IHE Fellows hold renewable, three-year appointments to the Institute of Higher Education and support the Institute in a wide range of special activities and programs. They come from within the UGA faculty as well as other universities and agencies worldwide.

James Soto Antony

Senior Lecturer on Education, Harvard University (HU)

James Soto Antony teaches and advises students in the Higher Education Program. His research and teaching focus on the preparation of forward-thinking leaders in college and university settings. The author of five books, and more than 50 other publications, he has published extensively on issues of higher education leadership and management. He lectures, and serves as a leadership development adviser, at colleges and universities throughout the United States and abroad.

From 1995 to 2012, he held faculty and leadership roles at the University of Washington, including: Professor in Educational Leadership & Policy and Adjunct Professor in Sociology; Associate Vice-Provost & Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in The Graduate School; and Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the College of Education. While at Washington he also was Director for two different graduate degree programs (the Graduate Program in Higher Education, and the Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership Program) and founding Executive Director of the Center for Leadership in Athletics.

From 2012 to 2015 he was an Associate Provost for Yale University, where he worked on issues ranging from faculty development and diversity, to undergraduate leadership development within Yale College. During this time he also held a courtesy faculty appointment as Professor Adjunct in the Yale School of Management, and served one year as a Visiting Professor of Higher Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

A past Fellow of the American Council on Education, and a current Fellow of the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia, he serves on numerous national and international advisory and editorial boards, and is a reviewer for several scholarly journals and associations. He also serves as a Fellow for the Academic Leadership Centre (sponsored by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education), which provides professional development to senior higher education leaders in Saudi Arabia.

He earned his baccalaureate degree in Psychology and his master's degree and Ph.D. in Higher Education and Organizational Change, all from UCLA.

Angela Bell

Associate Vice Chancellor, Research and Policy Analysis for the University System of Georgia (USG)

Angela Bell, senior executive director for Research, Policy and Analysis for the University System of Georgia (USG). Bell directs the design of data collection and analysis to support research, planning, and policy development and implementation. The Office of Research, Policy and Analysis serves as the research arm of the University System Office and the Board of Regents, analyzing higher education and related state and national policy issues and their impact on the USG. The Office benchmarks USG institutions’ performance indicators against those of national peers. The department also is responsible for policy-level administration of USG primary data systems for students, curriculum, and degrees and majors; provides guidance and support of USG institutional strategic planning and institutional effectiveness initiatives and supports System planning. Prior to her current position, Bell served as vice chancellor of policy and planning for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, which develops and oversees a public policy agenda for the state’s 12-campus, four-year public higher education system. Bell also worked for the Commission as a research and planning analyst. Her research has focused on financial aid policy analysis and factors shaping postsecondary student success and time to degree such as student background, developmental education, transfer, and enrollment intensity. Bell completed her doctorate in higher education at the Institute of Higher Education in 2008. She earned a bachelor of arts degree from Princeton University, Princeton, N.J. and a master’s in language education from the University of Georgia.

Christopher Cornwell

Professor of Economics, University of Georgia (UGA)

Cornwell specializes in the areas of applied econometrics, labor economics, and economics of education. His NSF funded research (with David Mustard) on merit aid programs (generally) and Georgia's Hope Scholarship (in particular) provide the Institute with unparalleled expertise in this area.

Houston Davis

President, University of Central Arkansas (UCA)

Davis joins UCA from Kennesaw State University where he served as interim president. Davis brings many years of experience to UCA, after serving as the executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer at the University System of Georgia, vice chancellor for academic affairs at Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, project director and principal investigator for the National Educational Needs Project, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the Tennessee Board of Regents and associate vice president for academic affairs and assistant professor at Austin Peay State University.

Davis received his Doctor of Philosophy in education and human development at Vanderbilt University and his Master of Education in educational administration at Tennessee State University. Davis earned his Bachelor of Science in political science at the University of Memphis.

Elizabeth H. DeBray

Professor in the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy in the College of Education, University of Georgia; Associate Director for Policy at the Georgia Education Policy & Evaluation Center (UGA)

Bray received her EdD in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2001. Between 2002 and 2005, she was a Fellow in the Advanced Studies Fellowship Program on Federal and National Strategies of School Reform at Brown University, research assistant with the Consortium for Policy Research in Education from 1997 to 2001, and research associate with the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University from 1998 to 2002.

Mary Lou Frank

Educational Consultant, Adjunct Faculty Member at Brenau University

Frank's doctorate in counseling psychology is from Colorado State University. She has served as vice president for academic affairs at Middle Georgia College, associate vice president at Gainesville State College, dean of undergraduate and university studies at Kennesaw State University, and department head of psychology and sociology at North Georgia College and State University. She has served as a professor of psychology at Middle Georgia College, Gainesville State College, Kennesaw State College, and associate professor at the University of Virginia at Wise. Her research has focused on existential psychotherapy, as well as women’s leadership.  She has received the Distinguished Provider Award in Counseling and has been the recipient of grants, national leadership awards, teaching and diversity leadership awards, and awards for community service. Dr. Frank served as the president of the Georgia Association for Women in Higher Education and currently is the vice president and co-founder of the Georgia Women's Institute, vice chair of the Georgia Woman of the Year Committee, and secretary and co-founder of Possible Woman Foundation. As a mediator, she also serves on the International Association of Dispute Resolution Board of Directors.

