J. Michael Bitzer, Ph.D.
2300 West Innes Street
Salisbury, NC 28144
Ph.D. in Political Science. School of Public and International Affairs. The University of Georgia. December 2004.
Areas of Study: American Politics; Public Law; Public Administration
Dissertation: Deciding to Delegate—Legislative Professionalism and Statutory Delegation to Bureaucratic Agencies in State Governments.
Dissertation Committee: Drs. Susan B. Haire (Chair), Thomas P. Lauth, Arnold Fleischmann, and Delmer Dunn.
M.A. in History. Clemson University. May 1994.
Areas of Study: Modern U.S. History; American Legal History; Southern Political History; History of Nazi Germany
Thesis: Reshaping Palmetto Politics: A Case Study of the Grass-Roots Rise and Strategy of the Republican Party in South Carolina, 1960-1968.
Thesis Committee: Drs. Donald G. Nieman (Chair), Donald McKale, and William Lasser.
B.A. in English. Erskine College. May 1989.
State Politics Southern Politics
North Carolina Politics U.S. Campaigns & Elections/
American Government & Politics Southern Politics
State and Local Politics North Carolina Politics
U.S. Campaigns & Elections State Politics
American Political Thought Politics & Public Policy
Political Parties & Interest Groups The Presidency/Presidential Politics
Political Parties & Interest Groups The Presidency/Presidential Politics
American Civil Wrongs & Rights The Congress/Legislative Politics
First Year Seminar: Making Leaders First Year Seminar: War
First Year Seminar: Society & The Simpsons
Introduction to Public Administration/Bureaucratic Politics
Introduction to Public Policy/Politics & Public Policy
Administrative Law Public Administration & Democracy
Law, Courts, and Judicial Process:
Constitutional Law: Separation of Powers & Federalism
Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties & Rights
Judicial Process Criminal Law
Cinematic Crime Law, Justice, and Society
The Contemporary World America Since 1945
Nazi Germany & The Holocaust
States of Killing: Genocide in the 20th Century (included class trip to
Germany & Poland)
Teaching and Professional Experience
Catawba College, Salisbury, NC. 2002-Present.
T.P. & J.C. Leonard Chair of Political Science, August 2019-Present
Professor of Politics & History with Tenure, January 2014-Present
Chair, Department of Politics, January 2017-Present
Pre-Law Advisor, 2011-Present
Swink Professor for Excellence in Teaching, 2011-2012
· Teach three politics classes per semester in American politics, public administration & policy, public law, and history.
· Advise politics majors regarding course of study and future career objectives.
· Develop course schedule, maintain departmental budget, maintain personnel planning and assessment, and submit course and program assessment records.
Director, Center for Engaged Learning & Teaching, January 2017-May 2018
· Oversee creation and begin implementation of the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching by developing professional development programs for faculty enrichment and understanding of innovative learning and teaching pedagogies.
· Assist with coordination of the college’s Catawba Impact initiatives in the areas of supporting campus-wide engagement in internships, undergraduate research and creativity, travel (domestic and international), and service/service-learning.
· Center discontinued due to budgetary considerations.
Provost, January 2014-December 2017
Acting Provost, June 2013-January 2014
As the chief academic officer of the college, held responsibility for:
Academic Affairs Oversight:
· Oversee eighteen academic departments, three centers, and thirty-nine academic programs with eighty-five faculty.
· Successfully directed the college’s reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges. Chaired leadership team and oversaw preparation of report and site visit by on-campus team, including implementation of a Quality Enhancement Plan focused on the “Catawba-to-Career” Initiative, a sophomore program designed to help students explore their possible career opportunities.
· Developed and refined existing and new curricular proposals to reflect the institution’s mission and statement of educational philosophy that strengthened the college’s core statement of “providing an education rich in personal attention and that blends the skills and competencies of liberal studies with career preparation.”
· Hired thirty new faculty based on recommendations by faculty search committees.
· Oversaw tenure and promotion process, applicant review, and recommendations, in conjunction with the Faculty Tenure and Promotion Committee, to the president and Board of Trustees.
· Oversaw strategic planning process and annual plan progress and reporting for academic affairs’ initiatives to the president and the Board of Trustees.
· Managed yearly operating provost office budget of $80,000 and $700,000 in total academic affairs operating budgets.
Faculty Development Initiatives
· Awarded faculty professional development awards in excess of $40,000 per year.
· Supported college-wide faculty professional development workshops on “vocation and values” (supported by a $10,000 grant from the Lilly Foundation and the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE)) and “on cheating” and “small teaching lessons” with guest speakers.
