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Paul A. Miller papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0067

Scope and Contents

The Paul A. Miller papers consist of materials related to Miller and his professional career. A large portion of the collection is made up of Miller's published works and presentations. Several of these works appeared in professional journals such as Rural Sociology, American Journal of Public Health, and Journal of Higher Education. The presentations are on a variety of topics related to health, education, development, and rural society and span the length of his career. There are also transcripts from presentations Miller made at special events such as retirements, commencements, award ceremonies, and memorial services.

In addition to Miller's professional works, the collection includes files related to specific projects such as the Kellogg National Fellowship Program and the Rochester Urbanarium. These files contain a range of documents including proposals, correspondence, reports, observations, and other miscellaneous items. There is also a section of administrative documents from Miller's time as president of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). This includes a series of administrative documents. However, many of these items are located at the West Virginia & Regional History Collection (West Virginia University Libraries).

The collection also contains a series of relevant materials that establish context. For instance, there is a copy of an excerpt from Dane Gordon's history of RIT, Rochester Institute of Technology: Industrial Development and Educational Innovation in an American City. This series also includes photographs from Miller's time in Washington, DC and at RIT, as well as awards and certificates from various organizations.


  • Creation: 1946-2008


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Paul Ausborn Miller (1917- ) was born March 22, 1917 in East Liverpool, Ohio to Harry Ausborn and Mamie Elizabeth (née Stewart) Miller. After graduating high school, he attended West Virginia University (WVU), where he earned his B.S. in Agriculture in 1939. Miller then accepted a position as a County Agricultural Agent with the WVU Agricultural Extension Service. During World War II, he served as a 1st lieutenant in the United States Army Air Corps. He married Catherine Spiker on December 9, 1939 with whom he had two children.

Following the war, Miller attended Michigan State University (MSU) where he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology and Anthropology in 1953. He had started teaching at MSU as early as 1947, serving as professor from 1947-1962. From 1959-1962, he also served as the provost for MSU. He left Michigan in 1962, when he was appointed the president of his alma mater, WVU.

After serving as WVU's president for four years, Miller was selected by President Lyndon B. Johnson to be the Assistant Secretary of Education for the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW). During his time with HEW, Miller was asked to oversee the development of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

In 1968, Miller 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 as a Professor of Adult Education. He left North Carolina in 1969, when he was selected as the president of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

Miller's presidency was during an important period of growth for the university. RIT had recently relocated to a new campus in the suburbs of Henrietta and plans were in the works to add new programs to the college's curriculum. In 1973, a ninth college was added, Institute College, as a place for emerging programs to properly develop. Meanwhile, the rest of the school was growing academically as well. During Miller's tenure, new degrees were added in external technology, bio-communications, and glassblowing. To face these challenges, Miller created a position for a university provost to oversee the development of RIT's academic curriculum within the confines of Miller's new balanced budget procedures. He left the presidency in 1978, though continued to serve at RIT as a professor emeritus.

Miller received several honors throughout his lifetime. In 1996, he was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. The following year, he received the Award of Distinguished Rural Sociologist of the Rural Sociological Society of America along with his second wife, Francena (née Lounsbery) Miller. He was also named a Fellow of the American Sociological Association.


7.75 Linear Feet (13 document boxes, 1 oversize folder)




Papers of Paul A. Miller, a former president of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). The collection includes published works, presentations, correspondence, photographs, awards and certificates, and other miscellaneous documents related to Miller and his career. Materials are not exclusively linked to his time at RIT, but also relate to Miller's experiences at Michigan State University, West Virginia University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, North Carolina State University, the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and his retirement.


The collection is arranged according to original order. Materials are divided into the following topic areas: Community Action, International, University Outreach, Educational Policy and Programs, Miscellaneous, Selected Projects, Major Administrative Projects and Actions as President, Selected Correspondence, and Relevant Historical Contexts.

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

Paul A. Miller papers

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 11:01

The collection was a gift from Paul A. Miller. Materials were donated between 1993 and 2010.

Other Collections

The collection was divided between the RIT Archive Collections and the West Virginia & Regional History Collection at the West Virginia University Libraries. Please contact the RIT Archive Collections for more information.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in January 2011.

Paul A. Miller papers
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
25 January 2011
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA