Leaves strong legacy in college’s academic offerings, structure
After 25 years at Colorado Mountain College, Kathy Kiser-Miller, college vice president and Steamboat Springs campus dean, is retiring at the end of August. She leaves a deep impact behind.
“Our college is indebted to Kathy for her vision, stamina and thoughtfulness,” said CMC President and CEO Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser. “She has earned my deep respect and sincerest gratitude.”
For the past five years Kiser-Miller has been college vice president and campus dean in Steamboat Springs. Before that she was the dean of Academic Affairs at the Steamboat campus. Simultaneously, from 2015 through July 2019, she was also the college-wide vice president of Academic Affairs. In that role she oversaw a comprehensive redesign of Academic Affairs, resulting in the alignment of schools and disciplines.
“Her predecessors tried unsuccessfully to align CMC’s academic structure; many said it could not be done,” said Hauser. “With her characteristic vigor and affability, Kathy persevered.”
Kiser-Miller said one of her favorite memories at CMC was working with faculty members Rob Wang (sustainability) and Fred Hampel (business) to present to the college’s accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission, proposals for CMC’s first two bachelor’s degrees. She was also named CMC Online Faculty of the Year in 2010-11 (she taught communications and speech online and in person 1995-2011) and Colorado’s 2011 E-Learning Educator of the Year.
She served as Faculty Senate president as well as communications and humanities discipline coordinator. She has also served as a peer reviewer and forum facilitator for the Higher Learning Commission since 2006, experience and perspective that have proven extremely useful, especially when preparing CMC for accrediting visits.
“I have known Kathy and her husband Dan for years, and during my time on the board of trustees it’s been a pleasure to see what a pillar she has been to the college and to the Steamboat campus,” said Bob Kuusinen, CMC trustee from Steamboat Springs. “As a former faculty member, she has never lost sight that students are the center of everything the college does. I wish Kathy and Dan the very best in the next chapter of their lives.”
“After having been a teacher and administrator for more than 35 years, I have been invited to contribute more to the Higher Learning Commission and higher education consulting, which has prompted me to decide to retire,” said Kiser-Miller. “I also look forward to spending more time with my children, granddaughter and my retired husband.”
In a note to her campus colleagues, she wrote, “I am proud of our time and accomplishments together and am confident the campus and college will continue to grow, mature and expand for our students and staff as the future unfolds.”
JC Norling, currently associate dean of Academic Affairs in Steamboat Springs, will serve as interim campus leader, effective Sept. 1, 2020.