Theodore K. Miller headshot


ACPA’s 36th president, Theodore (Ted) K. Miller, was the 26th man to serve in that office. He was 42 years old when voted president-elect in 1974. Ted was introduced at the Executive Council meeting on April 13, 1975 and the business meeting on April 16 during the annual ACPA Convention held in Chicago.

Born in Iowa City, IA on January 1, 1932, Ted and his wife, Gay S. Miller, are parents of three daughters and grandparents of three grandsons and one granddaughter. Ted’s youth was spent in Wellman, IA and Goshen, IN. After receiving his diploma from Goshen High School in 1949, he attended Goshen College for one semester and then traveled throughout the country. In the winter of 1950 he entered Ball State Teachers College in Muncie, IN where he was awarded the B.S. Degree in Business & English in 1954. For two years during his undergraduate study he was a resident assistant under the supervision of Bill Martinson. Following two years of military service with the U.S. Army in Wiesbaden, Germany, he returned to his alma mater and earned the M.A. Degree in Counseling and Guidance in 1957 under the mentorship of Merrill (Jack) Beyerl. The University of Florida (UF), where he studied under the direction of Ted Landsman, awarded him the Ed.D. (Counseling and Personnel Services, 1962). The title of his dissertation was “An Analysis of Critical Personality Factors in Helping and Non-Helping Relationship Behavior in Residence Hall Situations.”

When Miller became ACPA President-elect, he was an associate professor (1967-76) and Coordinator of the Student Personnel (later Student Development) in Higher Education Program in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services at The University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens, GA. He was also Director of the Student Development Laboratory. His higher education work experience included employment as a Counselor to Men in the Division of Housing (1957-60) under the direction of Harold Riker, Research Assistant in the Perceptual Psychology Project (1960-61), and Teaching Assistant and Counseling Intern (1961-62) at UF. Miller’s post-doctoral employment began at the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB) where from 1962-64 he was a Counseling Psychologist and Lecturer. From 1964 to 1967 he held the position of Assistant Professor of Education, with emphasis on College Student Personnel Preparation, and Adult Education Lecturer in psychology in the Niagara Falls, NY Adult Education Program before his move to UGA as associate professor. In 1976 Ted was promoted to Professor of Counseling and Human Development Services and continued to coordinate the SDHE Program in the Division of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Instructional Technology. In 1988 he was appointed Director of the UGA Office of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Decennial Self-Study, a position held until 1992. In 1993 Miller was appointed Chairman of the UGA Department of Counseling and Human Development Services, which housed the School Counseling, Mental Health Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, Student Affairs in Higher Education Masters’ programs and Ph.D. programs in Counseling Psychology and Student Affairs Administration. He retired from the University as Professor Emeritus in July 1997 after 30 years of service. During the course of his career he presented numerous keynote addresses, workshops, and programs at professional meetings throughout the U.S. as well as in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Republic of China, Puerto Rico, Canada, and the Czech Republic. During his academic career he supervised over 50 doctoral dissertations.

Miller’s initial involvement with ACPA began in 1957 in Detroit when he attended his first APGA/ACPA convention at the conclusion of his master’s degree work at Ball State. He became a professional member of ACPA in 1960 and held his initial leadership position when Dyckman Vermilye nominated him in 1966 for the position of ACPA State Division Committee Chair. Miller was the founding president of the Georgia College Personnel Association in 1969. He was a Commission XII Directorate Board Member during 1966-69 and 1977-83.

