By Hailey Hensley
Jonathan Millen, the dean of Rider’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, recently announced he will be leaving Rider University for a dean position at the University of New England, starting in the Fall of 2019.
Dean Millen has been a Rider faculty member for 28 years and expressed that the people at Rider were what he was going to miss the most upon leaving.
“I’ve developed a lot of relationships with current and former students, and current and former faculty and administrators. I’ve been here for 28 years. And that’s what has kept me here so long,” Millen said.
Many students here at Rider have fond memories of Dean Millen and speak very highly of him, citing his involvement in day-to-day affairs as well as the compassion he showed to his students.
“As a member of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Student Council, I was able to see first hand just how much he cares about this college and the students within it. Dean Millen has a way of making you feel as though your words, ideas and beliefs matter,” said senior communications studies major Jenna Deluca.
In Millen’s 28 years at Rider, much of that was spent in the Department of Communications and Journalism as a professor. Millen explained that to have come from “such an amazing department” prepared him well for the job.
However, being away from home isn’t an easy thing for anyone, and 28 years away has been too long for Millen, he explained.
“I’m looking forward to going home. We’ve been away from our family for 28 years and we don’t have any family in the area. To this day we always say, “we’re going home for the weekend.” We’ve always felt like we were not home, in that sense.”
Millen warmly smiled when dsicussing being awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award, just one of his many accolades earned at Rider.
“It was very special to have been recognized by my students for having done a good job. And back in the day when you won, we had the chance to speak at commencement to address the graduating class. That was a very special moment,” Millen said.
Despite his numerous accomplishments at Rider, Millen explained that he felt it was important he put himself in a new environment.
“I’m looking for a fresh start. My entire professional career has been at Rider, and I love Rider. I will always feel a tremendous amount of appreciation, gratitude, and fondness for Rider. At the same time, I’m looking to learn again,” he said. “I want the chance to learn a new system, to practice my skills in a new environment and to create new relationships. I’m excited about a chance to start again.”