Pitzer College President Melvin L. Oliver Elected to National Academy of Education

President Melvin L. Oliver
President Melvin L. Oliver

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.

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.

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