Renita Miller will serve as the next dean of Berkeley College, Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway announced to the Berkeley community in a Monday email.
Miller has most recently served as the Director of Studies of Forbes College and the Director of the Princeton Summer Undergraduate Research Experience at Princeton University. With this announcement, Berkeley has undergone an overhaul of its administrative leaders, with Miller replacing outgoing dean Mia Reinoso Genoni, and Geology and Geophysics professor David Evans replacing Psychology professor Marvin Chun as the head of college.
In his email, Holloway praised Miller for her mentorship and experience engaging the community.
“As Director of Studies she mentored individual students while also creating academic programs that fostered student development and engagement within the university and the broader community,” Holloway wrote. “She is excited to bring the same spirit of engagement and attention to student needs and development to Berkeley College.”
Holloway also noted Miller’s involvement with service-related initiatives that supported local families and nonprofits, as well as faculty-student engagement programs that helped cultivate relationships between students and faculty outside of the classroom.
In addition to her administrative roles, Miller also taught political science and writing intensive courses at Rice University, Texas A&M University and Princeton. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Baylor University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Rice with a concentration in public policy, racial and ethnic politics, and state politics. Her research focuses on the influence of race and gender in political institutions.
New Berkeley head of college David Evans said he is thrilled to welcome Miller and praised her teaching, research and administrative experience.
He also expressed confidence about the major administrative changes in the college.
“Although a coincidence of change in the college academic leadership will always create some challenges, at Berkeley we are blessed with three important positive aspects of the college that will help smooth our transition: incredible generosity and organization from the departing [Head Marvin Chun] and [Dean Mia Genoni], highly efficient and amicable administrative staff, and strongly positive spirit of welcoming by the returning students,” Evans said.
Chun called Miller’s administrative experience “exceptional” and said her scholarship and teaching will draw strong interest around campus.
Miller will move into Berkeley this summer with her husband, who works in K-12 education, and three sons, Jackson, Caiden and Mason.
Berkeley students interviewed expressed excitement about Miller’s appointment, especially regarding her scholarship in race and gender relations.
Andy Hill ’17 said while Miller has “big shoes to fill,” he looks forward to getting to know her and learning about her areas of expertise.
“Her extensive experience and knowledge in race and gender relations will be indispensable at a university that still has so much to learn on the subject,” Hill said.
Austin Wang ’17 and Grace Yi ’17 both said given recent campus conversations concerning racism and discrimination, Miller will bring valuable traits to the deanship. Wang added that he hopes Miller will respect the various backgrounds of Berkeley community members, while Yi said she appreciates Miller’s experience mentoring and working with students.
Josh Hochman ’18 said he is thrilled that Miller will be the next dean of Berkeley.
“I think the Berkeley community, myself included, will be eager to learn about her work, especially her writing on how race influences the deliberative process in state legislatures,” Hochman said. “State politics is so understudied. And it’s clear she was committed to closely and warmly engaging students at Princeton.”