· Developed and supported new resource library for faculty focused on learning, teaching, and pedagogy development.
· Appointed faculty taskforce for developing proposal for a Center for Learning and Teaching; received recommendations and began implementation. Sought partnership with the Rowan-Salisbury School System for the initiative.
· Oversaw new assessment processes and procedures for academic programs and for academic affairs.
· Oversaw implementation of new hybrid on-line/face-to-face class delivery structure for evening (working adults) program.
· Oversaw development of new academic honor code and realigned student conduct code.
Student Retention & Persistence Initiatives
· Developed a strategic plan for campus-wide implementation of a “Values Proposition Initiatives” that focuses on internships, undergraduate research & creativity, travel, and service/service learning to enhance the curricular and co-curricular experiences of students and serve as a differentiator for prospective students and families.
· Worked collaboratively with student affairs, athletics, development, and enrollment management for the strategic planning for the institution.
· Entered into relationship with the John Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education focused on improving retention efforts. Received report and implemented actions that identified initiatives on re-envisioning Gateway Courses to lessen the D/F/W rates in mathematics and for the implementation of a Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching.
· Implemented Student Academic Success Center location and hired Academic Success Director, who oversees college-wide tutoring services, AcademicAccessibility services (disability services), and supplemental instruction operations and programs.
New Academic Initiatives
· Oversaw successful accreditation of the Ketner School of Business by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
· Oversaw proposal for creation of new School of Health Sciences and Human Performance.
· Oversaw creation and implementation of new academic programs including a master of accountancy and master of education in STEM, along with undergraduate programs in entrepreneurship (in conjunction with establishing the Center for Entrepreneurship and Experiential Development), digital media and production, environment and sustainability, biochemistry, computer science, and Segue 61, a post-baccalaureate music industry certification in Nashville, TN.
· Implemented and hired faculty for new nursing programs (RN to BSN and pre-licensure BSN) as well as oversaw successful review and approval by the North Carolina Board of Nursing and a successful substantial change review and approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
· Authorized and oversaw partnership between Department of Theatre Arts and Lee Street Theater (Salisbury, NC), with joint appointment of assistant professor and creative director.
· Initiated and appointed faculty to serve as Enrollment Growth and Accountability Plan coordinators with the Admissions Office.
· Prepared and submitted the college’s successful application to the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements to allow for on-line course delivery outside of North Carolina. Serve as contact for NC-SARA.
· Oversaw enhancements to the College’s Honors Program that has grown to over 110 students participating, from 60 students five years ago.
· Implemented Center for International Studies and appointed director and assistant director to support students and faculty seeking to institute international travel opportunities, and to support international students at Catawba.
· Served as institutional liaison to the Board of Trustees’ Academic Quality Committee, with reports every three months to the committee.
· Restructured Provost Office to include creating and hiring an associate provost for faculty development and an associate provost for student academic success.
· Provided and supported requests for fundraising gifts and development activities for academic programs, including a $200,000 gift for faculty professional development initiatives.
· Hired director of the institutional research & effectiveness, the director of the Corriher-Linn-Black Library, Registrar, Dean of the Ketner School of Business, director of School of Evening and Graduate Studies, director of international studies, internships director, and liaison and assistant liaison for the college to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
· Supervised revision of faculty handbook leading to creation of “Standards of Appointment and Service” and “Faculty Policies and Procedures” documents within an overall “Employee Handbook” for the college.
· Oversaw academic facilities space utilization, planning, and assignments. Developed space for an exercise science laboratory, nursing simulation laboratory, and repurposed space within the library for potential Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching.
· Oversaw, with department chairs, reallocation of class offerings with goal of lessening “peak” class times to spread out among the hours and days. Successfully achieved goal of 45% of class offerings within peak times.
· Presided over general faculty meetings and appointed faculty to standing governance committees, in conjunction with Faculty Senate.
· Served as acting president when president was off-campus.
· Trained and certified as Level 2 Title IX Investigator through the Association of Title IX Administrators.
· External reviewer and lead author of History & Politics Department self-study at Meredith University.
· Taught one course per semester.
· Direct reports included: associate provost for faculty development, associate provost for student academic success, registrar, director of library, all department chairs and deans, coordinator of academic affairs, director of school evening and graduate programs, and director of international center.
