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University Relations

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Dec. 21, 2005
Contact: Todd Cohen, University Relations, (785) 864-8858.

Veteran faculty member appointed acting chair of KU religious studies department

LAWRENCE -- Barbara Romzek, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas, today appointed veteran faculty member Timothy Miller to serve as acting chair of the Department of Religious Studies through June 2006.

Miller, a scholar of alternative religions in America, has been on the faculty since 1973 and previously served as departmental chair from 1997 to 2002. He replaces Paul Mirecki, associate professor who stepped down as chair earlier this month.

"I appreciate Professor Miller's willingness to step in for the next six months while I discuss with the faculty plans for a permanent chair," Romzek said. "Professor Miller not only has previous experience as chair but also is known as a teacher and researcher with respect for and scholarly interest in the variety of religious expressions in America."

Miller, who holds master's and doctoral degrees from KU, has published five books, including Following in His Steps: A Biography of Charles M. Sheldon, the story of a Topeka pastor, and The Quest for Utopia in Twentieth-Century America. He has edited two books and published more than 30 scholarly journal articles. With the exception of a visiting professorship at Dartmouth College in 1995, Miller has been on the KU faculty, starting as lecturer in 1973 and earning the rank of professor in 1998.

Miller received the Steeples Award in 2002, an annual award to faculty in the college for outstanding service to the state of Kansas.

Religious studies, first established in 1901 for noncredit instruction of KU students, became an academic department in 1977. The department encourages the academic study of how religious experience has been described, organized and practiced in history and in varying cultures.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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