Office of the Provost


June 11, 2014

Dear Colleagues:

Rush Miller has served as Hillman University Librarian, director of the University Library System, and a valued member of the Council of Deans since 1994. So it is with appreciation for all he has contributed to the University that I write to let you know of his decision to retire in December of 2014.

The last twenty years have been a time of immense change in the field of information technology and at the University of Pittsburgh, and Rush’s visionary leadership of the University Library System (ULS) during this time has been an essential component of the University’s success. Under his leadership, ULS has embraced new technologies to bring discovery tools and library resources and services to students and faculty computers, and has been a leader in open access to scholarly publications. Since 1994, the University’s holdings have doubled, from 3.5 million to almost 7 million books—including more than 1 million electronic books—and from 27,000 to 110,000 journals.

During his tenure as director of the University Library System, Rush has guided changes in the physical spaces of libraries at Pitt in response the changing needs of library users. At Hillman Library, he led improvements such as replacing a traditional reference desk with a liaison program to align librarians more closely with academic programs, increasing high-tech group study rooms, creating a Dissertation Writing Room, increasing seating for students, and expanding the highly popular library café. These changes have resulted in Hillman Library being used more now than ever in its nearly 50-year history.

Under his leadership, University libraries have also been instrumental in advancing the University’s international ambitions, creating and implementing an extensive international document delivery service with more than two dozen university libraries in China, Taiwan, and South Korea. He also developed a staff exchange program with libraries in China, which resulted in more than 40 Chinese librarians being trained at Pitt and 12 Pitt staff members working in libraries in China.

Rush earned his PhD in medieval history from Mississippi State University in 1973, and his MLS a year later from Florida State University. In 1975, he was named the director of library services at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. From 1982-1986 he was the director of libraries at Sam Houston State University, and from 1986-1994, the dean of libraries and learning resources and professor at Bowling Green State University. At Pitt, he also holds an appointment as professor in the School of Information Sciences.

Rush has held important leadership positions in a number of national organizations, including membership on the Boards of Directors for the Association of Research Libraries and the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc. (PALCI). He received the PALCI Leadership Award in 2004 and a Distinguished Service Award from the Chinese American Librarians Association in 2012, underscoring his commitment to international initiatives.

It has been a pleasure to work with Rush, both in his role as director of ULS and as a member of the Council of Deans. His vision, leadership, and commitment to the University’s broader goals have been an indispensable part of Pitt’s recent progress over the last 20 years, and he will be deeply missed. As he continues his work as Hillman University Librarian and director of ULS through the remainder of the calendar year, I know you will all join me as we celebrate his outstanding service to ULS, and thank him for his ongoing dedication to the University of Pittsburgh. A search committee will be formed to identify Dr. Miller’s successor.


Patricia E. Beeson

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