Serving Students with Respect Is the Key Focus of New Vice President

Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Betsy Miller (pictured) is committed to serving others with respect.

© Western New Mexico University

Respect for those she works with and serves is essential to Betsy Miller. A long-time member of the WNMU community, Miller was recently appointed Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, a position she has held in an interim capacity since June of last year.

A lifelong resident of Grant County, Miller has held a variety of positions at the university on her way to becoming a vice president, from working as an assistant director in the admissions office to serving as the registrar. Now, she oversees the offices that are responsible for undergraduate and graduate admissions and recruiting, outreach programs, the registrar’s office, financial aid, campus police, student life, mental health, veteran services, and student housing.

What has kept her at WNMU so long has been the satisfaction of helping students and co-workers. Said Miller, “It is satisfying to get to know them well enough to identify and respond to their needs. … We need to learn our culture, to learn the people we are serving, because we serve all people,” said Miller. This is also one of the challenges she sees in her role as vice president. “It is challenging because we are dealing with traditional students, non-traditional students, people that have families,” she said, “We have online students, international students, [and] we are a Hispanic-serving institution. … We need to embrace everyone” to serve the entire student body. She is especially committed to meeting the needs of first-generation and non-traditional students. “We help those students who did not have that opportunity” before coming to WNMU, said Miller, “We are also here to serve all students no matter what their educational goals may be: dual enrollment, certificate, associate’s, bachelor’s degree, graduate certificate, master’s degree, or just taking a class for leisure. Within the student’s journey, we have to look at their basic needs as well. This includes food securities, housing, campus security, and student health services.”

While WNMU students are the primary focus of her work, Miller appreciates the constructive relationships she has developed with the rest of the leadership team. “It is a collaborative effort,” she said of their work together, “We are all working on the same goal” of achieving the mission of the university.

She also highly values her team in Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. “I love working with my staff, every one of them,” said Miller, “They are really fantastic. We can’t do [the work] without each other.” This team-oriented approach is reflected in her mentorship of staff members. “I like to help them get to the next level,” she said, “and help them solve any problem they may be facing. … If the staff is not successful, I am not successful.”

Miller attributes her promotion to Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management to three things: “Persistence, Dr. Shepard’s confidence [in her], and the fulfillment of helping others.”

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