President of Virginia State University to Step Down

president-millerAfter meeting in a three-hour closed-door session with the Virginia State University board of visitors, university president Keith T. Miller announced that he will step down on December 31. Board Rector Harry Black said the board and President Miller “agreed that VSU should move in another direction strategically.” Dr. Miller will remain at the university as a tenured faculty member and will receive his presidential salary of $356,524 for another year.

Students had circulated petitions calling for the board to replace Dr. Miller. They were concerned that declining enrollments and the resulting loss in revenue were having an adverse impact on services. Many alumni and faculty supported the students demands.

Dr. Miller became president of Virginia State in July 2010. Previously, he had served as president of Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania, as provost and vice chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and as dean of the College of Business at Niagara University in New York.

President Miller holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, all from the University of Arizona.

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  1. Can I first say that this story is misleading. The article makes it seem like student enrollment has been declining for some time. That is not the case. Check the numbers. This is a one time thing. They went from their largest enrollment a year ago to a 550 student downfall this fall. That was due to a lot of things. state funding decreased, financial aid support decreased, students just not going to traditional 4 year colleges anymore but are instead opting to go to accelerated universities. HBCUs struggle with this all the time. So because of the shortfall of students services had to be cut like dining hall hours. Less operating revenue was coming in so the university had to do what it needed to do to survive. To me that is just business. I know the students are going to have to suffer but they just are going to have to deal with it or leave. I hate to say that but it true.

    It made no sense to resign. The problem is not going away when Pres. Miller leaves. VSU will not get more money because of a new President. It makes no sense. The students who protested in my mind are foolish to call for his resignation. What they should have done is went to the state capital and protested their for more state funding to be given to VSU. Now that would have fixed the problem. The only crime Pres. Miller committed was to overestimate enrollment this year. That shows he believes in VSU.

    In my opinion he is the best president VSU has had in the last 20 years. The school has came along way in his short tenure.

    Proud alum of VSU

  2. Perhpas your President was not a good fund raiser. Going to alumni like yourself , getting your foundation to find new pockets of government funding and grants plus community support are skills fundamentally lacking in HBCU leaderships. That’s why the decline in funds. The enrollment issue is something an administration should be able to read and get ahead of if possible. Trust me this did not just pop up. It was on the horizon and misread by the President. VSU suffers from administration bloat. Instead of taking away dining hall hours, why not get rid of some of those administrators with bigger but non justified salaries? To tell the students too bad just tough it out is another reason why HBCUs have declining enrollment. They are the reason the school exists…period. Treat them well and they will stay. Treat them like crap and they are on their way to a PWI who will cater to their millennial needs. This is 21 century college business. Get used to it.

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