By Angela Alfano
Katherine Hill-Miller, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at LIU Post since July 2002, will be stepping down from her position and transitioning back into her previous role as an English professor. Dean Hill-Miller has been a professor for more than 30 years. Nicholas Ramer, Assistant Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, who has worked for Dean Hill-Miller since 2009, will become the acting dean of the college effective June 1.
Hill-Miller has been a dean at Post for 13 years. Prior to becoming dean, Hill-Miller has written two books; one about author Mary Shelley, an English novelist best known for her gothic novel “Frankstein,” and the other about author Virginia Woolf, an English writer and modernist.
She was an english literature professor at C.W. Post, now LIU Post, since 1980, assistant professor at the College of William and Mary in Virginia for three years, and was also a guest lecturer at Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in the Federal Republic of Germany, where she discussed English Literature as well as American Feminism.
According to Hill-Miller, there are many responsibilities that come with being a dean. She said she has tasks that range from student difficulties to budgets to curriculum concerns. Hill-Miller said one of the most interesting things during her time as dean was the closure of the LIU Southampton campus. The campus was struggling financially, and the administration had come to the unfortunate conclusion to close the campus in 2005.
According to the dean, although unfortunate, the closure of the campus brought wonderful educational advances to the Post campus. Along with physical equipment from labs, Post gained a fabulous faculty, according to Hill-Miller. Ten years later, she said the faculty that once taught at the Southampton campus has assimilated swiftly and smoothly into the Pioneer community.
“Working with such a diverse group of people is both interesting and challenging,” Hill-Miller said. As dean, Hill-Miller said that she has found herself acting as an intermediary. She said she would constantly have to convert jargon used by admissions voicing their concerns into language that the faculty would appreciate and vice versa. The dean said that at the end of the day, however, everyone was on the absolute same page; the most important concern being the students of LIU Post and their education.
Hill-Miller said that her first love has always been teaching. She said she is excited to get back into the classroom and teach English seminars to incoming freshmen. Hill-Miller is equally passionate about having time to write once again. Having already published two books, Hill-Miller has not published another book since her promotion. Sitting on story ideas spanning 13 years, Hill-Miller is thrilled that she will have time to start her next book.
Hill-Miller said she is both sad and excited about her retirement as dean. She said she is sad because she will no longer work everyday with the wonderful people that she has been working directly with for so many years. Although this is true, Hill-Miller will still be just upstairs, in the English department, from her current office in the Winnick Mansion.
Nicholas Ramer, incoming Acting Dean and current Assistant Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, graduated LIU Post in 1994, and became a chemistry professor in 2000. Ramer said he is looking forward to his new position. “It’s a very exciting time at LIU and more specifically at LIU Post,” Ramer said. “The faculty of the college is developing new programs and opportunities for our students. As acting dean, I will share in their enthusiasm for providing the best education for our students.” Ramer said he is truly fortunate to work with such a dynamic group of educators and scholars, not only in the college, but also across the entire campus.
“Dr. Nicholas Ramer, gifted chemist and teacher, has served as the Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for the last six years,” said Vice President of Academic Affairs, Jeffery Kane. “Over those years he has acquired a deep and rich understanding of its programs and faculty, enabling him to guide the strategic development of the college as a whole. Being [an] alumni of the college, he also has a unique insight into, and appreciation for, its students.”