Kansas University announced today it has named Timothy Miller to serve as acting chair of the Department of Religious Studies through June 2006.
Miller will replace Paul Mirecki, who stepped down from the post recently after being under fire for a controversy that sparked headlines around the country.
Mirecki, an associated professor, planned to teach a religious studies course on intelligent design. Then his comments on an Internet discussion board about the course, religious fundamentalists and Catholics sparked sharp criticism. The course was canceled. Mirecki resigned from his post as department chairman, and reported being physically assaulted by two unknown men in an incident he said was connected to the controversy.
Barbara Romzek, interim dean of KU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, today appointed Miller to serve as chairman.
A scholar of alternative religions in America, Miller has been on the faculty since 1973. He had previously served as departmental chair from 1997 to 2002.
Miller holds master's and doctoral degrees from KU. Miller 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.
Evolution in Kansas
- 6News video: Some question group's move with elections nearing (07-08-06)
- 49abcnews.com video: Discovery Institute starts ad campaign weeks before elections (07-07-06)
- 6News video: Film explores evolution circus (01-03-06)
- 6News video: Group takes shot at Mirecki through postcards (12-15-05)
- 6News video: Mirecki resigns from KU department post (12-07-05)
- Education board to revisit debate over evolution (02-11-07)
- As old board departs, new evolution stance takes shape (12-14-06)
- Biologist speaks for intelligent design (12-08-06)
- Cultures clash in Democratic primary (07-06-06)
- Education department spokesman leaves job (06-15-06)
- Evolution, religion comments put heat on department spokesman (05-26-06)
- KU profs support evolution skepticism (02-21-06)
- Science teachers pan new standards (02-14-06)
- 'Dodos' circling around I.D. (01-04-06)
- Attorneys in I.D. case spread message (01-04-06)
- Professor blasts KU, sheriff's investigation (12-10-05)
- Kansas ranks last in science (12-08-05)
- Discovery Institute
- Evolution timeline: Events related to the Kansas controversy
- U.S. District Court Ruling in Kitzmiller et al v. Dover Area School District (PDF)
- Center for Science and Culture: A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism
- Parody: Intelligent Design Society of Kansas
- Mirecki press release (.pdf)
- More evolution coverage
- LJWorld.com's Evolution in Kansas coverage