Karen Miller Hired for Two Admin Roles

By Lucy Grindon

Karen L. Miller will join the College in April 2016 as the new Vice President for Human Resources and Risk. In her new position, Miller will act as a strategic leader for the Office of Human Resources and the Office of Risk and Compliance, both of which serve all of Middlebury’s schools and programs.

Miller will be the first person to hold both the vice presidency of the Office of Human Resources and the vice presidency of the Office of Risk and Compliance. As Vice President for Human Resources, Miller will strategize about staff structure, hiring and compensation policies for Middlebury faculty, staff and student employees. In her role as chief risk officer, Miller will succeed Dr. Michael Geisler, who will leave Middlebury to become the new president of Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York.

According to Geisler, the main function of the Office of Risk and Compliance is “to enable and support the hundreds of initiatives and individual activities and programs that Middlebury faculty and students embark upon each year.” The office identifies and tries to contain the risks associated with those programs “without stifling the academic creativity and entrepreneurial spirit that so distinguish the Middlebury community,” Geisler said.

Miller will join the College’s senior administration, working closely with President Laurie L. Patton and other administrators.

“Managing a large and increasingly complex institution effectively and efficiently means bringing best practices to the table, and Karen’s broad experience will be invaluable to us,” President Patton said.

Currently, Miller is a special advisor to the president of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where she has previously served as vice president and general counsel, vice president of administrative services, senior vice president of administration, chief of staff and chief operating officer. Before beginning her time at Morehouse College, Miller worked in several other higher education administration positions, including academic dean of John Marshall Law School.

Miller holds a BA from Emory University and a JD from Harvard University. She is also a candidate at the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education, researching the process of improving organizational capacity and leadership capacity at higher education institutions.

“At a time when many institutions talk about being global or entrepreneurial or sustainable, Middlebury actually lives up to those aspirations and many more. That’s a credit to the faculty, staff and students at Middlebury, and I look forward to working with all of them,” Miller said.

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