Lyle Merriman served as Director of the School of Music from 1984 to 1998, a period that saw music enrollments triple and the construction of Music Building II. Prior to this time, he held positions of Dean of the School of Music at Louisiana State University and professor of clarinet and Assistant Director of the School of Music at the University of Iowa. His degrees are from the University of Kansas (B.M.E.) and the University of Iowa (M.A., Ph.D.).
Merriman chaired the Commission on Accreditation for the National Association of Schools of Music for eight years and has been a program evaluator and consultant for many institutions around the country. He was vice-president of Pi Kappa Lambda and was active on various committees of the Music Educators National Conference. He has authored or co-authored five books and almost a dozen articles on various aspects of woodwind music and instruments. He is the arranger of more than forty publications of wind music.