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.