Miller was closely involved with the task force that launched the popular Tomorrow’s Higher Education (T.H.E.) Project created to re-conceptualize the field of student affairs. The task force designed the project and its three phases (conceptualization, model building, and implementation). At the mid-year leadership meeting in Chicago on October 26, 1973, Miller introduced an audio-visual slide-show presentation articulating the project’s purpose, role, and function. As task force chairperson during 1974-75, when president-elect of ACPA, he chaired the T.H.E. Phase II Conference held June 4-8, 1974 at UGA’s Georgia Center to create “A Student Development Model for Student Affairs in Tomorrow’s Higher Education.” The resulting conference “white paper” was published in the November 1974 issue of ACPA Developments. Directors of current or proposed student development oriented college programs and services throughout the country were invited to submit descriptions of their programs to be considered for inclusion in a planned publication. At ACPA’s 50th anniversary convention held in Atlanta in 1975, Ted reported on the status of the T.H.E. project during the March 4 Executive Council meeting. His statement addressed the basic concepts and principles underlying the “student development approach” and the project’s proposed third phase, implementation of the model. The Executive Council endorsed the project and encouraged continued activity in Phase III. At the mid-year Executive Council meeting in October 1975, Miller outlined the T.H.E. Student Development Model in a joint presentation with the subsequent task force chair. During the APGA/ACPA Chicago convention in April 1976, Miller and Judith Prince presented the ACPA “T.H.E.” (Tomorrow’s Higher Education) Project Report in the Great Hall of the Pick Congress Hotel, ACPA’s convention headquarters. The next morning in the same room, Ted moderated and co-presented a program entitled “Programming for Counseling in the New Era: A Symposium by Officers of ARCA, ACPA, and ANWC.” During 1976-77, as ACPA’s immediate past president, he rejoined the T.H.E. task force. His 1976 book, The Future of Student Affairs: A Guide to Student Development for Tomorrow’s Higher Education (with Judith Prince and published by Jossey-Bass) was based on outcomes of the T.H.E. task force deliberations and designed to articulate the resulting model. All royalties from the book were donated to ACPA’s treasury throughout its print life of some nine printings over more than a decade.

During 1970-72, Miller co-chaired (with Dick Caple) the ACPA Task Force for Group Procedures, which generated a position statement entitled “The Use of Group Procedures in Higher Education” (1976, JCSP, 17, 161-68). During 1973-74, he represented Commission II as a non-voting member on the executive Council. He chaired the Continuing Education Committee (professional development) for four years 1970-74. At the April 14, 1974 Chicago convention during an Executive Council meeting, he reported that the Continuing Education Committee had conducted 15 professional workshops during the past year, most in collaboration with various ACPA Commissions. He also noted that the committee published a professional monograph on legal concerns in higher education as an outgrowth of one of the workshops.

During his first Executive Council meeting in Atlanta on March 5, 1975, as president-elect, Miller asked the members to consider appropriate awards to recognize service to ACPA and contributions to the profession’s knowledge base. At that same meeting, the Executive Council approved a motion to establish a task force to develop ethical standards for college student affairs practitioners. In 1981 ACPA published its first statement of ethical and professional standards (JCSP, 22, 184-89). Further during the meeting, Miller invited suggestions from Executive Council members to identify persons interested in professional standards of preparation and practice, a precursor to the ultimate establishment of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) in 1979.

President Miller conducted a meeting for representatives of 13 professional student personnel associations held on September 12, 1975 in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. The meeting was planned in response to the need for inter-association communication in response to the recent dissolution of the Council of Student Personnel Associations (COSPA). The purpose of the meeting was to discuss issues that affected the profession as a whole. Avenues for inter-association cooperation were also explored.

Beginning with the first issue of ACPA Developments during his presidential term, the tabloid format was introduced with the size of the newsletter being increased from 8 1/2” by 11” to newspaper size and format under the editorship of Roger B. Winston, Jr. Miller communicated with members in a column entitled “ACPA Presidential Communiqué.” He presided at the Executive Council meetings held at the Chase-Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis during October 25-26, 1975. The meetings were held in conjunction with the “Workshop Fair,” which had as its theme “Focus on Student Development: Developing Skills and Competencies.” In-service credit was provided via the workshop, which was designed as a transition to Phase III of the T.H.E. Project and as a proposed model for future fall conventions should ACPA decide to hold an annual national meeting in addition to its yearly joint convention with the American Personnel and Guidance Association (now American Counseling Association) of which ACPA was a founding Division. The Executive Council, which met in conjunction with the Workshop Fair in St. Louis, approved establishment of two major ACPA Awards to be considered annually and awarded when deemed appropriate: the Professional Service Award (later designated in honor of Esther Lloyd-Jones) and the Contribution to Knowledge Award. ACPA’s membership at the close of 1975 was 9,166.