Ilkka Kauppinen

Senior Lecturer, Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of Jyväskylä (Finland)

Kauppinen received his Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Jyväskylä and has a bachelor's in political science and philosophy from the same university. He visited the IHE for the first time in 2010-2011 as a Visiting Fulbright post-doc researcher, and since that time he has annually returned to the IHE for shorter visiting periods. At his home university he has actively participated in developing educational structure of the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy where he also acts as a coordinator of the interdisciplinary program “Living with Globalization.” His main research interest is the complex relationship between globalization and academic capitalism. Other key research interest areas are sociology of globalization, and economic sociology. His most recent articles include “Different Meanings of ‘Knowledge as Commodity’ in the Context of Higher Education,” “A Moral Economy of Patents: The Case of Finnish Research Universities’ Patent Policies,” and “Towards Transnational Academic Capitalism.”

Larry L. Leslie

Distinguished Visiting Professor of Higher Education

Leslie is professor emeritus and was director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona for over 13 years. He is widely regarded as one of the world's leading experts in higher education finance and policy. Much of his work addresses the social investment and economic value of higher education and the economic benefits of applied market models.

Michael K. McLendon

Dean and Professor of Higher Education Policy and Leadership, Baylor University (BU)

Michael K. McLendon serves as dean and a professor of higher education policy and leadership in the School of Education at Baylor University. He came to Baylor from Southern Methodist University where he held the Harold and Annette Simmons Centennial Chair in Higher Education Policy and served as a professor and the associate dean for academic affairs at the Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Previously, he held appointment as the executive associate dean and chief of staff at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development, on whose faculty he served for thirteen years as a professor of public policy and higher education.

Specializing in the study of higher education, McLendon has published extensively on topics relating to postsecondary education governance, finance, and public policy. His research has appeared in numerous books and in such journals as Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, The Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, Review of Higher Education, Teachers College Record, The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and Educational Policy.  Much of his scholarship is directed toward understanding the factors influencing policy change at the state and campus levels. In recent studies he has examined the sources of variation in college costs and prices, the role of public policy in promoting college access and success, the factors influencing the rise of new accountability and financing policies in K-12 and higher education, and the involvement of Latino legislators in shaping state policies for education.

James T. Minor

Senior Strategist for Academic Success and Inclusive Excellence, The California State University, Chancellor’s Office

James T. Minor, Ph.D. is senior strategist for academic success and inclusive excellence for The California State University, Chancellor’s Office. A national expert in expanding access to higher education and addressing student achievement gaps, Minor provides leadership and strategy to advance the CSU's new Graduation Initiative 2025 targets focused on increasing the completion rates of first-time freshmen, transfer, low income and underserved students.

Minor has also served as the deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education, where he provided leadership for federal programs designed to expand access, strengthened institutional capacity, and promoted innovation in higher education.

In his role at the U.S. Department of Education, Minor was responsible for administering programs such as the State College Access Grants, GEAR UP, Title III, Title V, The Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education and TRIO.

Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Education, Minor served as the director of Higher Education Programs at the Southern Education Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia, while holding a faculty appointment at the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia. Previously, he served as an associate professor of higher education policy at Michigan State University and as a research associate in the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California.

A native of Detroit, Minor earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from Jackson State University, a master's in sociology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Ph.D. in educational policy analysis and leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

David Mustard

Professor of Economics, University of Georgia (UGA)

Mustard's research focuses on microeconomic policy-related questions, especially law and economics, crime, casino gambling, lotteries, gun control, sentencing, labor economics, education, and merit-based aid. The National Science Foundation has funded his research examining the impacts of merit-based aid. Mustard's (and colleague Christopher Cornwell's) work in this area represents one of the country's most sustained and rigorous empirical examinations of these types of programs.

Brian Noland

​President, East Tennessee State University (ETSU)

Noland became the ninth President of East Tennessee State University on January 15, 2012. Prior to coming to ETSU, Dr. Noland spent five years as Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, a 10-person board that oversees the state's post-secondary education system. From 1998-2006, he worked for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and was promoted through the ranks to become Associate Executive Director.  Among his responsibilities while at THEC was implementing the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship program.  He also was a faculty member in the Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Noland received his B.A. in Political Science, M.A. in Public Policy Studies from West Virginia University, and holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Kenneth E. Redd

Director of Research and Policy Analysis for the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)

Mr. Redd is an expert on student financial aid and enrollment trends in higher education who has focused his intellectual efforts toward understanding factors that lead to student success. He came to NACUBO in 2008 from the Council of Graduate Schools. Prior to that, he directed the research and policy analysis for five years at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. He has also served as director of research at the USA Group Foundation (now the Lumina Foundation for Education) and as a senior research associate at Sallie Mae. He was a researcher and analyst at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the Congressional Research Service. The Chronicle of Higher Education named Mr. Redd as one of ten up-and-coming "New Thinkers in Higher Education" in 2005. He is the author of several recent publications focused on graduate and professional student aid policies. His recent publications include Financing Graduate and Professional Education: 2003-2004Financial Aid Awards and Services to Graduate/Professional Students in 2002-2003, and the widely cited Discounting Toward Disaster: Tuition Discounting, College Finances, and Enrollments of Low-Income Undergraduates.