Interim Dean of Students, April 2016-October 2017
As the chief student affairs officer:
· Supervised and was responsible for day-to-day operations covering the following areas:
o Student Activities and Programming
o Student Conduct (new hire)
o Residency Life and Programming
o Counseling Services
o Wellness Initiatives and Programming
o Summer Retreats
o Mail Center Operations
· Coordinated oversight of Catawba College Bookstore and Dining Services.
· Gained Title IX Certification as an investigator.
· Directly supervised 13 professional staff and $250,000 office budget.
· Served as campus liaison with the Campus Life Committee to the Board of Trustees.
· Oversaw strategic planning and annual plan initiatives for student affairs.
· Served as Dean on Call and Administrator on Call.
· Provided support for development and fundraising initiatives for student affairs activities and support.
Associate Professor of Politics & History with Tenure, 2008-2014
Chair, Department of History & Politics, 2006-2007, 2010-2013
Dean of Admissions (interim), 2007-2009
· Oversaw recruitment and admissions efforts for the college, along with financial aid operations.
· Taught two classes while overseeing the enrollment management operations for the college.
Assistant Professor of Political Science & History, 2006-2008 (tenure-track)
Assistant Professor of Political Science, 2003-2006 (tenure-track)
Visiting Instructor, 2002-2003
Davidson College, Department of Political Science, Davidson, NC
Visiting Professor, Spring 2019.
· Faculty of record for State & Local Politics course.
The University of Georgia, Department of Political Science, Athens, GA
Graduate Teaching Assistant, 1998-2002
· Taught Introduction to American Politics, Interest Group Politics, and State & Local Politics
Erskine College, Department of History and Government, Due West, SC
Visiting Instructor, Spring 2001
· American Government and American History Since 1877
Clemson University, College of Engineering and Science, Clemson, SC
Public Affairs Director, March 1990-August 1998
· Worked for the Dean of Engineering and Science and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and External Relations for all public relations, media, marketing, and data analysis activities of one of the largest colleges in the university.
· Worked closely with the director of development and others to successful complete a $20 million campaign for a new engineering building.
· Managed daily communication efforts and initiatives with other campus and external constituencies for the college.
The Merritt Island Press, Merritt Island, FL
Reporter & Photographer, May 1989-March 1990
Honors, Awards, Grants
2019-20 T.P. & J.C. Leonard Chair of Political Science, Catawba College.
2014 Duke Energy Citizenship & Service Award Recipient by Rowan County Chamber of Commerce.
2011-12 Swink Prize and Professorship for Excellence in Classroom Teaching, Catawba College.
2010 Alternate for Mary Ball Washington Professorship in American History, Fulbright Program with the University College Dublin, Ireland.
2008 Kenneth Clapp Tri-Delta Service Award. Catawba College.
2007 Summer Research Stipend. Catawba College.
2006 Wye Faculty Fellow, Aspen Institute.
2005 C-SPAN Archive Grant.
2005 Summer Research Stipend. Catawba College.
2004 AP American Politics grader, Ft. Collins, CO.
2003 Summer Research Stipend. Catawba College.
2002 Excellence in Teaching Award. The Graduate School. The University of Georgia.
2001 TA Mentor Program Participant. The Graduate School. The University of Georgia.
2000 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. The Graduate School. The University of Georgia.
2000 Outstanding Young Alumni. Erskine College.
1999. Research Grant from The American Judicature Society.
Current Research Projects
Currently working on a manuscript that covers the history, cases, controversies, and developments regarding redistricting in North Carolina from 1990 to the present.
Currently working on journal article manuscripts that focuses on North Carolina early voting patterns, geographical distances for moving early voting sites, and consistency in voting methods.
Bitzer, J. Michael and Charles Prysby. 2018. “The Evolution of Tar Heel Politics: 2004-2016 Elections in North Carolina.” In The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be: 2016 Presidential Election in the South, eds. Scott E. Buchanan and Branwell DuBose Kapeluck. Fayetteville, Arkansas: The University of Arkansas Press.
Bitzer, J. Michael and Charles Prysby. 2017. “North Carolina: A Growing Partisan Divide.” In The New Politics of the Old South: An Introduction to Southern Politics. 6th Edition, eds. Charles S. Bullock III and Mark J. Rozell. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.
Bitzer, J. Michael. 2008. “Political Culture and Public Opinion: the American Dream on Springfield’s Evergreen Terrace.” In Homer Simpson Goes to Washington: American Politics through Popular Culture, ed. Joseph P. Foy. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky.
Winner of the 2009 John G. Cawelti Award for Best Textbook or Primer on American and Popular Culture by the Popular Culture Association.
