Appointment of Amber Miller as Dean of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

A Message to USC Dornsife College Faculty, Staff, Students, Alumni, and Friends

May 18, 2016

On behalf of President Nikias, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Amber Miller as dean of the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, effective August 16, 2016.  Professor Miller will also hold the Anna H. Bing Dean’s Chair.

After an extensive national search for a new dean to carry on the school’s legacy of excellence, we found Professor Miller to be highly qualified to lead Dornsife College as it continues to advance its already-outstanding scholarship and influence.  She comes to USC from Columbia University in New York, where she serves as the dean of science for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and professor of physics.

Professor Miller has been a member of the Columbia faculty since 2002, dean of science since 2011, and has published over 100 articles in the field of early universe cosmology.  Her decanal work has focused on enhancing the basic sciences and building and strengthening ties between science, engineering, the medical center, and other units. Professor Miller has also long held an interest in issues on the interface between science and policy.  She has taught courses such as “Science, Policy, and Critical Thinking,” “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” and “Physics for Poets.”  She served as the chief science advisor to the NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau for two years, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and The Columbia University Committee on Global Thought, and an advisory board member for the Center for Science and Society.  Professor Miller received her B.A. from University of California, Berkeley in 1995, and her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2000.  Honors and awards include a Hubble Fellowship, an NSF Career Award, an Alfred. P. Sloan Fellowship, and a Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award.  She is a fellow of the American Physical Society.

I want to recognize and thank Dani Byrd for her dedicated and tireless leadership as interim dean of Dornsife College since December 1, 2015.  With many years of experience in the dean’s office, Professor Byrd showcased her exceptional knowledge of the academic mission and priorities of USC Dornsife.  A recent notable success was the strong class admitted in 2016.  Please join me in thanking Dani and the entire leadership team of Dornsife College.

I would also like to thank the dean search committee for their outstanding work. Due to the Dornsife College’s importance to the university, I was grateful to have assisting me co-chair Avishai Sadan, dean of the Ostrow School of Dentistry; Elizabeth Graddy, vice provost for academic and faculty affairs; Mark Todd, vice provost for academic operations; and Daniela Bleichmar, associate provost for faculty and student initiatives in the arts and humanities.  They were joined by Professors Moh El-Naggar, Susan Forsburg, Ange-Marie Hancock, Elsi Kaiser, Anna Krylov, Lori Meeks, Geoffrey Middlebrook, Sunyoung Park, Manuel Pastor, Ann Renken, Jacob Soll, and David St. John.  In addition, I would like to especially thank Dana and David Dornsife for serving as special advisors throughout the process. Their insight and wisdom were extremely valuable.
Please join President Nikias and me in warmly congratulating Professor Miller on her appointment and in welcoming her, her husband Jonathan T. D. Neil, and their daughter Brienne, to the Trojan Family.  We all look forward to their arrival this summer.