Lisa Miller returns after retiring in 2019

Miller becomes interim VP of enrollment management


ULM has always been a big part of Lisa Miller’s life. Her grandfather owned a pharmacy across from the university when she was a kid, and he was one of the people who originally pushed for the pharmacy school to be built.

And growing up on ULM’s campus made a big impression on Miller, because she’s never been able to leave for too long. 

Miller went on to get her bachelor’s in education and master’s in counseling from ULM, worked here for 16 years and retired in 2019.

After Miller retired from her position as chief communications officer, she took a part time job as a counselor at St. Frederick’s High School. 

While she loved the job and the students she got to work with, she couldn’t deny that ULM was calling her back—especially when new President Ronald Berry, asked her to come back as the interim vice president of enrollment management and university relations.

“It almost feels like I was never gone,” Miller said.

Meagan Morris, assistant director of Student Life and Leadership, was once a Miss Louisiana competitor and met Miller when she was an ambassador who welcomed young women to ULM’s campus every summer for the weeklong competition.

“In [Miller’s] short absence from ULM, it was abundantly clear that she was irreplaceable in our leadership,” Morris said. “I am thankful President Berry saw that too.”

Miller has come back to ULM at a challenging time. As one might imagine, recruiting students during a pandemic isn’t easy. 

Miller said schools are wary about letting recruiters talk to classes, and many schools are doing hybrid learning so only half of a school’s students are physically in school on any given day.

But Miller was prepared for this challenge, because when she was first hired in 2002 as the associate vice president of enrollment management, ULM was at a low point. Enrollment numbers hadn’t gone up in eight years and the school was facing financial instabilities.

And Miller was part of the team that revitalized the university and its image. She established multiple recruitment initiatives that resulted in an average ACT increase and a 10% enrollment increase.

Sami Owens, executive director of Recruitment and Admissions, has known Miller since 2002 and worked with her during that time. 

Their recruitment work involved a lot of traveling, and there was one trip that Owens will never forget.

Owens and Miller once went on a recruiting trip to an island in the Caribbean called Bonaire. 

During the trip, they met students and their parents from the island, and Miller had no shortage of enthusiasm while telling everyone about ULM.

“They were flocking to our recruitment table to listen to the blonde American lady selling the dream about a university nestled on the banks of a bayou thousands of miles away,” Owens said.

Miller is able to be so captivating and inspiring to others because, as Owens said, “She is a visionary.”

And if you’re wondering how Miller continues to be motivated and optimistic about the future even after all these years, she’ll be the first to tell you—she has a genuine, lifelong love of school.

Miller is the child of an educator, and that’s made her who she is today. Her father had multiple degrees from multiple universities, and he passed on that love of learning to her. 

That’s why her love for higher education and her excitement for what the future holds inspires everyone who meets her.

“Find me a person who wants to empower me and bring out the best in me and everyone else around her,” Owens said. “That’s the person whose lead I want to follow.”