Bitzer, J. Michael. 2010. “In North Carolina, It’s Not Election Day—It’s Election Month: An Analysis of the 2008 Elections.” American Review of Politics. Volume 31: 223-244.
Bitzer, J. Michael. 2008. “Katzenbach v. Morgan.” Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States of America. New York: MacMillian.
Bitzer, J. Michael. 2006. “Plessy v. Ferguson.” Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties. Ed. by Paul Finkelman. New York: Routledge.
Bitzer, J. Michael. 2006. “The Civil Rights Cases.” Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties. Ed. by Paul Finkelman. New York: Routledge.
Bitzer, J. Michael. 2006. “Segregation.” Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties. Ed. by Paul Finkelman. New York: Routledge.
Bitzer, J. Michael. 2006. “Voting Rights Act of 1965.” Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties. Ed. by Paul Finkelman. New York: Routledge.
Bitzer, J. Michael. 2006. “Civil Rights Act of 1875.” Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties. Ed. by Paul Finkelman. New York: Routledge.
Bitzer, J. Michael. 2006. “Civil Rights Act of 1964.” Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties. Ed. by Paul Finkelman. New York: Routledge.
Caruson, Kiki and J. Michael Bitzer. 2004. “At the Cross Roads of Policy Making: Executive Politics, Administrative Action, and Judicial Deference by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (1985-1996).” Law and Society. 26: 3 & 4. 1-23.
Lindquist, Stefanie A. and Michael Bitzer. 2002. “Government Contractors’ Liability for Constitutional Torts: The Legal Implications of Privatization.” Review of Public Personnel Administration. 22(3): 241-245.
On-air political analyst, blogger and guest host for Charlotte Talks, WFAE (NPR), Charlotte, NC.
On-air political analyst, WSOC-TV (ABC), Charlotte, NC.
Interviews with CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, National Public Radio (NPR), NBC News, BBC, WCNC (NBC, Charlotte, NC), WSOC (ABC, Charlotte, NC), WBTV (CBS, Charlotte, NC), WRAL (NBC, Raleigh, NC), News14 Carolina/Spectrum News (Charlotte and Raleigh, NC), WCCB-TV (Fox, Charlotte, NC), WUNC (NPR, Chapel Hill, NC), WFDD (NPR, Winston-Salem, NC), WBHM (NPR, Birmingham, AL), The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Salisbury Post, The Arizona Republic, The Charlotte Observer, The Raleigh News & Observer, The Globe & Mail (Canada), The State (Columbia, SC), The Post & Courier (Charleston, SC).
Cannon School, Concord, NC
- Board of Trustees, 2016-2018. Vice Chair, 2017-18 (leave of absence beginning December, 2017).
- Guest Speaker, Winterm class on the 2016 presidential election. January 2017.
- Guest Speaker, Upper and Middle Schools. “The State of Our Polarized Presidential Election.” August 2016.
- Guest Speaker, Board of Visitors & Trustees: “Making (Some) Sense of the 2016 Election and NC’s Political Environment.” April 2017.
- Guest Speaker, Board of Visitors & Trustees: “The State of Our Polarized Politics.” September 2015.
- Guest Speaker, 3rd Grade: “How do we elect presidents?” Spring 2015.
- Moderator, Candidate Forums for municipal, county commission, school board, district attorney, sheriff, state house, state senate, U.S. Congressional (Republican Primary), 2002-2016.
- Chair, President’s Ad Hoc Group on an Institutional Philosophy of Education, 2010
- Presentation in the Catawba Faculty Colloquium, February 2006
o “When 15 out of 100 = 50%: An Analysis of North Carolina Metropolitan Counties Voting Patterns in the 2004 Election.”
- Parliamentarian to the Faculty, 2005-2008
- Member, Faculty Senate, 2003-2006
o Secretary, 2004-2005, 2005-2006
- Member, Admissions Committee, 2005-2007, ex officio 2007-08
- Member, Assessment, Planning & Budget Committee, 2003-2005
- Co-Director, Catawba Leadership Program, 2006-2007
- Faculty Member, Catawba Honor Court/Student Conduct Board, 2003-2006
- Member, General Education and Assessment Review Taskforce, 2007-2008
- Member, College Marketing Taskforce, 2006
- Member, Dean’s Working Group on Leadership Programs, 2004-2005
- Member, American Studies Review Team
- Member, SACS Committee on Layered Collegiate Experience, 2004-2005
- Advisor, Phi Epsilon, 2005-2012
- Co-Advisor, Political Science Association
- Member, Catawba College Handbell Choir, 2002-2006