First Posted: 7/22/2009
DOBSON Surry Community College welcomed a new employee on Monday as Mike Miller became the dean of computers, business and engineering technologies.
While he is glad classes do not start until August, he believes that by then he will be ready to fully embrace the new role.
Were getting there, he said of being ready for school to begin. A few classes need to be staffed and were adding a few more classes for students. Im glad school doesnt start tomorrow.
In the meantime, Miller is reading through the colleges policies and procedures to familiarize himself with them as well as learning a new organizational structure. SCC has department chairs in each division which is something new to Miller. He is also still getting to know people and making new contacts.
Miller moved to Surry County after living in Slatington, Pa., his entire life. His parents still live there, but he is excited to be a little farther south.
I hate winter and I hate snow. I will be glad to not have to deal with snow again, he said.
After spending nine years as the assistant dean of business and technology at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pa., Miller applied for the position at SCC. He has an associates degree from Lehigh-Carbon Community College and attended DeSales University, where he earned a bachelors degree and a masters in business administration. He is writing his dissertation to earn a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Nebraska.
Miller is looking forward to bringing his experience to this area and helping the programs at SCC continue to grow and expand.
Its a little more laid back here. In Bethlehem, there was more hustle and bustle and a do it now type of mentality, he said. But that doesnt mean we cant get things done in a timely manner here.
The location and the reputation of SCC drew him to the area in the first place. He has a friend who lives on the lake in Mooresville so he had seen SCC before applying for the position. Thus far, his experiences have been what he was hoping for when he accepted the position. He mentioned the colleges commitment to teaching excellence and its involvement in the community as factors which drew him here.
Everybodys been wonderful. Its been anything they can do to help and thats great, he said. I look forward to being a part of the community.
As he digs into his new role, Miller hopes to accomplish three main things.
I want to continue the learning excellence going on now. I want to provide leadership for the division and support for the faculty and chairs. And I want to have some fun and enjoy what were doing, he said.
While he will take an active role in overseeing the programs in the division, Miller said he plans to rely on the input of the faculty and the chairs for guidance and assistance. He hopes to learn where the programs need to be, which programs are viable and which are not and what needs to be done to get all of the programs to be viable.
I do believe things will turn around for the economy and the jobs will be there, he said of graduates of the programs under his leadership. I want to find out where the jobs are for these students.
Surry has some great programs. We are here to help the community grow and educate the community. Their slogan is start here, go anywhere.
In addition to being excited about the lack of snow, Miller is looking forward to having milder weather in which to enjoy golf. He said he loves sports and is a big supporter of the Miami Dolphins.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.