Welcome Students

To my fellow Dukes,

I walked onto the Quad on June 4th for my first day as Vice President for Student Affairs and all I could do was smile.

I was home.

I was energized by the memories of my time here and by the possibilities that lay ahead.  I thought of the lifelong friends I made, what I earned, the mistakes I made and learned from, and the lifelong partner I found here.  I owe James Madison University a debt for helping me become who I am today and for helping to make my dreams come true.

Returning home to the Shenandoah Valley and serving JMU has been a dream for me.  There is something about this place that has always made it feel that I am right where I’m supposed to be. I am eager to meet and get to know students so I can see JMU through your eyes.  I envision incredible opportunity on the horizon for JMU and I am proud to be back here to be of service to that future. 

As I have not met many of you yet, I wanted to share some of my history as a way to introduce myself.  I am originally from Woodbridge, VA and I most recently lived in Falls Church, VA with my partner Jamie Jones Miller (’99) and our rescue dog, Duke.  I am an avid musician, gardener, runner, and reader and hope to connect with many of you through these passions as well as through our work together.  During my time at JMU I studied a variety of subjects including Music, Political Science, and Criminal Justice.  While on campus, I was involved in Fraternity and Sorority Life and an Honor Society, served as an SGA senator and a Resident Advisor, and coached the Women’s Club Soccer team for several years.  I worked throughout my undergraduate and graduate career in JMU Catering, Summer Conference Services, and Community Service-Learning and value the lessons I learned through all of my engagements.  I received my Master’s Degree in College Student Personnel Administration from JMU in 2000 and my Doctorate in Executive Leadership from the George Washington University in 2016.

Since leaving JMU, my career has focused on working hand in hand with students to create a better future.  This includes supporting first generation, LGBTQ+, financially insecure, transfer, and historically underrepresented students to ensure that everyone has equal opportunity for success.  I have had the honor to serve with some of the most talented professionals in the world and I believe that the Student Affairs team at JMU is second to none.  I have also worked to address many of the most important national issues and challenges we face on college campuses including diminished civility, sexual and interpersonal violence, freedom of speech, and social justice issues.

There is work to do on these and many other issues at JMU and we are a community that is passionately dedicated to facing these topics together.  Universities are at the heart of a civil society and they are where we are called to use both our heart and our intellect to debate and discuss these issues.  I believe that each and every member of this community has the best interests of JMU at heart and is focused on service to fellow Dukes and our shared future.  The key is for us to remember that we can only create our best future together, not apart from each other.  We will not always agree on the best way to proceed, but the strongest communities continue to work together; face to face, hand in hand; even in disagreement. That is at the core of JMU’s values.

I plan to engage fully with all of JMU and I hope that you will reach out to me and invite me to your events and say hello when you see me on campus.  I am living near campus and will be walking to my office most days and eating in DHall every Monday as well as DHub and Ehall throughout the week.  I will be at UREC regularly to work out and swim and will be frequenting our libraries to find my next favorite book.  I am active on social media so feel free to connect with me on Instagram (timmmiller) and Twitter (@jmutimmiller) so we can celebrate who we are and who we will become as a community.

As we chart a path forward for JMU, the Student Affairs team is committed to making this a community where everyone can find their place, know they belong, and chase their dreams.  We will support our students in all aspects of their lives whether it be on the field or the stage, the voting booth or the ticket booth, or the classroom or the boardroom.

For our new Dukes, welcome home, and for our returning students, welcome back.

Go Dukes!

Dr. Tim Miller
Vice President for Student Affairs
he/him/his
millertm@jmu.edu
Alumnae Hall 202

Knowledge will forever govern ignorance;
and a people who mean to be their own governors
must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

- James Madison

 

Previous Letters from Dr. Miller

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