Dr. Brian C. Mitchell is the eleventh president of Washington & Jefferson College.
President of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) from 1995 until becoming president of W & J, Dr. Mitchell is a leading expert in higher education and is widely and regularly quoted in the national media on issues related to private higher education, its contributions to today's society and its future.
Dr. Mitchell, who holds a doctoral degree from the University of Rochester, has received numerous grants and academic awards. Among his awards are grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the U.S. Department of the Interior. He received the Haskell Award for Distinguished Teaching in the Humanities from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and the Albert J. Beveridge Grant for Research in American History, awarded by the American Historical Association.
Author of the critically acclaimed book The Paddy Camps: The Irish of Lowell, 1821-1861 and numerous other publications, Dr. Mitchell is a specialist in 19th century urban, ethnic and labor history. He has extensive teaching experience at colleges and universities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Virginia and was a program officer in the Division of State Programs of the National Endowment for the Humanities before becoming president of the Council of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (CICU) in 1991.
Dr. Mitchell serves as chairman of the Pennsylvania Selection Committee for the Rhodes Scholarships. He was also appointed by Gov. Tom Ridge to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and recently reappointed by Gov. Rendell.
Past chair of the National Association of Independent College and University State Executives, Dr. Mitchell has served on the boards of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, and the national board of History Day.
Dr. Mitchell is married to Maryjane (Murphy) Mitchell. Mrs. Mitchell is a consultant and currently serves on the boards of a number of non-profit institutions, including The Washington Hospital and the United Way. They have two sons, Jeffrey and Patrick.
In June 2001 the Board of Trustees approved a new master plan for a more functional and appealing educational environment. The plan calls for the major renovations of several buildings on campus including the campus dining facility, the Commons, completed in 2000, and the football field, dedicated as the Cameron Stadium in 2001, and the transformation of the Old Gym into a campus fitness and wellness center. Three new state-of-the-art buildings have been added to the campus, the Burnett Center, opened in 2001, the new technology center, a campus-wide technology resource, dedicated in 2003, and a new dormitory housing 96 students, completed in 2002. A second residence hall began construction in 2003. In conjunction with the building expansion and renovations, a campus beautification program was initiated.
Under Dr. Mitchell's administration, new academic programs have also been adopted, among them the Environmental Studies Program, a new Information Technology Leadership Program, the Office of Life-Long Learning, the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree Program in Music. He also expanded the College's cooperative international education program by partnering with the University of Cologne to form an exchange program.
A milestone of Dr. Mitchell's administration is the Blueprint for Collaboration, developed to establish a shared vision for the future between Washington & Jefferson College and the city of Washington. It is being recognized as a benchmark for cooperation between institutions of higher education and their host communities.
On March 2, 2004, Dr. Brian C. Mitchell announced his decision to accept the position of 16th president of Bucknell University effective July 1, 2004.