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Dr. Scott D. Miller
President of Bethany College6060Dr_Scott_Miller.jpg

Dr. Scott D. Miller has served as President of the College and M.M. Cochran Professor of Leadership Studies since the fall of 2007. Respected as one of the most entrepreneurial higher education executives in America, Dr. Miller is in his 24th year as a college president.

Raised on a college campus in Pennsylvania, the son of a public-school administrator, Dr. Miller has dedicated his career to the opportunities available through education.  He especially values the small, classical, liberal arts college environment that offers students personalized pathways to life and career success.

Dr. Miller came to Bethany with the same innovative spirit that enabled him to transform Wesley College in Delaware during his 10-and-a-half-year tenure as President of the College and Du Pont Professor of Leadership Studies. A visionary strategic planner, Dr. Miller launched and led the comprehensive 10-year master plan "Wesley College: From Here to 2010," resulting in the construction of $40 million worth of campus facilities including an Academic Village (student residences), an honors house, new athletic complex, tripling of enrollment, creation of a satellite campus in northern Delaware, acquisition of the historic Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, and the addition of several new graduate, undergraduate, and non-traditional academic programs. The “Campaign for Wesley” raised more than $67 million. He was named President-emeritus in 2007, and the Wesley National Alumni Association initiated the Dr. Scott D. Miller Leadership Scholarships. He was also honored with the naming of the entire sports complex as the Scott D. Miller Stadium.

Prior to Wesley, he served for seven years (1991-97) as president of Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee, where he was executive vice president (1988-91) and vice president for development (1984-88). He also served as Director of College Relations and Alumni Affairs at Rio Grande College (now University) in Ohio. Known as an accomplished fundraiser, Dr. Miller has raised more than $160 million in his 24 years as a college president.

As the 19th president of Bethany, Dr. Miller envisioned a dynamic future for the state’s oldest college, which was founded before West Virginia became a state. Using an operational approach befitting a nationally ranked, liberal arts institution, and embracing bold, comprehensive strategic initiatives, he has set the College on a progressive course. His personal devotion to the liberal arts, respect for the College’s rich history, and working knowledge of the latest trends in higher education qualify him as one of the most effective small-college presidents in America today.

Working from a master plan, Dr. Miller identified five key areas of opportunity for Bethany:

  • Expansion of the residential campus community through growth of enrollment
  • Enhancement of College facilities, student services, and co-curricular programs
  • Enrichment of students’ global learning experiences through study-abroad initiatives
  • Strengthening of the College’s resource base through a comprehensive capital campaign
  • Positioning of the College for even greater academic leadership and influence nationally

Dr. Miller’s results-oriented presidencies have fostered his reputation for achievement. In the three institutions he has served, he has earned the respect of faculty, students, alumni, and community by expanding academic programs, building student-friendly facilities and programs, increasing alumni participation in annual giving, and enlarging community resources. His commitment to student and faculty research, collaborative initiatives with other institutions, internships, and career advantage for new graduates is well known.

During his career, he has earned a number of professional accolades including three Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) "Circle of Excellence Awards." He was one of 17 presidents profiled in a Kauffman Foundation-funded book, "The Entrepreneurial College President" (American Council on Education/Praeger Series on Higher Education, 2004, pp. 132-133.) He was featured as one of 22 presidents nationwide profiled in a new book "#Follow The Leader – Lessons in Social Media Success from #HigherEdCEOs," (EDUniverse Media, 2015, pp. 108-110),  one of six transformational case studies profiled in "Weathering Turbulent Times" (NACUBO, 2009, pp. 204, 242-246); one of four transformational case studies profiled in "The Small College Guide to Financial Health" (NACUBO, 2001, pp. 126, 192-194), "The First 120 Days:  What a New College President Must Do to Succeed" (Jerold Panas, Linzy & Partners, 2009), and was noted in "Born, Not Made: The Entrepreneurial Personality" (Praeger, 2007, p. 133).

Dr. Miller was included in “Who is Writing the Op-eds? The Presidents Behind the Words,” by Roland H. King of PhairAdvantage Communications, as one of the “Top 14 Presidents Publishing Op-eds” in 2014.  Dr. Miller ranked third in the survey behind Wesleyan University in Connecticut’s Michael Roth. Four of the top writers were presidents of residential liberal arts colleges, including Roth (1), Miller (3), Christopher Nelson, St. John’s College (4), and Daniel Porterfield, Franklin & Marshall College (5). 

A highly sought presenter, mentor, and author on higher education topics including financial sustainability and presidential performance for national conferences and trade journals, Dr. Miller is a regular columnist for "The Huffington Post," "College Planning and Management," "Enrollment Manager," and "The State Journal." He is the author of a widely distributed e-newsletter, "The President’s Letter," a daily blog “Dialogue,” and a campus wide morning message “Nota Bene.”  He is the co-executive editor of "Presidential Perspectives," an online presidential thought series that has resulted in nine books, and he co-published a second volume of "President to President: Views on Technology in Higher Education."  (Links to some of these publications may be found at: )

He has written hundreds of articles and written or edited 11 books and seven monographs, most with his long-time co-author, Dr. Marylouise Fennell, a former college president and current senior counsel for the Washington, DC-based Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) (, of which Dr. Miller is a former board member and officer. He recently concluded 15 years as chair of the acclaimed CIC New Presidents Program.

Dr. Miller earned an M.A. from the University of Dayton, an Ed.S. from Vanderbilt University, and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from The Union Institute & University. His doctoral dissertation was a landmark study of resource development effectiveness at the 38 institutions (including Bethany College) with membership in the Appalachian College Association.

In coming home to West Virginia where he earned his B.A. degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College and worked as a journalist early in his career, Dr. Miller, 55, brings to Bethany a lifetime of commitment to the values of a residential, liberal arts campus in a pluralistic society, with an emphasis on teaching, service, student-faculty engagement, and lifelong learning.

He and his wife Annie are the parents of two adult daughters. The Millers are members of Christ United Methodist Church in Wheeling.