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Chico State

Fond Farewell: Retired School of Education Dean Ed Miller

Stars shine above Trinity Hall.
Jason Halley / University Photographer

Retired dean and professor Edward Miller, who served campus for 23 years, passed away April 26. He was 77.

Born August 17, 1941 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Miller earned his bachelor’s degrees in biology and chemistry from Geneva College, and a master’s in secondary education and a PhD in education from the University of Pittsburgh. After teaching in Pittsburgh schools and at the University of Pittsburgh, he was hired by Sacramento State in 1972 to direct its teacher education program. While on the education faculty, he spent two years as a therapist and did postdoctoral work with the department of psychiatry at University of California, Davis’ Sacramento Medical Center. He was the first educator selected by the psychiatry department for advanced study in behavioral sciences.

Ed Miller sepia portrait
Ed Miller
Courtesy of Special Collections

In 1981, Miller came to Chico State as a visiting professor through the Chancellor’s Office Administrative Fellows program for assignments in the School of Education and Physical Education and the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. His responsibilities included academic master planning and curriculum, budgets, personnel, fundraising, strategic planning, and enrollment management. In 1983, he was hired as dean for the School of Education and Physical Education.

“During the time Ed was dean, he provided strong, fair, and visionary leadership for a broad range of academic programs as he guided the School of Education into the 21st century,” said retired faculty and department chair Jim Richmond. “He served as a great mentor to many budding professors and administrators. His knowledge and understanding of athletics greatly assisted him in strengthening programs, as well as making hard decisions.”

Among Miller’s accomplishments as dean were completing a revision of the University’s liberal studies program that was later modeled by other programs across the state, developing a comprehensive set of admissions standards for our professional teacher education programs that became among the highest in the state, and supporting a satellite broadcast of the teacher education program. He also had a particular interest in athletics and was a key contributor to the completion of a new track to support track and field.

In 1989, Miller opted to resign from his dean role so that he could return to teaching. Richmond recalls that he talked often about how much he enjoyed working with prospective teachers, helping them understand and utilize principles and practices of educational psychology in their future career.

Miller also served on statewide accreditation committees and was chair of the statewide education deans group for the Chancellor’s Office. There, he assisted in policy development that impacted the 23 campuses’ programs to prepare teachers and others who served in public and private education.

He retired in 2000 but was rehired through the Faculty Early Retirement Program six months later, and he retired for the last time in 2005.

“As a friend and colleague, he was trustworthy, dependable, and straight-forward,” Richmond said. “He had a great sense of humor. He will be missed.”

Miller is survived by his wife, Suanne Miller; son Bryan Miller; daughter-in-law Lauren Miller; and grandson Harrison Miller. The family requests any donations in his memory be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.

No services are planned. The University flag will be lowered Thursday, May 9 in his honor.