Evelyn Miller (1928-2017)

By Hans-Joerg Tiede

The Association’s operations in the areas of academic freedom and tenure received essential support for many decades from Evelyn Miller, who was a member of the staff from 1961 to 2002. Miller arrived at the AAUP’s national office with ten years of experience in the office of the dean at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1971, she was serving as deputy general secretary William P. Fidler’s administrative assistant when Fidler retired and the role of directing the operations of Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure in the national office passed from Fidler to Jordan E. Kurland. From that time until her retirement in 2002, Miller was Kurland’s administrative assistant and close collaborator.

Her contributions during her tenure with the Association were recognized repeatedly. In honor of her twenty-fifth year on the staff, Matthew W. Finkin, then chair of Committee A, expressed the committee’s “deep affection and gratitude” for Miller, acknowledging that its ability “to function as effectively and as efficiently as it does” was a tribute “to her high performance and good humor under consistent pressure” and “to her extraordinary devotion to duty.” Upon her retirement, then Committee A chair Joan Wallach Scott praised her “tireless, generous, intelligent, and dedicated service,” and the annual meeting adopted a resolution in her honor, concluding that “Committee A’s work will go on without her, but it will not be the same.” Upon receiving news of her death, former Committee A chair Robert A. Gorman wrote, “Evelyn was a devoted and extraordinary woman, who for so many years helped to promote the work of the Association and its beneficiaries—the faculty and institutions of higher education.”

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