Claremont, Calif. (March 3, 2020) — Pitzer College President Melvin L. Oliver is one of 15 education scholars and the only college president nationally to be elected to membership in the National Academy of Education (NAEd) in 2020. He also serves as the only member elected from a liberal arts institution. The NAEd is a nonprofit and non-governmental organization that advances high-quality education research and its use in policy and practice.
“This diverse group of scholars are at the forefront of
those who are improving the lives of students in the United States and abroad
through their outstanding contributions to education scholarship and research,”
says Gloria Ladson-Billings, president of the NAEd.
Oliver is the sixth president of Pitzer College, an award-winning
scholar and teacher and a noted expert on racial and urban inequality.
“Throughout his career,
President Oliver has led with passion, scholarly integrity and a commitment to
students and faculty success every day,” notes Harold A. Brown, chair of the
Pitzer College Board of Trustees. “We are fortunate that Dr. Oliver will be
helping to transform higher education for the next generation of students.”
Oliver is the co-author of Black Wealth/White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial
Inequality with Thomas M. Shapiro, which won the Distinguished
Scholarly Publication Award from the American Sociological Association, the C.
Wright Mills Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the
award for the outstanding book on the subject of human rights from the Gustavus
Myers Center for its groundbreaking exploration of race and equality when it
was first released in 1995. He is the co-editor of four books, including Prismatic Metropolis: Inequality in Los Angeles,
and the author of numerous special journal issues and more than 50 scholarly
publications. In acknowledgment of the quality and impact of his scholarly
contributions, he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science in 2012.
An award-winning teacher, Oliver received the Charles Luckman
Distinguished Teaching Award (1994) from the UCLA Academic Senate and was named
the California Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Endowment for the
Advancement of Teaching (1994), the first UC professor to be so honored.
He has advanced educational research through his role as vice president
of the Ford Foundation where he supported innovative graduate and postdoc
programs to diversify the professorate. He has also served on the boards of the
Urban Institute, the McCune Foundation, PolicyLink and the William T. Grant
Foundation. Currently, he serves on The Webb School’s Board of Trustees.
The NAEd consists of US members and international associates who
are elected on the basis of outstanding scholarship related to education.
Nominations are submitted by individual Academy members once a year for review
and election by the organization’s
membership. In addition to serving on expert study panels that address pressing
issues in education, members are also deeply engaged in NAEd’s professional development programs.
An induction ceremony for new members will take place during the
2020 NAEd Annual Meeting in November.