Melvin L. Oliver, Ph.D.

melvin_oliverMelvin L. Oliver, Ph.D.
SAGE Sara Miller McCune Dean of Social Sciences
Professor of Sociology
University of California, Santa Barbara

Melvin L. Oliver is the SAGE Sara Miller McCune Dean of Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology. The Division of Social Sciences is the largest division in the College of Letters and Science and includes twelve departments and programs and a broad array of interdisciplinary research centers. There are approximately 159 faculty members, 350 graduate students, and 6,885 undergraduate majors in the division. Professor Oliver brings to bear over twenty-five years of experience in both philanthropy and higher education.

Prior to coming to UCSB, Dr. Oliver was vice president of the Asset Building and Community Development (Assets) Program at the Ford Foundation. This program helped to build human, social, economic, environmental, and interpersonal assets among poor and disadvantaged individuals and communities throughout the world. During his tenure at the foundation, the Assets Program developed pioneering grant initiatives such as the $50 million Self Help-Fannie Mae program to secure home mortgages for 35,000 low-wealth households and change the way banks evaluate applications for home mortgages, the American Dream demonstration on Individual Development Accounts, and the Leadership for a Changing World program—a recognition program to identify and support leaders and to highlight the importance of leadership in improving people’s lives.