The UNM West staff is a family.  Like any family, we weather the storm through tough times and share in the successes of the good times.  Over the years, there have been many good times at UNM West and that is due in large part to the efforts of Dr. Beth Miller.  It is with with a bit of sadness and heavy hearts that we must say goodbye to Beth.  After 29.5 years in the UNM System Dr. Miller retired from her position as Director of Outreach and Strategic Initiatives at UNM West this past December.  Her retirement comes after spending a number of years at UNM Gallup and previously serving as Interim Executive Director at UNM West. Before her last day Beth sat down with us to reflect upon her career at UNM.


What brought you to New Mexico or UNM? 
The job.  I applied via the Chronicle of Higher Education for a faculty position in the Business Department at the Gallup Campus.

How many years of service did you have at UNM?  UNM West? 
At UNM – 29 ½; at UNM West 7 ½.

What is your best UNM memory or proudest UNM moment?
At UNM Gallup – there were several – we served the highest population of Native American students in a public two-year school in the country and our graduation rates were 2nd in the nation while I was campus director (we were just short of a Tribal school in OK).  We opened the first chartered Middle College High School in NM while I was there, focusing on students who had dropped out of high school.  The school has successfully helped students excel and move on to the university setting.  I always enjoyed graduation ceremonies.

What would you say the best thing about UNM West is?
Definitely the students!  I’m always interested in their majors and what they hope to accomplish upon graduation.  They are very smart—and I’m confident in their ability to move our community forward.  The faculty were great to work with as well, and I appreciated their willingness to work with us as we developed educational opportunities for our students.

What has been the biggest challenge for you at UNM West?
Managing expectations—both from the main campus perspective and the community perspective. 

What would you like to see in UNM West's near future?
Only the best!  There are new and exciting challenges awaiting the campus, and I’m sure that all entitles working together will create a promising future for the campus, students, and community.

What are you plans for life after UNM West?
I’m still “re-orienting” myself to retirement but expect to see family more often, travel more often, continue to volunteer, and perhaps “re-fire” to find other interests I may not have thought about in the past.  I’m open to new and fun life experiences.

Ok. Enough with all the "what" questions. It is time for the UNM West Pop Quiz.

Better pet…cat or dog:  Dog
Better to Give or To Receive: Give—Always!
Better Reality TV Show: The Bachelor or Real Housewives.  Really??! Neither!!
Window Seat or Aisle: Aisle
Super Bowl 50 Winner:  I’m a Broncos fan so let's go Denver!


Above: Beth leaves her office for the last time at UNM.

Anything else you would like to add?
It was a privilege to open a new campus of UNM.  I wish all involved with its future development the very best.  The students, faculty, and staff are awesome!  Oh, and Go Lobos!!

On behalf of the staff, students, and faculty that have had the privilege of working and interacting with Dr. Miller, a heartfelt thank you goes out to her for her tireless efforts and dedication to the University of New Mexico. Though her time at UNM has come to a close, Miller Time is just beginning.