New campus leader has long history with CMC | SteamboatToday.com

New campus leader has long history with CMC

Teresa Ristow

Colorado Mountain College Alpine Campus Vice President Kathy Kiser-Miller.

— Colorado Mountain College's Alpine Campus leader Kathy Kiser-Miller may be new to her position, but she's no stranger to CMC, where she's worked for more than two decades.

Kiser-Miller was a faculty member teaching humanities, communication and theater for 17 years before she was appointed to campus dean of academic affairs in 2011. In October, she was selected to replace outgoing campus vice president Peter Perhac, who led CMC's Steamboat campus since 2008.

Kiser-Miller is settling nicely into her corner office on the second floor of the college's newest building, the Academic Center, where she enjoys panoramic views of Howelsen Hill, Mount Werner and much of the CMC campus.

The 21-year resident of Steamboat Springs said her new position as campus vice president, as well as her role as interim vice president of academic affairs across all of CMC, has kept her occupied.

"I'm really busy," Kiser-Miller said. "But I don't mind that."

As vice president, Kiser-Miller now oversees all campus operations and acts as a liaison to the local community, while working under college-wide president Carrie Besnette Hauser.

Recommended Stories For You

Since taking the reins, Kiser-Miller has been working to strengthen communication between CMC and the community and within various departments on campus.

She reinstated a community-based advisory board, which includes 22 members from different areas of the local community. The board held its first meeting March 29, and Kiser-Miller said she's hopeful the new group will come up with ideas to better integrate CMC into the community.

"This (advisory group) was something that hadn't been in place for a while," Kiser-Miller said. "My vision for this group is to help guide us."

Kiser-Miller said that, despite Steamboat's small size, many people within the community don't fully understand what CMC has to offer.

To improve communication between departments within the college, Kiser-Miller is also forming the Alpine Council, an internal council of campus department leaders that will meet to discuss ideas for improving the Steamboat campus.

Kiser-Miller has also been busy meeting with the Steamboat Springs Economic Development Council, and she attended a recent meeting with the Routt County Board of Commissioners, educators and other leaders from across the county.

Next on tap for all of CMC's campuses is a discussion about housing, which is a problem across Steamboat that also affects students.

"Our dorms are filled, and we've had to send students away," Kiser-Miller said.

She said CMC's Board of Trustees would discuss the possibility of added housing, including a concept to add more apartment-style housing for older students or faculty, at a meeting in August.

While the Steamboat campus could benefit from more housing, she said other CMC locations have an equal or greater need.

"All of CMC's communities have housing needs," Kiser-Miller said.

When she's not at the office or traveling for work with the Higher Learning Commission, a post-secondary school accreditation organization, Kiser-Miller said she tries to get out and enjoy Steamboat.

Kiser-Miller's twin sons, Alex and Davis Miller, now 30, have taught their mom a thing or two about skiing from their years on the U.S. Nordic Combined Team.

"I do cross-country ski, but my sons are way better than I am," said Kiser-Miller, who also enjoys web development and 3D computer graphics.

"Our dorms are filled, and we've had to send students away," Kiser-Miller said.

She said CMC's Board of Trustees would discuss the possibilities of added housing, including a concept to add more apartment-style housing for older students or faculty, at a meeting in August.

While the Steamboat campus could benefit from more housing, she said other CMC locations have an equal or greater need.

"All of CMC’s communities have housing needs," Kiser-Miller said.

When she's not at the office or traveling for work with the Higher Learning Commission, a post-secondary school accreditation organization, Kiser-Miller said she tries to get out and enjoy Steamboat.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow