The board of trustees of Pitzer College in Claremont, California, has appointed Melvin L. Oliver as the sixth president of the liberal arts educational institution. Pitzer College, one of the five undergraduate educational institutions of the Claremont Colleges, enrolls about 1,100 students. African Americans make up 4 percent of the student body, according to the latest Department of Education data. Dr. Oliver will take office on July 1.
Dr. Oliver is a professor of sociology and executive dean of the College of Letters and Science at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has been the dean of social sciences at the university since 2004. From 1978 to 1996, Dr. Oliver taught sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Professor Oliver is the co-author of the award-winning book Black Wealth/White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality.
Dr. Oliver is a 1972 graduate of William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and went on to earn a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology from Washington University in St. Louis.