University of California, Riverside

Faculty Profile System

Douglas E. Mitchell

Douglas E. Mitchell

Professor of the Graduate Division

Graduate School of Education
2125 Sproul Hall
(951) 827-4547

Research Areas

  • The focus of my research and published writings has been on state legislative decision-making, labor relations, teacher incentive systems, public support for public schools, desegregation, class size and school board elections.

  • Current Curriculum Vitae


  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • B.D., Religion and Personality Theory, Chicago Theological Seminary
  • Ph.D., Political Science, Claremont Graduate School


Only at UCR's Graduate School of Education do you find...

A real serious effort to bridge the gap between qualitative ethnographic research and quantitative statistical research on important education problems.

What I like about being at the GSOE:

It’s been a terrific ride for me. I like everything about it. I like the fact that I’m my own person. I like the fact that I have been able to research things I thought were really important; I’ve been able to study them to my heart’s content. What’s not to like about it?

How I discovered my professional passion:

I wouldn’t say I set out to be a university professor. I set out to be my own person. I succeeded at that.

My path includes:

  • Undergraduate work in mechanical engineering from a prestigious engineering school
  • Studying religion and personality theory at the Chicago Theological Seminary
  • Nine years as a professional clergyman
  • Working with the Education Faculty at the Claremont Colleges

I’m not the kind of person who knows where he’s going to be in five or 10 years. But I do know what I’m going to be doing tomorrow and all next week.

What reading do you keep on your night stand?

  • The Quantum Zoo: A Tourist’s Guide to the Never-Ending Universe by Marcus Chown
  • Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert D. Putnam

Why UCR's GSOE is a good place to carry out my commitment to translating research findings into tangible improvements in education:

UCR is good because first, they provide me with a world-class library. Secondly, if you do good work, they appreciate it. They don’t ask you to do work that is assigned to you; they ask you to find good work and do it. If you do, you get rewarded for it. That’s as close to being your own person as you can get. I’ve been fortunate to fall into opportunities to do good work, so it’s been great.

How my students have influenced- and inspired-me:

My recent book springs directly from working with students on the nature of social science inquiry. The argument developed in that book, I owe to my students. Indeed, I have a long history of writing scholarly works with my students. I’ve worked directly on problems that both of us are interested in.

One of the best questions a student asked me:

There are lots of good questions, and I conduct my instruction in a very Socratic way. I almost never lecture and so there are dozens, hundreds of questions that people pose in the course of reading stuff and engaging in the classroom.

Leisure activities:

Probably fooling around on my computer is the most important thing I do in my leisure time. I bicycle, but not for leisure. My wife and I love to travel. We’ve been abroad several times.


  • Mitchell, D. E. (ed.) (2006). New Foundations for Knowledge in Educational Administration, Policy and Politics: Science and Sensationalism. Matawan, NJ: Laurence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Mitchell, Douglas E., Gary Roysdon, Frederick M. Wirt and Catherine Marshall. "The Structure of State Education Policy," in Paul Thurston and Linda Lotto (Eds.), Advances in Educational Administration. NY: JAI Press, 1990.
  • Mitchell, Douglas E. "Authority, Power, and the Legitimation of Social Control." Educational Administration Quarterly, Winter, 1983. (with William G. Spady)
  • Mitchell, Douglas E., Flora Ida Ortiz and Tedi K. Mitchell. Work Orientation and Job Performance: The Cultural Basis of Teaching Rewards and Incentives. Foreword by Lee Shulman, Stanford University. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1987.
  • Kerchner, Charles T. and Douglas E. Mitchell. The Changing Idea of a Teacher Union. Philadelphia: Taylor & Francis, 1988

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Graduate School of Education
1207 Sproul Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5234
Fax: (951) 827-3942


Last Modified: 6/16/16