Senior Vice President and Assistant Superintendent for Business and College Services Dr. Robert Miller will be leaving PCC for a position in the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) as their Vice Chancellor of Finance and Resource Development on March 31.
“I’m confident that I can say without exaggeration that Dr. Miller has had a deeper influence on Pasadena City College than anyone else across our community,” Superintendent-President Dr. Rajen Vurdien wrote in an email to staff.
Miller began his career at PCC as a student in 1973, where he worked for two years developing a distance education program while earning his AA in telecommunications.
After graduating from PCC, he went on to teach as an assistant professor for former PCC president Armen Sarafian at the University of La Verne while simultaneously earning his Bachelor of Business Administration there.
He returned to PCC in 2005 as the associate dean for academic support and has been with the college ever since, moving up to various positions before landing his current position as senior vice president and superintendent for business and college services.
In the spring of 2014, amid the tumult of former president Mark Rocha’s retirement, Miller was named interim superintendent-president.
“This was the only college I wanted to be president of because of my close affinity to this institution,” Miller said. “I passed over many head hunting offers for the presidency [of other colleges] but when this [LACCD] opportunity came along the resource development part in particular, and to be of service in such a large venue … I couldn’t pass it up “
His reasoning for accepting this new position was an opportunity to expand his ability to serve underprivileged communities.
“That’s what attracted me to the LACCD job, was to be able to take my passion, what I’ve been able to put into effect here at PCC, and roll that into a district that has nine colleges and serves 150,000 students a semester and to take whatever skill, whatever abilities I have and invest it in a larger arena and in many respects an arena that has greater needs than even what many students have here at PCC,” Miller said.
Miller is the second and most prominent executive committee member to leave PCC for LACCD recently after former Associate Vice President for Strategic Planning and Innovation Dr. Ryan Cornner accepted a vice chancellor position there last month.
“Having worked with [Miller] I’m really excited to have him come to LACCD and I think he will have a significant impact and will bring a lot immediately,” Cornner said of the move.
Since Vurdien took over as Superintendent-President last June, the college has undergone many drastic changes, many of them in order to conform the college to a more traditional college structure.
Beginning July 1, the college will transition its structure from a six-school system with departments within each school to 12 divisions.
There has also been several personnel reshuffles.
Dr. Robert Bell, formerly assistant superintendent and senior vice president for academic and student affairs, recently assumed the position of assistant superintendent and senior vice president, non credit and offsite campuses.
Former Dean of Non Credit, Dr. Ofelia Arellano, now oversees dual enrollment programs, outreach and transfer, and TRIO programs.
The school is also looking to add two new positions to the senior administrative team: an assistant superintendent / vice president of instruction who will oversee the new divisions and report directly to Dr. Vurdien, and a vice president of human resources, who will replace the vacant executive director position and will also report directly to Vurdien.
Vurdien said the school will develop a process to determine Miller’s replacement “in the coming weeks and months.” School administrators were not immediately able to say who will be talking over Miller’s duties while the search for a replacement is underway or whether they will name an interim replacement.