Faculty Picture

James Mitchell

Affiliate Research Professor

Ball Hall 123D
Office Hours
By appointment

About Dr. Mitchell

James B. (Jim) Mitchell, Jr. received his elementary and secondary school education in the public schools of Memphis. He graduated from Memphis Central High School in 1964, where he served as president of the 450 member senior class. Jim was awarded a Leadership Scholarship and entered Rhodes College in September, 1964. He was awarded the Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhodes College in June, 1968. Jim Mitchell began his educational career in the Shelby County Schools in Memphis, TN.  He taught social sciences at the middle school level for seven years from 1968-1975.

In 1974, Jim was awarded the Master of Education degree from The University of Memphis with a major in Educational Administration. He began his administrative duties in 1975 as Certificated Personnel Supervisor in the Shelby County Schools Central Administrative Office. His eight years of personnel experience centered upon recruitment, interviewing, and initial employment recommendation for K-12 certificated personnel. In July, 1983, Jim Mitchell began his experience in secondary school leadership as Vice-Principal of Instruction at Germantown High School, one of Tennessee's largest comprehensive high schools.  In July, 1987 he was appointed Principal of Millington Central High School. During his two years in this leadership role, he was responsible for all facets of administration in a comprehensive secondary school of 125 employees and 1,600 students.

In May, 1989, Dr. Mitchell was awarded the Doctor of Education degree from The University of Memphis with a major in Educational Administration and Supervision (EDAS). He received The University of Memphis 1989 EDAS Outstanding Graduate Student Award.  In May, 1991, he was appointed Assistant Superintendent, Operations Division. He coordinated the completion of over $131 million dollars of capital projects involving the construction of thirteen (13) new schools plus additions and renovations in numerous other school facilities.

Dr. Mitchell was appointed as the 21st Superintendent of Shelby County Schools in 1997, where he provided leadership to a rapidly growing school district with 46 schools, 45,000 students, 5,000 employees, and an annual $250 million dollar operating budget.  He retired as Superintendent of Shelby County Schools in April, 2002.

In September, 2002, Dr. Mitchell was appointed to serve as School Leader in Residence for the Department of Leadership in the College of Education at The University of Memphis.  He serves as a graduate school instructor in the Department of Leadership.  Dr. Mitchell also assists in establishing partnerships with school districts in the region.