ACS President Dr. R. Owen Williams served as president of Transylvania University from 2010-2014, following a 24-year career as a Wall Street investment banker (Director, Salomon Brothers Inc.; Managing Director, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.; Chairman of Bear Stearns Asia).
He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Dartmouth College, then studied at the University of Cambridge in England, earning a Master of Arts in Intellectual History. In 1999, Dr. Williams left the business world to study at Yale University and Yale Law School, where he earned a doctorate in American History and a Master of Studies in Law.
Dr. Williams was awarded the Raoul Berger Fellowship at Harvard Law School, the Samuel Golieb Fellowship at the New York University School of Law, the Fletcher Jones Fellowship at the Huntington Library, the Legal History Fellowship at Yale Law School, and the Cassius Marcellus Clay Postdoctoral Fellowship in history at Yale. He has published in several magazines, journals and encyclopedias. He edited The Encyclopedia of Antislavery and Abolition (Greenwood Press) and was an articles editor for the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities.
Beyond Critical Thinking (Inside Higher Ed, March 6, 2015)
The Danger of Erasing Yale’s Confederate Ties (The Atlantic, October 7, 2015)
Where Partnerships Begin: A Fresh Look at the Purpose and Outcomes of Liberal Arts College Consortia, Chapter 14 in James Martin and James Samels, Consolidating Colleges and Merging Universities: New Strategies for Higher Education Leaders (Johns Hopkins, 2016)
Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Dr. Anita Davis is Director of Diversity and Inclusion. Her primary responsibilities will be to support member institutions in their collective and individual efforts to advance diversity and inclusion goals on their campuses and in their communities.
Dr. Davis is a tenured member of the faculty at Rhodes College, on a 3-year leave from her position there. At Rhodes, she taught courses in the Psychology and Urban Studies Programs and held various positions including director of the African American Studies Program (5 years) and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.
Dr. Davis holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Clinical/Community Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. from Rhodes College. She has worked with numerous colleges and non-profit organizations on diversity and inclusion initiatives. She is a member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.
Director of Faculty Programs
Dr. Jennifer Dugan manages all aspects of our extensive faculty grants and programs. She previously served as Professor of Global Studies at Randolph College (formerly Randolph-Macon Woman’s College) from 1998-2016, where she helped lead interdisciplinary programming and high impact initiatives, including community-based learning.
Dr. Dugan earned a BA in Political Science from California State University, Los Angeles and a PhD in Political Science and Economics from the University of California Riverside.
She served as an American Council on Education Fellow in 2009-2010, and has a special interest in curricular innovation and shared governance in the liberal arts.
Her publications include “Governing Academic Civic Engagement” (Partnerships, 2015) and “The Liberal Arts and Organizational Design: Cultivating for Change” (Liberal Education, 2015).
Director of Finance and Human Resources
As the Director of Finance and Human Resources, Rashida Kirtin provides leadership, management, control, and administration of fiscal operations. Her background includes positions as an office manager, contract administrator, and consultant, with experience in government contracts accounting. She holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration with emphasis in accounting from University of Phoenix.
Rashida has distinguished herself as a leader on human resources and management policy in a variety of industries. She is a member of the Junior League of Atlanta where she holds a position on the Internal Operations Council as a Helping Hands Committee member.
Deanna Lord joined ACS in March 2016 as the Operations Coordinator. She is responsible for supporting the operational activities of the Association, the President, and the Board of Directors. Ms. Lord brings over 20 years of experience as an administrative professional to ACS. Her background includes both public and private universities, as well as for-profit and not-for-profit business environments. She attended Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, and Georgia State University in Atlanta. Ms. Lord is a member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals.
Director of Communications and Technology
David Morton is a communications professional and web designer. Before coming to ACS, he was Communications Manager for the Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. From 2005-2013, he held several positions in communications, web design, and research in the Georgia Tech College of Architecture, where he also taught graduate courses in web design, usability,and accessibility for the School of Industrial Design. He was with the College of Architecture’s Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access as a web/communications professional and Research Scientist from 2007-2013, and participated in sponsored research projects pertaining to web accessibility. Prior to that, he taught history at Georgia Tech, Rutgers, and Clemson and worked as a Research Historian for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) History Center at Rutgers University. Morton holds Ph.D. and M.S.degrees in the History of Technology from Georgia Tech, an M.A. in U.S. History from Auburn University, and B.A. in history from the University of Georgia.
Morton is author of three books in the history of technology, including Off the Record: The Technology and Culture of Sound Recording in America (Rutgers, 2000) and two titles in the Johns Hopkins Press series, “Life Story of a Technology,” Sound Recording (2006), and Electronics (2007). He is a longstanding member of the Society for the History of Technology and the IEEE.