University of Vermont

Academic Ceremonies - Commencement

Judith Buechner

Honorary Degree Recipient

Keith M. Miser
Doctor of Laws

Keith MiserKeith M. Miser is a national leader in the field of higher education student affairs—a practitioner, thinker, teacher, and mentor who has significantly advanced his field. After earning his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Indiana University in his home state, Miser’s career soon brought him to Vermont where he would serve the university in several roles across seventeen years, 1971-1988. Originally hired as director of residential life, Miser would later assume the posts of dean of students and associate vice president for administration. During his years at the university, Miser taught in UVM’s highly regarded Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration graduate program. He served as the founding advisor to The Vermont Connection, a student affairs journal created, edited, and produced by graduate students in the HESA program.

In 2009, Miser wrote a reflective essay on the occasion of the thirtieth volume of the Vermont Connection, looking back on ways in which his time at UVM influenced his future work in student affairs. “The freedom to speak, to write, and to act in order to learn are values demonstrated in the everyday lives of Vermonters. These ideals are woven into the fabric underlying the policies, practices, programs, and initiatives at UVM,” he wrote. “This notion of personal freedom is so important in thinking about the role of student affairs on a campus. Creating learning situations and policies that reinforce student freedoms is one of the foundations of the student affairs professions.” While Vermont influenced Miser’s philosophy as an educator, he in turn left his mark on UVM through his vision, leadership, and the colleagues he mentored who continue to lead student affairs at the university more than twenty years later.

Following UVM, Keith Miser accepted a position as vice president for student affairs at Colorado State University, where he spent the next twelve years of his career. Continuing his move west, Miser would join the administration of the University of Hawai`i at Hilo to serve as the vice-chancellor for student affairs in 2001. Currently, he is the executive director of the Center for Global Education and Exchange and the special assistant to the chancellor for International Programs at the university.

Throughout his career, Miser has held numerous positions of leadership in professional organizations, has given more than eighty-five presentations at national and regional conferences, and has published twenty-five articles or chapters in professional literature in higher education.

Last modified February 27 2011 08:05 PM

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