Dear Pitzer Community,

Following a competitive national search, I am pleased to announce the selection of James “Jamie” Jorgensen as Pitzer College chief of staff and chief legal counsel to the president.

In this time of complex regulatory and legal challenges in higher education, the chief of staff will serve as a critical strategic adviser to me and our senior leadership team, organizing, coordinating and translating initiatives and plans into action. In this vital role, Jamie will provide executive support and counsel; triage legal and crisis management issues for the College; and serve as a liaison and resource to the Board of Trustees. The chief of staff and chief legal counsel to the president is an essential role that will help ensure the Pitzer College community achieves its aspirations to significantly and positively impact our students and the world.

Jamie brings 15 years of higher education experience to Pitzer College, as well as 20 years of experience as a practicing attorney. Most recently, he served as deputy general counsel at the University of Iowa, where he advised on employment and labor law issues, including discrimination and harassment, disability accommodations, wage and hour, investigations and collective bargaining; negotiated purchasing, international programs, affiliation and software license agreements; advised the Office of the Provost and academic units regarding faculty issues, academic misconduct and student disciplinary proceedings; and represented the Office of the General Counsel on the university’s Threat Assessment Team, Disability Planning and Action Committee, Charter Committee on Diversity and Academic Integrity Advisory Board.

Prior to his work in higher education, Jamie practiced law focused on labor, employment and ADA compliance issues with firms in Chicago and Phoenix.

Jamie is committed to academic values and undergraduate education. He was an adjunct assistant professor in the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business, where he taught employment law, business law and legal ethics for undergraduate and MBA students. He is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys and the Academy of Legal Studies in Business. He has published in the Review of Higher Education, West’s Education Law Reporter and The Urban Lawyer.

Jamie holds a BA with distinction in economics and political science from Iowa State University, a JD from the University of Michigan Law School and a PhD in education policy and leadership studies from the University of Iowa.

My sincere thanks to the Search Advisory Committee members, Michael Ballagh, Marni Bobich, Carina Johnson, Alicia Bonaparte, Corinne Vorenkamp and members of the community who met with and gave input on the final candidates: members from the FEC, the Diversity Committee, the Student Senate and the Cabinet.

Please join me in welcoming Jamie to campus. His first day on campus will be July 1.


Melvin L. Oliver