Walter L. “W.L.” Mills, Jr. earned his B.S. in Forest Management from Auburn University in 1972, served in the US Navy from 1972 to 1977, and received M.S. (1977) and PH.D. (1980) in Forest Economics from Purdue University. He then served on the faculty at Auburn University from 1980 to 1983. Returning to the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR), Purdue University in 1983, he taught many courses including forest ecosystem management, timber management and several course related to information systems and GIS. Prior to being assigned as Director, OSS, his research involved economic and financial factors that influenced natural resources decisions primarily by private, individual forestland owners.
Dr. Mills was the Director for FNR Office of Student Services and was responsible for academic counseling, academic administration (interface with University offices for academic scheduling and registration), curriculum development and management, and placement.