since 2006, was named to the new position of associate dean of students and director of intercultural programs. The search for the third position, the associate dean for inclusion and professional development for the Graduate School, is under way.
"I am excited about the great possibilities and new synergies with the units and programs coming together under the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives, and we will have really nice new space for students and staff," Miller said. "Working with the extraordinary people already at Cornell, and coordinating with such a talented and resourceful colleague as Renee Alexander, should make the transition not only smooth, but rewarding. I look forward to working with the engaged and active students for which Cornell University is known."
At Michigan, Miller leads the Global Intercultural Experience for Undergraduates program, which he designed and founded. He has also been coordinator of Multicultural Teaching and Learning, with responsibilities for universitywide pedagogical and curricular development in support of diversity and academic achievement concerns.
New diversity office to be located on Ag Quad
By the start of the fall semester, the second floor of the Computing and Communications Center building on the Ag Quad will house the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives (OADI), previously known as the Office of Minority Educational Affairs (OMEA).
Some Cornell Information Technologies staff members will be relocated, and minor renovations will be made to configure the space to meet the needs of OADI.
The new location will accommodate all 10 OADI staff positions, bringing together employees from OMEA now located in Barnes and Comstock halls. The proximity of OADI to the Learning Strategies Center, located on the fourth floor of CCC, is expected to be of particular benefit to those students who use the services of both offices.
The new OADI space will also provide private offices for counselors, common space, computer lab/work space for students and a small kitchen.
As head of the OADI, previously the Office of Minority Educational Affairs, Miller will oversee the New York State Opportunity Programs office, and work with partners across campus to promote academic achievement, with a focus on students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, as well as low-income and first-generation college students. He will work closely with Alexander.
"In supporting the diversity goals that Associate Vice Provost Miller will pursue," Brown said, "my immediate commitments are to cross-college and cross-program coordination, the creation of innovative teaching opportunities, and careful analysis of relevant data on campus diversity."
Miller will also provide broad leadership in promoting diversity as a core educational value. He will collaborate on such academic initiatives as undergraduate research and faculty programs in the residence halls. In addition, he will play a direct role in supporting teaching and learning, and will oversee the Center for Teaching Excellence.
Miller received his A.B. from Davidson College and his Ph.D. in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania, and has taught in the areas of American studies and ethnic American studies at Davidson College and Union College, where he founded and served as director of the Africana Studies Program. Miller also served as head of Shikokho Secondary School, Kenya -- a school he helped found and construct and that now bears his name. His work at the school and in helping other volunteers become teachers in rural Kenya inspired the foundation of the organization WorldTeach at Harvard University. His experiences as a poet and musician have informed his teaching and his work in Africana studies, he said.
Miller will relocate to Ithaca with husband Craig Kukuk, who is a mental health therapist and organic farmer, and other members of his extended family. Miller and Kukuk perform as a folk duo, Bridgewater.