Will Miller, Ph.D.
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Teacher. Scholar. Administrator.

Strategic Leader

 
 

Seasoned, passionate higher education professional looking to make a national impact. Former senior administrator at a Top Regional College in the United States. Established political scientist with multiple books, chapters, and articles. Top-rated instructor. Experienced with all facets of assessment, analytics, and accreditation.

 

Biography

 
 

Whether analyzing public opinion data from central Asian nations for the U.S. Department of State or assessing the role of the Tea Party in recent U.S. elections, Will Miller, an unabashed data wonk, indulges his fascination for analytics and political science. As Assistant Vice President, Campus Adoption, he leverages data best practices to help campuses make strategic decisions. As a teacher, he draws on his perspective as a public intellectual to engage students in courses on political science, public policy, program evaluation, and organizational behavior.

A recognized thought leader in student success and institutional effectiveness, Will integrates his experiences as a tenured faculty member, director of institutional research, and strategic enrollment management advisor into a comprehensive view of data flow on campus. Bringing together research on behavioral economics, organizational behavior, and political psychology, he bridges the gap between theoretical and applied in his efforts to help institutions increase their effectiveness and their students’ success. Through integrated data and information flows, Will aims to assist institutions in breaking down data silos and creating healthy analytics cultures.

Will joined the Campus Labs team in late 2016, after serving for four years as both a faculty member and senior administrator at Flagler College in Florida. There, as Executive Director of Institutional Analytics, Effectiveness, and Planning, he helped transform the campus-wide outcomes assessment process. He also served as the college’s Accreditation Liaison to the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC). Before joining Flagler, he held faculty positions at Southeast Missouri State University, Notre Dame College, and Ohio University.

A prolific author and dynamic speaker, Will regularly presents at professional conferences for both higher education and political science. He has also advised elected officials, agency administrators, and social service agencies. His scholarly pursuits focus on assessment, campaigns and elections, polling, political psychology, and the pedagogy of political science and public administration. He received a Master of Applied Politics from the Ray C. Bliss Institute at The University of Akron, where he also earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Studies and Public Affairs. He holds both a Master of Arts in Political Science and Bachelor of Arts from Ohio University.

8

Books

53

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters

$764,592

Grant Money Won

 

 

117

Conference and Public PresentationS

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Work with Will

 

Presentations

Coming to campus to speak on issues of importance to me is one of my favorite ways to engage in meaningful conversation.

Workshops

I enjoy little more than coming to campus and sharing knowledge through hands-on, interactive workshops on a variety of topics related to assessment, accreditation, and student success.

Accreditation Consulting

After we spend years collecting information and months writing self-study reports, we need outside eyes to help assure all boxes are checked. That's where I come in.

Assessment Consulting

Whether we are looking to improve campus culture or develop tools to assure we collect what we need, outside eyes can help improve our assessment efforts on campus.

Political and Non-Profit Consulting

At the end of the day, I got my start in political polling. And I still have a passion here. Always eager to help candidates or causes with their efforts. Whether you are looking for polling or help with grantwriting, I am here for you.

Books

 

Teaching Philosophy 

 
 
Photo by kasto80/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by kasto80/iStock / Getty Images

Docendo discutir

My teaching is improved most by learning from my students; my approach to student education centers on the concept that one can only truly learn by teaching. This does not imply my classes center on peer mentorship, but instead highlights that there is a holistic process at work when it comes to student growth. Said process focuses on the co-creation of meaning between a student and myself. Why I want students to be in a classroom can differ greatly from why they have enrolled. Only by working to determine how I can align my goals with their goals can we hope to actually accomplish learning. I do not advocate any scenario where faculty must teach to a lowest common denominator or focus on individual learning styles for individual students. Rather, the co-creation of meaning guides the classroom interplay on a day-to-day basis and should foster student growth.

In the process of co-creating meaning, I struggle to balance key dialectics within my classroom: guiding and providing, theory and application, helping and challenging, and rigor and expression.

Guiding and Providing: I do not need to decide whether I prefer being a sage on the stage or a guide by their side; it is entirely possible to be both. And it benefits students when I am. I firmly believe it is more beneficial for students to leave college courses with clear understandings of how politics works as opposed to a battery of factual knowledge. It is far easier to learn facts when they are immediately needed, after all, than it is to figure out how things work. It is not merely a memorization of the great players and the important structures, but an understanding of how those structures and players interact. Thus, my job is to provide the basic factual knowledge students need to be able to analyze and comprehend the world around them before guiding them through determining why it matters and how it works.

Theory and Application: I have the fortune to teach every type of student: from the wide-eyed eighteen year old freshman with no knowledge of terrorism or campaigns to career bureaucrats seeking leadership positions within their public agencies. They key to helping both succeed is making material relevant. In every class I teach, I hope that students will be able to wrestle with the course material in their own lives, applying abstract theories to what they experience in their everyday world. Ideally, this approach should empower students to articulate ideas and process concepts in ways that are meaningful to them. Further, I can only have the impact I aim for if I am actively engaged within my discipline. Instructors who enter a classroom without also working to further their discipline through substantive contributions are disserving students and their institutions. Active researchers add material to their courses that truly allow for applied learning.

Helping and Challenging: Part of a student's everyday world is the university itself. Thus, my role as a teacher inherently includes helping students succeed in the unique culture of higher education. While I want students to be able to personalize their education via active learning, I also recognize that I have expertise from which students may benefit. I believe most students will rise to the challenge when quality work is demanded of them if they are also helped to develop the skills necessary to make that possible. For this reason I encourage critical thinking and the improvement of oral and written skills in all of my classes. I set a bar that is obtainable when effort is applied but at the same time seeks to punish those who attempt to coast. While students appreciate receiving grades of “A,” they benefit most from “A” grades they must work to earn.

Rigor and Expression: I believe students are best served when they are actively and rigorously engaged in the pursuit of knowledge. A teacher may inspire, but students should be actively engaged in the learning process for it to be successful. In an effort to give students greater ownership of the knowledge they encounter, I use cooperative and active learning strategies as well as lecture in my classroom and try to develop assignments that foster both analytical and critical thinking and opportunities for creative application. I maintain an open policy by which students can seek to tweak assignments to fit their personal interests. I may ask for a four-page paper analyzing the applicability of Veblen to modern American culture and have a student request to turn in a ten-page television script for a pilot based on the same materials. I am willing to work with students to help assure they accomplish my goals with an appropriate degree of rigor while also allowing them to express themselves in personally meaningful ways.

Students come to college with different expectations, life stories, experiences, biases, and levels of enthusiasm. It is my work to navigate such diversity in a way that promotes learning and growth for the group and each individual. Every class and every student is unique. The same lecture presented to two different groups of students can be received in entirely different ways. The underlying objective of all courses I teach is that students develop the ability to evaluate information, understand the mechanisms underlying political processes, and comprehend the real world implications of those processes. The end result is students leave my classes with enhanced analytical skills, inquisitive minds, and a better understanding of the complex political, economic, and social phenomena throughout the world.