Mitchell "Mick" Zais

mickzaisMick Zais, Ph.D., Senior Consultant, Brigadier General, U. S. Army (ret.), served as President of Newberry College from 2000 until 2010. After ten productive years at Newberry he was publically elected as the Superintendent of Education for the State of South Carolina where he managed a $4 billion annual budget, retiring in December 2016.

During his four years as Superintendent of Education for the State of South Carolina, on-time high school graduation rates increased every year, from 72% to an all time high of 80% and the number of school districts rated "Excellent" increased from 7% to 51%. The number of students in public charter schools more than doubled as did per-student funding. Online course offerings more than doubled.

When he accepted the presidency of Newberry College it was experiencing financial challenges and accreditation issues. During his tenure the financial condition was significantly improved by a doubled endowment, greatly increased annual giving, and an almost doubled enrollment. For the first time in its history the institution competed for NCAA regional and national titles and in his final three years Newberry was recognized by U.S. News as one of "America's Best Colleges."

While at Newberry he served as chairman of the presidents' council for the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, as well as the South Atlantic Athletic Conference. He was a member of the board of directors for the Foundation for Independent Higher Education, the Lutheran Education Conference of North America and the South Carolina Tuition Grants Commission.

He also served as a Trustee on the Boards of the University of South Carolina, Winthrop University and the Citadel. For six years he served as the Governor's appointee on the South Carolina Commission of Higher Education where he represented the state's twenty-one private colleges and universities. For the past ten years he has served as the Governor's appointee to the Southern Regional Educational Board.

During his thirty-one year military career he served as a commanding officer in infantry units in Vietnam, Korea and the United States. He served as the Pentagon's Chief of War Plans and as a faculty member at West Point where he taught organizational behavior, management consulting, and leadership. He also served as a White House aide. In Kuwait he was the commanding general of all U.S. and Allied Forces. He also served as Commanding General of Operation Provide Refuge, the task force that brought 4,000 Kosovo refugees out of Macedonia to the U.S.

After earning his BS in Engineering at West Point, he earned an MS and Doctorate in social psychology and organizational behavior from the University of Washington, an MA degree in military history from the School for Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth and did post-doctoral studies in National Security Affairs at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

Mick joined Collegiate Counsel in 2017. He and his wife Susan live in Columbia, South Carolina.