On January 13, 2016, the Pitzer Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Melivn L. Oliver as the College’s 6th president.
Oliver is a noted expert on racial and urban inequality. He served as executive dean of the College of Letters and Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was also the SAGE Sara Miller McCune Dean of Social Sciences and a professor of sociology since 2004. Oliver was the vice president of the Asset Building and Community Development Program at The Ford Foundation from 1996–2004 and was professor of sociology at University of California, Los Angeles, from 1978–96.
Oliver co-authored the seminal book Black Wealth/ White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality, which won the Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award from the American Sociological Association and the C. Wright Mills Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems. When Black Wealth/ White Wealth was first released in 1995, the Gustavus Myers Center named it an outstanding book for its groundbreaking exploration of race and inequality. He is the co-editor of four books, numerous special journal issues and more than 50 scholarly publications.
Oliver earned his BA at William Penn College, and his MA and PhD from Washington University in St. Louis. Washington University awarded him the Distinguished Alumni Award, Arts and Sciences in 2002 and the Sesquicentennial Celebration Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003. William Penn honored him with its Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching named him California Professor of the Year, and the UCLA Alumni Association recognized him with the Harriet and Charles Luckman Distinguished Teaching Award. In April, Oliver received a 2016 ASSET Builder Champion award from the Center for Global Policy Solutions.
Melvin L. Oliver assumes office on July 1, 2016.
“To be named president of Pitzer College is such an honor, and I am so humbled …. I’m coming to a place that’s authentic, a place with a commitment to the values that have characterized my work, my life and my concerns with social justice and urban and social inequality.”
—Melvin L. Oliver, March 11, 2016, Pitzer College
Shahan Soghikian '80, Chair, Board of Trustees, President-designate Melvin L. Oliver and Suzanne Oliver Previous Image Next Image President-designate Melvin L. Oliver, Suzanne Oliver, Interim President Thomas Poon and Board of Trustees Chair Shahan Shahan Soghikian '80. Previous Image Next Image Professor Alexandra Juhasz, Professor Emeritus Peter Nardi and President-designate Melvin L. Oliver. Previous Image Next Image Trustee Donald Gould, President-designate Melvin L. Oliver and Vice President of Student Affairs Brian Carlisle. Previous Image Next Image Student with Suzanne Oliver, Associate Dean of International Programs Kebokile Dengu-Zvogbo and Professor Maria Gutierrez de Soldatenko. Previous Image Next Image Professor Emerita Susan Seymour, President-designate Melvin L. Oliver and Professor Emeritus R. Lee Munroe. Previous Image Next Image Professor Emeritus Jose Calderon, Suzanne Oliver, Professor Maria Gutierrez de Soldatenko and President-designate Melvin L. Oliver. Previous Image Next Image First-generation student Maria Melendrez '16, President-designate Melvin L. Oliver and Professor and first-generation adviser Roberta Espinoza. Previous Image Next Image President-designate Melvin L. Oliver and Director of Institutional Research Marco Antonio Cruz. Previous Image Next Image
About Pitzer College
Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility and community involvement. For more information, please visit www.pitzer.edu.