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Dr. Scott D. Miller
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Dr. Scott D. Miller is President of Virginia Wesleyan College, a national liberal arts college located in Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Respected as one of the most entrepreneurial higher education executives in America, Dr. Miller is in his 24th year as a college president. He has dedicated his career to the opportunities available through education. He especially values the small, classical, liberal arts college environment that offers students personalized pathways to life and career success. Previously, he was President of Bethany College (2007-2015), Wesley College (1997-2007), and Lincoln Memorial University (1991-1997). Dr. Miller was also Executive Vice President (1988-91) and Vice President for Development (1984-88) at Lincoln Memorial University and Director of College Relations and Alumni Affairs at Rio Grande College (now University) in Ohio.

He authored or collaborated on 12 books, including “President to President: Views on Technology in Higher Education” (2010) and multiple volumes of “Presidential Perspectives” (2015). He is a regular columnist for "College Planning and Management," "The Huffington Post," and "Enrollment Manager.”

Dr. Miller is Chair of the Board of Directors of Washington, D.C.-based Academic Search, Inc. and serves as a consultant to college presidents and boards.

Entries by Dr. Scott D. Miller

Building Tolerance on American Campuses

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2016 | 4:46 PM

When President Barack Obama, in his State of the Union address, challenged the nation to "reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion," he offered a social commentary that has timely relevance in higher education. Asserting that such intolerance "makes it harder to achieve our goals... betrays...

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Why College Presidents Need to Speak Up

(0) Comments | Posted December 20, 2015 | 2:45 PM

To the cacophony of voices, often shouted, that defines the national body-politic these days is added, occasionally, that of a college president. Compared to the daily podium and social-media utterances candidates and pundits seeking the widest possible attention, we tend to do most of our talking to our campus constituents.

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A College President's Christmas List, 2015

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2015 | 9:19 AM

Dear Santa:

I am submitting my annual Christmas list with the hope that you will recognize how good my fellow college presidents and I have tried to be during the past year. We have strived to remain student-centered, faculty-friendly, alumni-attentive, constituent-conscious, and donor-diligent. We have honored campus traditions while functioning...

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Climbing Walls and Talking Turkey: A Holiday Conversation About College

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2015 | 10:41 AM

Much has been written about how technologically connected college students are. They have the whole world--or at least all they think they need of it--in their hands.

At the same time, we hear about the loss of community on campuses. Upon arrival, it is frequently known, many...

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Unpacking the Briefcase for a New Presidency

(0) Comments | Posted August 24, 2015 | 2:44 PM

We veterans of higher education are familiar with move-in days at our residence halls. Students and parents struggle to unload cars and vans full of items that were unthinkable to bring to college just a generation ago. Most students arrive with their own cars, some with more than one. On...

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My Postscript to the Class of 2015

(1) Comments | Posted June 8, 2015 | 4:47 PM

As president of several liberal arts colleges during the past quarter-century, I traditionally have made formal remarks during commencement ceremonies. It's important to welcome the graduating class, their families and friends and institutional guests, to the signature close of the academic year; to remind them of their obligations to themselves...

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Global Challenges Drive Need for International Awareness

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 3:29 PM

With countless international situations dominating the headlines, the year 2014 offered abundant evidence of the need for issues-based global study on our nation's campuses.

From Afghanistan to Yemen, Ukraine to the Islamic State, this year's world headlines are shaping up to be no different.

The shrinking nature of...

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Is Hand-Held Literacy Enough?

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 10:10 AM

One of the hot topics in higher education today is having students BYOD (what some call "bring your own device") into the classroom, and integrating that personal technology with learning. As you would expect, such a topic inspires controversy--and emotion.

The battle lines are drawn. College students are already wedded...

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New Year's Resolutions for Higher Education

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2015 | 11:02 AM

With the hope that Santa rewarded America's colleges and universities for being exceptionally good prior to the 2014 holiday season (such gifts to include a healthy applicant pool, vigorous end-of-calendar-year giving by alumni and friends, stable retention of current students for the spring term), it's time for a few new...

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Why Small, Residential, Student-Centered Colleges Will Prevail

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 2:08 PM

December on a small college campus, to quote the 1960's Andy Williams holiday song, "is the most wonderful time of the year."

Sure, the spring season of commencements and graduations is arguably more exciting because of what it is guaranteed to deliver--new beginnings, the launch of careers, colleges simultaneously honoring...

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What's the Future of Higher Ed? See It Now.

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 11:10 AM

When The Union Institute & University invited several of my presidential colleagues and me to address the topic of "Changing the Face of American Higher Education" at a forum October 17 in Cincinnati, I opted to stress a single theme.

It's already been changed, and is accelerating in...

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'I'm Done With the Climbing Wall, Mr. President. Now Where's My Job?'

(0) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 12:11 PM

I have been a higher education professional for nearly three decades. I was a college vice president at age 25 and assumed my first presidency at 31. As a result of entering college administration at a young age, I was very close to the student population and have always prided...

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Why Fundraising Matters in Higher Education

(0) Comments | Posted August 15, 2014 | 6:09 PM

The news over the summer that Bethany College had reached the $47 million mark in gifts and pledges during our current $52 million capital campaign was an announcement worth celebrating--not least because we launched the effort rather inauspiciously about five years ago.

This first phase of a...

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Are Private Institutions Truly "Independent"?

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 7:57 PM

I was asked the other day if sleep deprivation was a recent arrival in my life.

"No, it's been going on for about 23 years," I answered--the amount of time I've served as a college president.

To the normal rewards and expected burdens of being a campus CEO, however, are...

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The Delicate Balance of Commencement

(1) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 6:20 PM

For a time this spring, you could almost imagine being back in the 1960s.


College commencement season 2014 may well go down as the most memorable in recent history. At campuses large and small, public and private, various scheduled speakers never made it to the podium -- their...

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Horror Headlines Usher in Spring at Colleges

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 3:03 AM

As if the winter of 2014 weren't brutal enough at many colleges and universities, causing widespread weather-related disruption, news headlines into the spring don't offer much comfort, either.

"Small U.S. Colleges Battle Death Spiral as Enrollment Drops," proclaims a Bloomberg headline, along with "Small Colleges Get an F in Finance"...

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Dispatch From the Admissions Front

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 6:44 PM

A college president's least favorite book title is Silent Spring.

Not the one about pesticides and the environment penned by Rachel Carson in 1962. I am referring to a book about our campuses that we hope never sees publication -- a story of failure at the college enrollment office, during...

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Welcome to the Campus of 2019

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 11:04 AM

We live in an age of predictions -- of the economy, the environment, technology, medicine, communication, and much more. Higher education is not immune from trends. In fact, predicting trends at colleges and universities is a very hot topic these days.

That's because campus life as we know it...

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Trends Worth Watching in 2014

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2013 | 3:30 PM

In the volatile, often uncertain world of higher education, many things remain constant. These include the need to build and maintain healthy enrollments and endowments, to teach well and to give our efforts an honest and thorough assessment. Each year, we strive to recruit the best students, faculty and administrative...

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The Relevance of Discussion on Liberal Arts Relevance

(5) Comments | Posted November 18, 2013 | 5:18 PM

In January, I will serve as a panelist for the Council of Independent Colleges Presidents Institute on the theme of "Building Value--Linking Classroom to Career." The seminar is designed to illustrate ways in which the kind of education offered by Bethany College and other national liberal arts colleges...

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