Linda Renzulli

Professor of Sociology and Department Head, Purdue University (PU)

Renzulli, former Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Georgia, received a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2001. Her specialty areas include Organizational Creation, Change, and Diffusion, Sociology of Education, Sociology of Work, and Organizations, Stratification, and Gender. Dr. Renzulli's most recent work examines charter school closures. She is examining the organizational, racial, and economic mechanisms that may cause charter school failure. She is also interested in the effects of the school district environment on charter school policy and organizational structure. Recently, she was named the editor of the journal Sociology of Education, which is the premier journal in that field.

Edward G. Simpson Jr.

Simpson, Jr. served as Vice President for Continuing Education at The American University in Cairo from April 2006 until January 2010. In this role he was responsible for leading and managing a wide range of continuing education programs for adult part-time learners, and recent college graduates throughout Egypt. Additionally, he became the senior administrative officer at AUC’s Tahrir Square campus in September 2008 following the University’s opening of its new campus in Katameya/New Cairo. Prior to joining AUC, Dr. Simpson held the position of Distinguished Public Service Fellow in the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia, a university where he had previously filled administrative roles as associate vice president for public service and outreach and director of the Georgia Center for Continuing Education, a comprehensive, residential adult learning complex for credit and noncredit programs. His thirty-five years of administrative experience include leadership roles in a variety of continuing and adult education and university outreach capacities, including director of state-wide off-campus graduate programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia and assistant dean of the Extension Division, both at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). Dr Simpson has been active in higher education accreditation work for more than thirty years.

Randy L. Swing

Higher Education Consultant

Randy Swing is a change management leader in higher education and professional associations. He is currently a consultant and adviser to several higher education organizations - both nonprofit and for-profit -- including AASCU. Before entering the consultancy field, Dr. Swing was the executive director of the Association for Institutional Research (AIR) from 2007 to 2016. Prior to joining the AIR staff, Randy served as co-director and Senior Scholar for the Policy Center on the First Year of College located in Brevard, North Carolina. The center focused on assisting colleges and universities, both 2-year and 4-year, in improving the learning and success of new college students. Additional appointments have included serving as a fellow at the National Resource Center on The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina, an honorary appointment as visiting associate professor at Kansai University of International Studies in Japan, and as an international advisor to the Quality Assurance Agency of Scotland. Swing also sits on advisory boards and commissions for the Collegiate Employment Research Institute, the National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment, the Southern Education Foundation, and the Validation Study Committee of the United Negro College Fund.

Swing focuses on postsecondary student success, data-informed decision making, and national policy, and he is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and author of books and articles on assessment, institutional research, and student success, especially the first-year experience. He holds a Ph.D. in higher education from the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia.

C. Edward Watson

Associate Vice President for Quality, Advocacy, and LEAP Initiatives, Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)

Watson is the associate vice president for Quality, Advocacy, and LEAP Initiatives for the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).  There, he leads the association’s national and state-level advocacy and policy efforts to advance quality in undergraduate student learning. He also guides AAC&U’s agenda, grounded in the LEAP Initiative, to advance educational quality initiatives within institutions, state systems, and state-based consortia.  He also serves as the leader for the LEAP States initiative. Prior to joining AAC&U, Dr. Watson was the director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Georgia (UGA) where he led university efforts associated with faculty development, TA development, student learning outcomes assessment, learning technologies, media production services, classroom support and learning spaces, and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.  At UGA, he also taught courses on college teaching.

Watson is the founding executive editor of the International Journal of ePortfolio, the executive editor of the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and is on the board of directors for the International Society for Exploring Teaching and Learning; the Association for Authentic, Experiential, and Evidenced-based Learning; and the Reacting to the Past Consortium.  His most recent books are Teaching Naked Techniques:  A Practical Guide to Designing Better Classes (Jossey-Bass, 2017) and Playing to Learn with Reacting to the Past: Research on High Impact, Active Learning Practices (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017).

AAC&U news release

Meihua Zhai

Assistant Vice President of Institutional Research at Kennesaw State University (KSU)

Zhai holds a Ph.D. in Educational Research & Measurement and a M.A. in Linguistics from Ohio University, and a B.A. in English from the Sichuan Foreign Language Institute in China.  Prior to joining the IHE staff, she served as the Director of Data Resources and Institutional Research for the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). In this role, she assisted in the design and development of the country’s first data warehouse regarding public affairs education which provides useful information for potential public policy and administration students, employers, policymakers, and graduate schools. Zhai has also served as the Director of Research & Policy Analysis at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA). She has received the Outstanding Service Award on five occasions, showing her strong commitment to her work.