Friday was supposed to be the first of several “listening sessions” held on the Mississippi University for Women campus during its process to find a successor to Jim Borsig, who retired as the university’s president in June.
But by the end of the day, the Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning had heard enough.
After going into executive session at 5 p.m., the board soon emerged to announce it had selected Nora Miller as The W’s 15th president.
Miller, a MUW alumna who had been serving as acting president since Borsig’s retirement, has 17 years of service at the university, most recently as senior vice president for administration and chief financial officer.
Miller said Friday’s announcement will allow the university to move in some areas that she had not pursued as acting president.
“I’m excited, obviously,” she said. “I guess the big thing is we can get started on some of the more long-range plans that I didn’t feel we should being until the decision was made.”
IHL Board President Shane Hooper said Miller’s background made her the ideal choice for the job.
“Nora Miller understands The W, both from a student’s perspective and as a senior leader at the institution,” Hooper said in a news release. “She appreciates the institution’s rich history, unique mission and the important role it plays in Mississippi’s public higher education system. She will be an excellent leader for the Mississippi University for Women’s next chapter.”
Widely considered the obvious choice for president after serving as Borsig’s primary aid in his seven years at The W, Miller was nevertheless surprised at how quickly the process moved.
“I thought something would happen in October or November,” Miller said. “So, yes, I was surprised it happened as early as it did. It felt a little awkward, like I was on a campaign trail with the listening sessions I was already having and then the (IHL Board) coming in in the middle of that. I kind of felt like people might think I was campaigning. So, it’s relief to have this all done and we can move forward with some of our long-range plans.”
Miller holds bachelor’s degrees in business administration and accounting from MUW. She earned a master of business administration degree from Mississippi State University in 1998 and is a certified public accountant.
In her role as senior vice president for administration and CFO, Miller was responsible for the financial and business management of the university, the operation of the physical plant and related support services, and the development and implementation of the campus facilities master plan.
Before that, Miller served as vice president for finance and administration for 11 years. She has also served as director of budget and financial analysis and director of internal audit for the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning; director of accounting for Central Alabama Community College; senior auditing accountant for Potter, Bryant and Tate in Birmingham, Alabama; and as supervising senior auditing accountant for the Colleges and Universities Division of the Mississippi State Auditor’s Office.
Borsig enthusiastically approved Miller’s promotion to his old job.
“President Miller is a smart, able and experienced higher education administrator,” Borsig said. “She has a deep understanding of The W, both as a graduate and a senior administrator. The W is in good hands.”