Northland College President Mike Miller To Retire

After 7 Years With Northland, Miller Plans To Retire Next Summer

Courtesy of Northland College

The president of Northland College in Ashland is retiring after seven years with the private environmental liberal arts college.

Northland College President Mike Miller said it’s time for someone strong and energetic to lead the next chapter. Miller joined the college in 2010 when Northland was facing a decline in enrollment.

“Lots of colleges these days are shrinking. At this particular point in time, we have been able to do all the right things in order to have an increase in enrollment,” he said. “We have very large classes in these last two years and the signs forward are certainly very, very positive. We’ve strengthened regional relationships and provided a lot of internship and student-faculty research opportunity.”

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The college proposed pay cuts to administration, faculty and staff earlier this year to address a $3.5-million budget shortfall. Wage reductions for faculty and staff were reduced from 7.5 percent to 4.5 percent after college trustees raised $200,000 for employees. However, a 10-percent pay cut to administrative leaders and a 12.5-percent wage reduction for the college president remain in place.

Miller said his decision to retire is not related to Northland’s financial challenges.

“In fact, Northland College is at a place of strength right now. We have a balanced budget. We have increased enrollment. We have a number of new board members. A strong national level board and many, many successes of the staff and faculty,” he said.

Miller said he is not interested in seeking a new position elsewhere in higher education. He said he’ll be spending more time with family.

“My wife and I will be attending to our family and our health. We have had some challenges in the family that we haven’t been able to attend to as closely as we thought we should,” he said. “We will be doing that, and I will be continuing to champion Northland and serve in any way that the new president and board want me to in my retirement.”

Miller said he’s proud of what the college has accomplished over the last seven years, including strengthening tribal relations and expanding athletic programs. He said he doesn’t have any regrets about his time at Northland.

A hiring committee has been formed to search for a new president. Miller said he plans to retire on June 30, 2018.