Dr. Fayneese Miller became president of Minnesota’s first university in 2015. She is the first African-American and second woman to serve as president. Dr. Miller earned a BA in psychology from Hampton University and an MS and PhD in experimental psychology at Texas Christian University, had post-doctoral training in applied social psychology at Yale University, and was elected as an American Council of Education (ACE) Fellow and a Millennium Leadership Fellow.
Previously, she served as professor and dean of the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont, and before that was associate professor of psychology at Brown University, where she was the first coordinator of education studies and founding chairman of ethnic studies. She is a social psychologist who specializes in the psychosocial development of adolescents and has authored or co-authored seven books or monographs and many articles. Her research has been funded by such organizations as the Eli Lilly Foundation, National Science Foundation, Paul Newman Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Her work includes studies on perceptions of racial/ethnic bias for the Rhode Island Supreme Court, a project on school-based truancy courts for the Rhode Island Family Court, how to transform learning environments, and anti-social behavior of children and youth. She has been an invited lecturer throughout the U.S. and in Saudi Arabia, Thailand, China, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
She has served national professional organizations as chair of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE), president of the Council of Academic Deans from Research Extensive Institutions (CADREI), chair of the Vermont State Board of Education, and a member of the advisory committee for the National Truancy Board, the American Academy of Arts and Science Task Force on diversity in higher education, and the Annie Casey Foundation and Joint Center for Political Studies focus group on reproductive health.
Dr. Miller has an outstanding record of public and community service. Among her many previous activities are five years spent as the governor-appointed chair of the Vermont State Board of Education, numerous committee memberships, appointed by the Rhode Island governor and attorney general, and community board memberships such as the Wheeler School, Rhode Island Historical Society, Big Sisters, and Rhode Island Youth Guidance Center. Since coming to Hamline, she has been elected to the national board of NASCUMC (National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church) and the NCAA Division III Presidents Council. In the Twin Cities, she serves on the boards of Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) and the Wilder Foundation. Minnesota Governor Dayton appointed her both to the Minnesota Governor’s Residence Council and to the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota, a public-private partnership with the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota to improve the lives of young women. She also serves ex officio on the boards of the Minnesota Private College Council, Mitchell-Hamline School of Law, and the New American Colleges and Universities national consortium.