Brian Mitchell Named 2015-16 CGS/NSF Dean-in-Residence
    January 22, 2015

    Julia Kent, CGS: (202) 223-3791 /
    Barri Bronston, Tulane University:  504.314.7444 /


    New Orleans and Washington, DC — The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) has announced that Brian S. Mitchell, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Tulane University, has been named the Council of Graduate Schools/National Science Foundation Dean-in-Residence for 2015-16. Dr. Mitchell brings to the post significant experience leading graduate education at his home university, having served as Tulane’s Associate Provost for Graduate Studies and Research from 2006 to 2014. Mitchell will join CGS on February 1.


    The Dean-in-Residence program was created by CGS and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support communications between senior graduate education leaders and the NSF. In this role, Mitchell will share with CGS and NSF the insights, perspectives, and practical experience of a senior administrator at a research university, while collaborating with program officers and senior administrators across NSF to help plan future NSF programs and activities.


    “Dr. Mitchell’s experience in graduate education is both broad and deep,” said CGS President Suzanne T. Ortega. “His particular experience establishing interdisciplinary graduate programs, collaborating on international research projects, and overseeing the training of graduate teaching assistants are just a few of the areas where he will be able to facilitate communication between CGS member institutions and NSF.”


    In accepting the appointment, Mitchell stated that he looks forward to collaborating with NSF and CGS on important issues in graduate education.


    "NSF has not only been a leader in supporting graduate student training, but in shaping the content of those students' professional development,” Mitchell said. “From innovative training programs to international research experiences, their leadership has been a critical component of enhancing graduate education. Similarly, CGS is the established leader in evaluating trends in graduate education and advocating on its behalf. My goal as Dean-in-Residence is to not only support those ongoing activities, but to explore innovative ways to document and demonstrate the positive societal and global impact that graduate education has, not only in the STEM and related fields, but in all scholarly and creative disciplines."


    After receiving his PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1991), Mitchell conducted research in numerous positions, including an NSF-NATO postdoctoral fellowship at the University Karlsruhe and Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowships at the German Aerospace Agency and the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces. His primary research areas of interest are nanostructured materials and materials processing.


    In addition to his research experience, Mitchell has been a national and international speaker on issues in research and graduate education. His public service in STEM education has included frequent presentations to Louisiana elementary school children through the state’s “Speaking of Science” program.


    About CGS

    The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) is an organization of over 500 institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada engaged in graduate education, research, and the preparation of candidates for advanced degrees. Among U.S. institutions, CGS members award 91% of the doctoral degrees and 81% of the master’s degrees.* The organization’s mission is to improve and advance graduate education, which it accomplishes through advocacy in the federal policy arena, research, and the development and dissemination of best practices.
    * Based on data from the 2013 CGS/GRE Survey of Graduate Enrollment and Degrees.


    About the Tulane University School of Science and Engineering

    The Tulane University School of Science and Engineering combines the very best of a top tier research university with a strong commitment to high quality undergraduate education. The rich tradition of excellence, the interdisciplinary intellectual environment, the personal attention to students at all levels, and the setting in picturesque New Orleans make the Tulane School of Science and Engineering a truly exceptional experience.

    The School of Science and Engineering offers degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels that span the biological sciences, the physical sciences, the behavioral sciences, mathematics, engineering, and computer science. Currently, the School enrolls 1737 full-time undergraduates, 127 master students, and 346 doctoral students. The regular faculty of the School consists of 119 tenure stream faculty, 32 professors of the practice, and 14 research professors. Of the tenure stream faculty, 13 hold Endowed Chair positions, 10 hold Endowed Professorship positions, and 6 hold Endowed Early Career Professor positions. The School is comprised of 14 facilities located on the Uptown New Orleans, Downtown New Orleans, and Riverside Campuses. School of Science and Engineering faculty members are affiliated with 9 Tulane University research centers. For more information about the Tulane School of Science and Engineering, please visit our website at


    CGS is the leading source of information, data analysis, and trends in graduate education. Our benchmarking data help member institutions to assess performance in key areas, make informed decisions, and develop plans that are suited to their goals.
    CGS Best Practice initiatives address common challenges in graduate education by supporting institutional innovations and sharing effective practices with the graduate community. Our programs have provided millions of dollars of support for improvement and innovation projects at member institutions.
    As the national advocate for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource for policymakers and others on issues concerning graduate education, research, and scholarship. CGS members receive regular updates of legislative and regulatory proposals impacting graduate education and are provided resources to use in advocacy efforts on their campuses and with policymakers and other constituents. 
    CGS is an authority on global trends in graduate education and a leader in the international graduate community. Our resources and meetings on global issues help members internationalize their campuses, develop sustainable collaborations, and prepare their students for a global future.