CCNY appoints Renata Kobetts Miller permanent dean of Humanities & the Arts

Author and Professor Renata Kobetts Miller has been appointed dean of the Division of Humanities and the Arts at The City College of New York. She was previously named interim dean in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic when teaching had to pivot quickly to online learning. During that time, Miller secured federal funds to support staff and update technology.

The Division of Humanities and the Arts teaches more students across the entire College than any other division. Its more than 430 full-time and part-time faculty also serve over 2,000 undergraduate majors, 600 minors, and 350 graduate students.

“Renata Miller has played a leadership role in our Division of Humanities and the Arts for years, both as a deputy dean and an interim,” said CCNY President Vincent Boudreau. “She carries a deep knowledge of the College into her new position, and a broad understanding of the talented faculty that she will lead. The College is fortunate to have her in this new position and I am gratified that she's agreed to take on her new responsibilities.”

Miller is no stranger to New York or to CCNY. The daughter of two New York City public high school educators, she attended Townsend Harris High School in Queens, before getting her A.B. at Princeton and her Ph.D. at Indiana University. She returned to New York City in 2002, to begin a Pforzheimer Fellowship in British Literature at The City College. The following year, Miller began her career as assistant professor at CCNY. It wasn’t long before she was recognized for her organizational abilities and vision. She became English department deputy chair in 2003, associate academic director of the Kaye Scholars Program in 2005, and director of both the MA in Literature and freshman English in 2006, until she was subsequently elected as English department chair in 2012, for two terms through 2017, when she was appointed deputy dean.

As deputy dean, she brought in almost $600,000 in grants to offset state funding cuts, to develop new programming, and reimagine what humanities could mean going forward at The City College. For Miller, change is a major driver, and she has implemented all manner of change over the years, including the first large-scale change to the English undergraduate curriculum in decades and an exploration for faculty and students into Archive Studies.

Together with Dean of the Colin Powell School, Andrew Rich, she instituted the inaugural City College Community Read, and with Professor Tom Peele she launched faculty workshops in Digital Humanities.

Also, during her tenure as interim dean, Miller and then Black Studies Director Vanessa Valdez brought in an NEH grant of $500,000 to develop the Black Studies program and to pilot programs to develop credit-bearing internships in the Harlem community. She also developed programs to ensure that faculty are back on track to continue their research and artistic work post-pandemic.
Miller has given talks at prestigious conferences, like the Modern Language Association (MLA) Convention, taken part in dozens of panels and presentations, and was the recipient of the President’s Award for Outstanding Service in the Division of the Humanities and Arts in 2016. She sits on numerous Editorial Panels and committees, including the Program Committee of MLA and as founding board member of the forum and journal entitled “Global Nineteenth-Century Studies.” The author of two books, her most recent one, “The Victorian Actress in the Novel and on Stage,” was published in 2019.  She and her husband are the parents of two teenagers.
About the City College of New York

Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high-quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its position at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. Education research organization Degree Choices ranks CCNY #1 nationally among universities for economic return on investment. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.8% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. Labor analytics firm Emsi puts at $1.9 billion CCNY’s annual economic impact on the regional economy (5 boroughs and 5 adjacent counties) and quantifies the “for dollar” return on investment to students, taxpayers and society. At City College, more than 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. This year, CCNY launched its most expansive fundraising campaign, ever. The campaign, titled “Doing Remarkable Things Together” seeks to bring the College’s Foundation to more than $1 billion in total assets in support of the College mission. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.


Thea Klapwald