March 27, 2015 — John L. Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 Palmer College of Chiropractic graduate who served as the founding president of Palmer College’s California branch campus from 1980 to 1991, died on March 8 at the age of 83.
Miller was a member of Palmer’s Davenport campus faculty from 1962 to 1974. During his tenure in Davenport, Miller served as director of education from 1964 to 1970, as dean of academics from 1970 to 1980, and as vice president for academic affairs from 1974 to 1980.
When Palmer College acquired the former Northern California College of Chiropractic in Sunnyvale, California, Miller was appointed president of the new Palmer College of Chiropractic West on Sept. 18, 1980.
Based on a former junior high school campus, Palmer West began with 332 students and 23 full-time faculty members.
“Chiropractic’s primary-care, portal-of-entry position means providing our nation’s DCs with training in chiropractic public health, chiropractic education, and chiropractic research, as well as the ability to serve in administrative health systems, e.g., HMOs, NIH, Armed Forces, etc.,” said Miller at his appointment in 1980. “This means that chiropractic colleges must become multi-purpose: they must educate and train doctors of chiropractic for roles other than field practice.”
In his first year, Miller guided Palmer West to receive Recognized Candidate for Accreditation status from the Council on Chiropractic Education in 1981. Palmer West was awarded full accreditation in 1985.
Noteworthy events at Palmer’s inaugural California branch campus during Miller’s presidency included the first Palmer West Homecoming (in 1985), and the Chiropractic Unity Day event in 1988, which included a special program that featured Michael Pedigo, DC, president of the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) and Kenneth Luedtke, DC, president of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).
Growing enrollment prompted the need for additional space, and led to a second campus in Santa Clara, which opened in 1989.
Memorable events on the Santa Clara campus included the World Congress of Chiropractic Students (in 1989), and the signing ceremony that created the Palmer Chiropractic University System in 1991.
During his tenure as president of Palmer’s California branch campus, Miller also served as president of the Council on Chiropractic Education as well as the Association of Chiropractic Colleges, and held the office of vice president of the ICA.
Miller was named a Fellow in the Palmer Academy of Chiropractic in 1991, and received the honorary Doctor of Chiropractic Humanities Degree (HCD.) from Palmer College in 1978.
Miller also received Fellow honors from the ICA and the New York College Academy of Chiropractic.
He was an enthusiastic participant in many Palmer West special events and activities, including accompanying the first Palmer West multisegment foam spine (along with his wife, Marlene) along the 7.5-mile course through the streets of San Francisco at the Bay to Breakers in 1988, 1989, and 1990.
Miller’s son, Craig, and his daughter, Christine, are 1985 graduates of Palmer’s California branch campus. Miller’s other daughter, Kim, served as director of public relations at Palmer West from 1980 to 1984.
“John Miller had a major impact on Palmer’s San Jose campus,” said Bill Meeker, DC, MPH, president of Palmer College’s San Jose campus, who served as associate dean of research during much of Miller’s tenure as president.
“Miller brought expertise in accreditation, and under his leadership, Palmer’s California branch campus was accredited by the CCE in record time,” Meeker added. “In addition to other programs that he initiated while president, Dr. Miller was a big supporter of the nascent chiropractic research community, and helped foster the original Pacific Consortium for Chiropractic Research in the late 1980s.”
A self-proclaimed “chiropractic activist,” Miller left chiropractic education in 1991 to pursue development of chiropractic-focused, Internet-based information resources.
Later that year, Miller and his wife initiated the development of the Computer Information Exchange (CIE), and in 1992 CIE brought the ChiroLink system online, with the goal of “creating an effective information vehicle that might help to empower the chiropractic professional.”
If anyone wishes to make a donation in memory of Miller, his wish was that they contribute to their favorite charity, college, or organization.
Source: Palmer College of Chiropractic