College of Applied Studies dean candidate wants to include everyone in academic progress future


Jordan Plowman

Michael Miller, dean candidate, answers question from applied studies faculity during his interview presentation on Sept., 29 in the RSC.

Four candidates are up for the position of dean at the College of Applied Studies. Southern Illinois University graduate Michael Miller believes Wichita State is a hidden gem.

“I see Wichita State as this place that people seem to know about that don’t know about,” Miller said. 

Miller received a political science degree and a master’s in higher education at Southern Illinois. He took his educational journey a step further and received a doctorate in postsecondary education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

Miller has taught and been on administration teams at San Jose State, University of Arkansas, University of Alabama, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Southern Illinois. He currently serves as a faculty fellow at the College of Education and Health Professions at Arkansas. 

Miller said Wichita is a hidden gem. 

Miller said if he is hired as the dean of applied studies, he will make Wichita State and the school locally responsible.

 “This is not only a research university that serves the state of Kansas but also predominantly serves the area of Wichita, so we have got to be able to respond to the schools, the clinics, the sports teams,” Miller said. “Everybody that we are serving, we need to be prepared about how we serve you and in what ways.”

Miller highlighted efforts with degree programs and academic advising. 

“We’ve got to make sure that our programs are really student-focused,” Miller said. “We’ve got to make sure that the students who are coming here and paying tuition are participating in who we are. That doesn’t mean that every student is always right, but it does mean that we are responsive to those students.”

Miller wants his future faculty members to be involved in decision-making processes in every department. Diversity, equity and inclusion are also important points to him. 

“We’ve got to believe throughout the leadership of the college that diversity, equity and inclusion are critical and important to what we are doing, and we have to leaders in those buildings that have that champion mentality in everything we do,” Miller said.

Miller said the College of Applied Studies will function well if every faculty staff has a sense of responsibility for their classes and is a part of a team. 

“Not everybody has to love everybody, but we need to respect each other’s work,” Miller said. 

The College of Applied Studies has not announced when the next dean will be named. The next applicant, Jennifer Friend, has a campus visit scheduled on Oct. 3-4, and will speak to students and faculty on Monday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 P.M.