Home News Archives General Robert A. Miller Begins Job As New President Of VGCC

Robert A. Miller Begins Job As New President Of VGCC

Vance-Granville Community College’s new president didn’t need much time to relocate; he simply had to move across the hall to take up his new position on Feb. 1.

The college’s Board of Trustees unanimously elected Robert Adam Miller, the school’s current vice president, to take the top job during a special meeting Friday, Jan. 15.

Miller replaces Dr. Ben F. Currin, who served as president from February 1981 through December 1998. Currin retired after more than 40 years service in North Carolina public education.

After Currin informed the board last May of his intentions to retire at the end of 1998, the trustees formed a five-person search committee to seek a new president. The job was advertised throughout the nation, and more than 100 men and women requested applications. Of those, 55 formally applied for the position.

Each committee member screened each applicant, and the list was narrowed down to three finalists, from which the full board selected Miller. The State Board of Community Colleges approved the selection Friday morning, Jan. 15.

John K. Nelms, vice chairman of the VGCC board, introduced Miller to the state board after their approval vote. He said the local board is very confident it chose the right man to lead the college. Nelms said there will be no transition the board, faculty or staff will have to undergo, and building projects will continue on schedule.

Miller told the state board he was excited at the opportunity given him and said, “I pledge that I will not just try to lead Vance-Granville in the right direction, but I will continue to build on its tradition of excellence.”

Miller, who came to Vance-Granville in August 1983 as coordinator of student placement, has served as vice president since July 1995. He received a standing ovation when his appointment was announced at a meeting with the college’s faculty and staff immediately following the Board of Trustees’ meeting. Here the new president spoke of his excitement at getting the opportunity to lead Vance-Granville into the next century.

He said the appointment was both humbling and invigorating. “I am humbled by the confidence that has been placed in me by the members of the Vance-Granville Board of Trustees and the State Board of Community Colleges,” Miller said. “I am invigorated by the challenge that awaits me, our staff and faculty as we prepare to take this community college and its students to the next level.” He called Vance-Granville Community College the leading college in the 59-member state community college system and said the North Carolina system is recognized as the best in the nation.

Miller praised Dr. Currin’s vision and leadership, which the new president credited for making Vance-Granville so successful. He cited as accomplishments over the past 15 years the “phenomenal” growth in enrollment, advances in technology, the addition of three satellite campuses and expanded services to the college’s four-county service area, continuing growth of the scholarship program and Endowment Fund, and the excellent rapport the school enjoys with local and state lawmakers, and business and industrial leaders.

“But, as you know, the past will not sustain us,” Miller told the faculty and staff. “We cannot stand still. There is much more work to be accomplished, and there are many more who need the services we can offer to help them secure gainful employment in their chosen fields.”

Among projects already underway to accomplish those goals, Miller cited planned expansion of the new Franklin County Campus where biotechnology skills training will be featured. He spoke of construction of an addition at South Campus in Granville County that begins this month, and he said the Warren Campus is in an excellent position to expand its services.

While VGCC’s Endowment Fund of about $5 million is the largest in the state system, Miller said it doesn’t have all the money it needs. “It needs to continue to grow to guarantee the educational opportunity for those students who have trouble affording it and for those who deserve scholarships based on their academic achievement,” he said.

Miller said that economic times are good, and students are not at Vance-Granville because they have to be. “They come because they’ve heard of the opportunities that await them here,” he said. “Our best advertisement has been that satisfied student who met quality at every turn. You have all contributed to making that student satisfied,” he told the faculty and staff. “I look forward to working with you as we prepare to move to new heights.”

Reared in Ahoskie, Miller, 51, earned a B.S. in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he attained Dean’s List honors. He also holds a masters of art in educational administration from East Carolina University.

Miller taught in Halifax County and was an assistant principal and principal in Rocky Mount before coming to Vance-Granville Community College. He has held varied positions at VGCC, including director of industry services and community services, dean and vice president of college services, and vice president.

He is a member of numerous area, state and national professional and educational groups and associations. Both the Vance County and North Carolina District 10 Associations of Educational Office Professionals have named Miller their Administrator of the Year.

Miller’s wife, Ginger, is executive director, Curriculum and Instruction, for Vance County Schools. They live in Henderson with their son, Brent, 16, a junior at Northern Vance High School, and they are members of First Baptist Church. His wife and son accompanied Miller to the state and local board meetings.

Also at the meeting of the State Board of Community Colleges, its chairman, Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker, praised Dr. Currin for his years as a leader in education in North Carolina. Wicker called Dr. Currin’s contributions to the system “multifold,” and he expressed the board’s gratitude to the retiring educator.