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Pitzer College appoints new president Melvin L. Oliver

Melvin L. Oliver, a noted expert on racial and urban inequality and the executive dean of the College of Letters and Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been named Pitzer College’s sixth president following a unanimous vote by the College’s Board of Trustees. He assumes office on July 1.

Mr. Oliver is also the SAGE Sara Miller McCune Dean of Social Sciences and a professor of sociology at UC?Santa Barbara. He has served as the dean of social sciences at UCSB since 2004.

Among his numerous accomplishments during his 12-year tenure has been his championing of increased access for underrepresented students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as faculty diversity.

Mr. Oliver earned his bachelor’s at William Penn College and his master’s 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 University honored him with the Distinguished Career Award in 2012.

This appointment concludes a 13-month search by a committee that included Pitzer faculty, students, staff, alumni and trustees.

Mr. Oliver succeeds Laura Skandera Trombley, who began her tenure in July 2015 as the president of The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

A feature on Mr. Oliver will appear in a future edition of the COURIER.