Message from Executive Vice President for University Life, Dennis Mitchell

August 23, 2021

Dear Students,

It is with great anticipation and enthusiasm that I write to you today as the newly appointed Executive Vice President of University Life. In President Bollinger’s own words, University Life is a bedrock Columbia Institution. I’m both energized and humbled to lead this central office that focuses on enhancing the experience for every Columbia student — before you arrive, through your graduation and beyond.

For much of my career, I have been deeply committed to fostering inclusion and breaking down traditional barriers to access whether as a practicing dentist, or in my role as Vice Provost of Faculty Advancement. I hope that my past work to strengthen and diversify the Columbia community will be a seamless complement to my future work with University Life, which has already done so much to enrich the Columbia community through its programming, initiatives and events.  

Whether you are a veteran to Columbia, or whether this Fall will be your first time on campus, I want to welcome you into our vibrant University community. This past year has brought with it so much change and many difficulties to overcome. To be sure, there is still much ahead of us, but we will get through these challenges as a community, together in person and in spirit.

As I consider the breadth of your talents, contributions, and aspirations that led you to become Columbians, I am both in awe of and inspired by all of you, a most gifted student body. I sincerely hope to have the opportunity to meet with many of you this Fall and to learn how University Life can better serve you in this academic year and beyond. In particular, I hope to see many of you at our upcoming Welcome Home Columbia events, and other programs throughout the Fall.  

In the coming weeks, please look out for more about what University Life has to offer you through our weekly newsletter on Tuesdays, and follow us on Instagram and Facebook @columbiaulife. Until then, I invite you to share, engage and connect with the larger student community as a vital part of your Columbia experience.  

Best wishes,


Dennis A. Mitchell, DDS, MPH (he/him)
Executive Vice President for University Life
Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement
Professor of Dental Medicine at CUMC

University Life: Web | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube
Faculty Advancement: Web | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn