Morris Miller was appointed Professor of Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Tasmania in 1928. From 1924 Miller was also president of the (Royal) Tasmanian Institution for the Blind and Deaf, and from 1925 chairman of the Mental Deficiency Board. A trustee of the Tasmanian Public Library, he became chairman in 1923 and was a founder of the Library Association of Australia in 1928.

These community endeavours resulted in part from Miller’s feeling that within the university he was slighted and undervalued. Tension persisted between himself and such traditional purists as R. L. Dunbabin, notwithstanding Miller’s Litt.D. awarded by the University of Melbourne in 1919, his publication of further monographs on Kant (in 1924 and 1928) and his presidency of the Australasian Association for Psychology and Philosophy in 1929-30. In 1926 he applied for the Chair of Philosophy at the University of Sydney which in the event went to John Anderson. He also stood, in vain, that year for the University of Tasmania’s Council. Seeking support primarily from interested laymen rather than fellow academics, he gained a place in 1928. In 1933 lay backing won him election as Vice-Chancellor.

Jack Carington-Smith, 1908-1972, Hobart, Tasmania
Portrait of E. Morris Miller, 1970. Oil paint on canvas.
Commissioned by the University and the
Morris Miller Family 1970 - enlarge

Edmund Morris Miller at the University of Tasmania


Site for the university at Sandy Bay
Site of the Sandy Bay campus of the
University of Tasmania in the early 1950s

Morris Miller Library
Morris Miller Library- early 1960's
The 1940s saw a lessening of Miller’s responsibilities. In 1940 he ceased being head of the Blind and Deaf Institution which had struggled worthily through financially straitened times. Soon afterwards the State Library of Tasmania was restructured in a way which Miller did not wholly support and he resigned his chairmanship: the theme of his tenure had been survival rather than vigour, although he had encouraged work for children and an Australian collection. In 1939-40 Miller took pride in organizing the transfer from the Commonwealth of a new site for the university at Sandy Bay. Remaining tensions contributed to his abandoning the Vice-Chancellorship in 1945. He continued to teach until 1951. His leadership of the Mental Deficiency Board and the Psychological Clinic ended in 1946, albeit briefly resumed in 1951-52.


Edmund Morris Miller at work - enlarge

Edmund Morris Miller and his wife Kate

Morris Miller Home | Utas Library Home

Authorised by the University Librarian | © University of Tasmania ABN 30 764 374 782
CRICOS Provider Code 00586B | Copyright & Disclaimers | Accessibility | Site Feedback
Last updated 9 October, 2007