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Paul A. Miller digital audio recording

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: RITArc-0634

Scope and Contents

The Paul Miller digital audio recording collection contains recordings from different events during Dr. Miller's presidency at RIT. Recordings include Dr. Miller's address to the faculty and staff after his initial five months with the institute in which he lays out a plan of work for the next decade for RIT and NTID; the 1975 opening and closing remarks by Dr. Miller, Dr. Todd Bullard and Ivan Resenberg of a day long series of seminars fro faculty presented by the Institute Committee on Effective Teaching; and Dr. Miller's address given to RIT faculty announcing his retirement as RIT president followed by a short question and answer session with the media.

Original cassette recordings were digitized on 1/28/2013.


  • Creation: 1970-1978

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Paul Miller (1917-2015) was born in East Liverpool, Ohio, and attended West Virginia University after graduating high school, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1939. He accepted a position as a county agricultural agent with the WVU Agricultural Extension Service. He also served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and served in South America, Africa and India in the Air Transport Command. He married Catherine Spiker, with whom he had two children.

After the war, he attended Michigan State University where he earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in sociology. He taught at MSU from 1947 to 1962, became director of the university cooperative extension service and served as provost from 1959 to 1962. In 1962, he left MSU to accept an appointment as president of West Virginia University.

After serving as WVU president, he was selected by President Lyndon B. Johnson to be assistant secretary of education for the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. It was during this position that Miller first became acquainted with RIT. He was asked to oversee the development of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at RIT and assume the role of official liaison between the university and the federal government.

In 1968, he began working as a distinguished professor of education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, while simultaneously teaching at the North Carolina State University at Raleigh as a professor of adult education. He left in 1969 when he was selected as president of RIT.

According to Dane Gordon, RIT professor emeritus and author of Rochester Institute of Technology: Industrial Development and Educational Innovation in an American City 1829–2006, “Paul Miller believed that the most useful task of the administrator is not as high-powered executive manager, but as a mediator and conciliator, helping the different parts of a university in their different worlds become ‘glued’ by getting people together to talk.”

During Miller’s tenure at RIT, new degrees were added in external technology, bio-communications and glassblowing.

Miller left the presidency in 1979, but continued to serve at RIT as a professor emeritus. Following his retirement from RIT, he served as an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia prior to moving to Montrose, Colo., in 2011.

He received several honors throughout his lifetime. In 1996, he was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. He also received the Award of Distinguished Rural Sociologist of the Rural Sociological Society of America, along with his second wife, Francena. He was named a fellow of the American Sociological Association. Upon his retirement from RIT, the Paul A. Miller Professorship in Adult and Continuing Adult Education at RIT was established. In 2013, it was renamed the Paul and Francena Miller Chair marked by an emphasis on international education. He passed away on June 5, 2015 at the age of 98.


3 Digital File(s) (Digital audio files)




Digital audio recordings from different events during Dr. Paul Miller's presidency at RIT. Dr. Miller was president from 1969-1979. Recordings include 1970 and 1975 faculty seminar addresses as well as his retirement speech.


The collection is arranged alphabetically by file name.

Physical Location

For access, contact RIT Archive Collections.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jennifer Roeszies in November 2015.

Paul A. Miller digital audio recording
RIT Archives
Jennifer Roeszies
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA