Excerpt from Daily Texan, May 1, 2001

Charles Miller, a two-year member of the UT System Board of Regents and esteemed education reform leader in Texas, was elected chairman of the board Monday by his colleagues. Miller, 67, was unanimously picked to lead the nine-member board that oversees the UT System's 15 institutions and $5.8 billion budget. "I feel highly honored by this office, and I look forward to working with each of you," Miller told his fellow regents during a telephone conference call. "I thought I'd be humbled, but actually, I'm frightened."

Miller, a Houstonian, has served on the board since 1999, when he was appointed by then-Gov. George W. Bush to a six-year term. He replaces outgoing chairman Tom Loeffler, whose term expired in February. Loeffler succeeded Don Evans as chairman after he resigned from the post in January to serve as President Bush's secretary of commerce. Evans served as chairman since 1997. Miller's opinion on education policy and reform is well-respected around the state. He has served on several statewide education panels, including Bush's Select Committee on Public Education, and has advised the state's top legislators on education policy for decades. During his two-year stint on the board, Miller has served as chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee, which has worked on creating a system-wide student assessment plan and has pushed for more flexibility in the setting of tuition rates.

 

"Charlie brings to bear some very very important assets on issues affecting the UT System," said Pat Oxford, a regent from Houston. Oxford cited Miller's involvement in shaping the UT System's "K-16 initiative," a plan to increase the involvement of UT in lower-school education, as an example of his commitment to providing all Texas residents with a quality education. UT President Larry Faulkner said he looks forward to working with Miller. "Charles Miller is a wise and knowledgeable citizen of Texas," Faulkner said. "He has a great understanding of the needs for education in this state and will provide excellent leadership in the UT System."

 

Miller, who earned a UT mathematics degree in 1959, is chairman of Meridian Advisors Ltd., a Houston-based private investment partnership. Miller is an expert in the area of monetary affairs, particularly as they affect securities markets, and he has been directly responsible for the management of large institutional and individual portfolios. The new chairman said he wanted the board to act more "as a committee of the whole," allowing the nine regents to play a larger role in more of the decisions the board must make. "We have a board made up of proven leaders," Miller said. "Having a committee of the whole tends to imply that all the regents are involved in all areas of the UT System, which will work to our advantage."

Currently, the nine regents serve on five different committees ranging from the Health Affairs Committee to the Facilities Planning and Construction Committee, and Miller said members can tend to be disassociated from larger issues due to committee involvement. The board also elected its Executive Committee Monday, on which Rita Clements, A.W. "Dub" Riter Jr. and Raul Romero will serve as vice chairmen. The board will meet for the second of its quarterly meetings May 9-10 in Austin. The meeting will be the first for two recently confirmed regents, Cyndi Krier of San Antonio and Dr. Judith Craven of Houston.