The pros and cons for an association name change were highlighted in the fall 1975 issue of ACPA Developments, during the early part of Miller’s term. Members were asked to indicate the extent to which they supported or rejected an association name change and a rationale for their underlying positions on the matter. A summary of the name change questionnaire results was published in the subsequent issue of the newsletter. The final report of the Name Study Committee was made at the Executive Council meeting on April 10, 1976 in Chicago with the committee’s recommendation that “ACPA” be changed to the “Association for Student Development in Higher Education (ASDHE).” The ensuing motion to accept the recommendation by the Executive Council was defeated and the association name retained.

Miller was appointed co-chair (with Lou Stamatakos) and later chairman of ACPA’s Professional Standards Committee (1978-80). During the March 27, 1979 Executive Council meeting in Los Angeles, he reported on the committee’s proposed ACPA standards for the preparation of student affairs practitioners at the master’s level as well as the APGA accreditation initiative with which he was involved. A member of the APGA Accreditation Committee during 1979-81, he served as the ACPA Representative and Board Member to the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) during 1981-87 and was secretary-treasurer from 1984-87.

The 1979 election report included Miller, who was designated the Representative to the APGA Board of Directors for a three-year term. During 1981-82 he was elected to the Executive Committee of the APGA Board of Directors. In 1979 as Chair of the ACPA Professional Standards Committee, Miller was instrumental in establishing the Council for the Advancement of Standards for Student Services/Development Programs (CAS), now the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. CAS is a consortium of national professional associations numbering 36 member organizations at present. He was the founding president of the Council and held that position from 1979 to 1989 and as the Council’s Publication Editor and Executive Committee member until 2004. In recognition of his 25 years of CAS service, the Council named its most prestigious award in his name. In addition, Miller was honored with several professional recognitions during the course of his career by professional associations including: the 1976 SACSA Mel Hardee Award for Outstanding Achievement, the 1981 ACPA Esther Lloyd-Jones Professional Service Award, the 1986 ACPA President’s Award, the 1992 Robert H. Shaffer NASPA Award for Academic Excellence, the 1997 ACPA Contribution to Knowledge Award, and the 2005 ACPA Lifetime Achievement Award. Also, he was selected as a 1988 ACPA Senior Scholar and a 1993 Senior Scholar Diplomate In addition, both the Georgia College Personnel Association and CAS honored him by naming their respective highest professional awards in his name. From 1994 to 2000 Miller was a Charter Member of the ACPA Educational Leadership Foundation Board of Directors.

During the course of his professional career from 1957 to 2005 Miller authored, coauthored, and edited more than 30 refereed journal articles and 29 professional books including six Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) “blue books” that promulgated professional standards in higher education. In addition, he authored and coauthored 40 invited book chapters and reviews as well as numerous professional association and local publications and was involved in editorial work for a number of professional publications. He was also coauthor of the Student Developmental Task and Lifestyle Assessment (SDTLA) with Roger B. Winston, Jr. and Diane Cooper as well as several other developmental and standards related assessment tools including two editions of the CAS Self Assessment Guides (SAGs). From 1978 to 2003 Miller participated in 28 accreditation and evaluation visiting teams and related consultancies under the auspices of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and the Council for the Advancement of Standards in higher Education (CAS).

As the year 2009 began, Theodore (Ted) K. Miller noted that he has “many fond memories of my nearly five decades of professional collaboration with ACPA, which I consider to be my primary professional identity association and without which my professional involvement and accomplishments would have been greatly diminished.” He further noted that Gay, his wife of over 50 years, along with friends, students, and professional colleagues, too many to recognize individually herein, provided essential support, counsel, and encouragement over the years and were highly instrumental in providing the collegial environment that is so important to accomplishing anything of worth and making a difference in any field of endeavor.

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