Molloy University Announces Donald “DJ” Mitchell, Jr. to be Inaugural Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion University announced today that Donald “DJ” Mitchell, Jr., Ph.D., has been named the College’s first Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).

Dr. Mitchell, who will begin his role at Molloy on Feb 1, 2022, comes to Molloy from Bellarmine University (Louisville, KY), where he is Chief DEI Officer. In that role, he is the key advisor to the President and Cabinet regarding university-wide diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, programs and policies. At Molloy, Dr. Mitchell will report directly to President James Lentini, and will be a member of the President’s Cabinet, the College’s senior leadership team.

Molloy President James Lentini stated, “DJ Mitchell is the ideal choice to serve as Molloy’s inaugural Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. He has a proven track record in managing DEI issues – in collaboration with students, staff and faculty, as well as with external partners – to achieve that goal. Bellarmine is also a Catholic university, which shares the values and philosophy that drive Molloy.

“We look forward to the insight and strategic guidance that Dr. Mitchell will bring to this important position, which are directly linked to our Mission Statement and our Values and Guiding Virtues.”

“I am thrilled and honored to be named Molloy’s inaugural vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion, particularly under the leadership of President Lentini,” said Dr. Mitchell. “At each stage of the search process, the College’s strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion became more evident. I look forward to what we—the Molloy community—will accomplish together.”

About Donald “DJ” Mitchell, Jr.

Donald “DJ” Mitchell, Jr., Ph.D., was appointed Bellarmine University’s inaugural chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer in June 2020. Prior to his appointment, he joined Bellarmine University in August 2017 as a full professor of education. He was appointed chair for the M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership and Social Justice Program in June 2018 and served in that role until August 2021. Before joining Bellarmine’s Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education in 2017, DJ was an assistant professor of higher education in the College of Education and faculty associate in the Division of Inclusion & Equity at Grand Valley State University.

Since January 2019, DJ has co-chaired the President’s Advisory Board on Equity and Inclusion, which develops and reviews Bellarmine’s policies around hiring, training, and bias reporting for students, faculty and staff. As chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, DJ serves as a member of President Donovan’s cabinet, advising her on university-wide initiatives, programs, and policies. He also develops and monitors key performance indicators that demonstrate the university’s progress in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

In his role, DJ often draws on his research and scholarship that explore race, gender, identity intersections, and intersectionality within higher education contexts. Publishing over 50 scholarly works, DJ’s research and scholarship have received national recognition. He is the recipient of the Diverse: Issues in Higher Education’s 2020 Emerging Scholar recognition; the Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Conference’s 2016 McGraw Hill Distinguished Scholar Award; the American College Personnel Association’s 2015 Emerging Scholar Award; and, the Multicultural/Multiethnic Education Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association’s 2014 Dr. Carlos J. Vallejo Memorial Award for Emerging Scholarship, among other honors and awards.

DJ holds a Ph.D. in educational policy and administration with a concentration in higher education from the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities, a master’s degree in educational leadership from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Shaw University.

DJ is married to Dr. Jakia Marie, assistant professor of sociology, and they have one son, Donald “Tre” Mitchell, III.