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Dr. Scott D. Miller
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Dr. Scott D. Miller has served as President of Bethany College and M.M. Cochran Professor of Leadership Studies since the fall of 2007. Respected as one of the most entrepreneurial higher education executives in America, Dr. Miller is in his 23rd year as a college president. Dr. Miller 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.

Dr. Miller came to Bethany with the same innovative spirit that enabled him to transform Wesley College in Delaware during his 10-and-a-half-year tenure as President of the College and DuPont Professor of Leadership Studies. Prior to Wesley, he served for seven years (1991-97) as President of Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee, where he was Executive Vice President (1988-91) and Vice President for Development (1984-88). He also served as Director of College Relations and Alumni Affairs at Rio Grande College (now University) in Ohio.

Entries by Dr. Scott D. Miller

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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Homecoming's Timeless Appeal

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2013 | 10:22 AM

College presidents are fond of describing their annual homecoming rituals as "picture-perfect" and "memorable." Our recent commemoration at Bethany College was, of course, all of that, and more.

We won the football game, our marching band looked splendid in their new uniforms, a family with longstanding ties to the...

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Notes of a President: Freshman Orientation for the Millennial Class

(0) Comments | Posted August 23, 2013 | 2:49 PM

They're back...

As a college president, I'm glad! But as America's college students begin arriving on campus this month, they bring with them the challenges that define residential academic life today.

It's not a matter of moving all of their considerable stuff into residence halls. Many such complexes today...

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Unpacking the Agenda for the New Academic Year

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2013 | 6:55 PM

We're on the downside of another busy summer at Bethany College. In just a few weeks, our students will return to campus and unpack their semester's worth of belongings in the residence halls. How times have changed, when those of us who departed for college a generation ago...

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Repaying a Debt That Society Can Ill Afford

(2) Comments | Posted June 10, 2013 | 5:57 PM

College commencement season across America is all about achievement, dreams, hope -- and debt.

The student loan crisis in America is reaching epidemic proportions, to the tune of a trillion dollars owed by students for the privilege of pursuing an affordable higher education.

As with most complex issues, there is...

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What's Changed -- and Hasn't -- in the Coverage of Breaking News

(7) Comments | Posted April 26, 2013 | 11:33 PM

Media coverage of the tragic and ongoing developments related to the Boston Marathon bombings highlights the dramatic changes in breaking-news coverage as the nation prepares to mark the 50th anniversary of another horrifying tragedy in our history -- the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Much has changed, and...

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Finding the Value in College Affordability

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2013 | 7:31 PM

What's a college education worth these days?

Amid rising costs of tuition and an economy still rebounding from recession, higher education consumers and observers are increasingly asking that question -- and with good reason.

Since 1978, according to a Bloomberg report at the start of the current...

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It's Time for Presidents to Rediscover Their Voices

(2) Comments | Posted February 18, 2013 | 5:23 PM

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of participating in a series of briefings sponsored by NAICU, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, on Capitol Hill. NAICU and its president, David Warren, have been steadfast advocates for private higher education, keeping member institutions apprised of...

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