Tim Miller has worked at GW for almost a decade, but as he starts the fall with a new, more prominent post, he said it felt like his first day all over again.
Miller, former director of the Student Activities Center, was tapped in July to spearhead the massive restructuring of nonacademic student life as the associate dean of students.
“I didn’t sleep much,” he laughed.
Miller said his first priority in the new position is to maintain the success of already-in-place programs, including community building in residence halls and student organization support, allowing GW to administer the overhaul without disrupting student life.
The center’s purpose – and one of the reasons Miller said he is excited to lead it – is to make students feel comfortable on campus sooner.
“We have a lot of students who find their home here and feel comfortable, but we have students that don’t,” he said. “Now we have a net created to catch students, and a network created to support them.”
After joining the University in 2002 as head of the Office of Community Service, Miller soon assumed the role of director of the Student Activities Center, responsible for managing Colonial Inauguration, Greek life and hundreds of student organizations.
“I’ve learned a lot. I’m bringing all that to the table,” he said, adding that he draws on his own college days as a resident assistant at James Madison University.
The Center for Student Engagement, which absorbed the GW Housing Programs and the Student Activities Center, was without a leader after Matt Trainum’s abrupt departure from the University in June.
Miller said it was natural to reapply for the associate dean position, although he had originally been passed over for the job.
“I was disappointed the first time, but I felt like I still had something to offer,” he said.
Miller, whose “GPS family” will include nine new students this semester, is excited about interacting with students and building a new structure from the ground up.
The reorganization, which dissolved SAC and Housing Programs in efforts to better address the needs of each class year, includes research and focus groups throughout the fall semester to identify the distinct needs of students.
“As we’re learning, we’ll start installing new initiatives,” Miller said.
“Tim has had tremendous experience helping lead so many of the GW major student life events that are hallmarks of the GW student experience and, as we envisioned an even more effective campus-wide approach to supporting events, he was the perfect person to take on this challenge,” Peter Konwerski, dean of students, said in a June interview with The Hatchet about Miller.