Faculty Hall of Fame Award 1997
David Miller


"Hines, Miller tapped for CUAA faculty honor"
From the Fall 1997 Cameron Today

Among the titles describing Dean David H. Miller are scholar, administrator, professor, advisor, mentor, translator, consultant and author.

Miller received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Utah and his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico. He was also a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Cologne, Germany.

Miller joined Cameron in 1970, serving as department chair and division head before becoming dean of the School of Liberal Arts in 1990.

"When I came to Cameron as a freshly minted Ph.D., the campus was a far different place than you see today," Miller recalled. "When I set up my office in South Hall in early August, the thermometer stood at 108 in the shade _ but there wasn't any shade other than a couple of insect-ravaged Chinese elms and a few dead saplings. None of the older buildings on campus, including mine, had air conditioning."

"At my first faculty meeting, the chair issued each member a pen, a legal pad and a box of chalk," he said. "The campus was facing one of its perennial financial crises and these were to be our supplies for the year. There was only one phone in each department."

Cameron had graduated its first baccalaureate holders that spring, but most programs were in need of serious improvement, Miller said. He became involved in developing history and graduate programs and helped establish the original university honors program in 1971. He organized the sociology major and helped revamp Cameron's general education component in the early 1970s.

"The campus has come a long way during the past quarter century, transforming itself into a modern university," he noted. "My department had a few old filmstrips and little money to rent 16-mm films from the OSU library. The only copier on campus was in the library. We didn't purchase calculators until the mid-1970s. Desktop computers were still years away and words such as "Internet" and "World Wide Web" were not yet in our vocabulary.

"One of the remarkable things I experienced was to see Cameron evolve into an educational technology leader, developing truly innovative programs to serve student needs and to see it recognized as one of the region's outstanding universities," he said.

Although holding an administrative assignment during most of his career at Cameron, Miller has continued to instruct courses each semester, teaching an estimated 12,000 students on and off campus. In keeping with his notion that learning also occurs outside the classroom, he encouraged the development of intellectual life on campus and played an active role in Cameron's three academic festivals.

He is a charter member of Cameron's Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Alpha Theta chapters and belongs to Gamma Theta Upsilon and Phi Sigma Iota honor societies. He received the Distinguished Faculty Award from Phi Kappa Phi

As well as being an author, Miller has consulted for the Amon Carter Museum, the Washington University Gallery of Art, and the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. He participated in the Newberry Library/UCLA Conference on the impact of Native Americans on the teaching of U.S. History and as an intern at the Institute for Editing Historical Documents in Wisconsin.

He has served on the boards of the Lawton Arts and Humanities Council and the Oklahoma Foundation for the Humanities.

Miller said Cameron has always been blessed with outstanding and motivated students, as well as a dedicated faculty.

"Teachers often wonder whether they have any impact on their students," he said. "Rewards are not always immediate, and their ultimate impact may not be evident for many years. One of the pleasures of looking back over a quarter-century of teaching is to reflect on the many students who passed through my classes and see how many of them developed successful careers and are living fulfilling and productive lives.

"It is truly gratifying to have witnessed Cameron's maturation as an institution and it has been a lot of fun participating in that process. I wouldn't have missed it for anything."