Dr. Jonathan Millen appointed as Wheaton provost

Jonathan Millen, Ph.D. an experienced higher education administrator and a communications scholar whose research areas include mediation, code-switching among immigrant populations, social construction of blame, and music as rhetoric, has been appointed as the college’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. He also has been approved as a tenured full professor in the Department of Film, Digital Media and Communication by the Tenure and Promotion Committee and the Board of Trustees. He will join the college in early July.  

Dr. Millen comes to Wheaton from the University of New England (UNE) in Biddeford and Portland, Maine, where he has served as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of communication since 2019. During his tenure at UNE, he collaborated with faculty and academic staff in the creation of four new degree programs and a new first-year seminar experience; he also introduced and implemented a new model for learning assessment and led the college in organizing academic programs into six schools. 

Among a strong group of finalists, Dr. Millen stood out not only for the depth of his experience in administrative leadership but also for his focus on building successful partnerships with faculty to launch new majors and degrees. A champion for the value of the liberal arts and sciences, Dr. Millen demonstrates a continued commitment to improving pedagogy in response to evolving student needs. Community members who met with him on campus also remarked upon his skill as a communicator.  

Dr. Millen began his career as an educator and administrator at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ, where he won awards for his teaching, including being named to The Princeton Review’s Best 300 Professors in 2012. During his 18 years at the university, he moved to administrative leadership, serving as associate dean and then dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 

Beyond campus, Dr. Millen has been a leader in the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, where he served on its Board of Directors, including terms on the Governance Committee and as president. He is a past president of the New Jersey Communication Association and a member of the editorial board of the Atlantic Journal of Communication. He also has been active in community mediation, consulting and leadership development. 

Dr. Millen’s research on conflict resolution has been published in Mediation Quarterly, Human Communication, and Human Systems.  His work on political discourse appears in the Atlantic Journal of Communication, Studies of Communication in the 2012 Presidential Campaign, and You Shook Me All Campaign Long:  Music in the 2016 Presidential Election and Beyond.  He also has studied code-switching resulting in publications found in Human Communication and Communication and Immigration.

Dr. Millen earned a B.A. in Communication from the University of New Hampshire and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.