Keynote Speakers

 Dr. Timothy Renick

Timothy Renick is Senior Vice President for Student Success and Professor of Religious Studies at Georgia State University.  At Georgia State, he has served as Chair of the Department of Religious Studies and Director of the Honors Program. Since 2008, he has directed the student success and enrollment efforts of the university, overseeing among the fastest improving graduation rates in the nation and the elimination of all achievement gaps based on students' race, ethnicity or income level.  Dr. Renick has testified on strategies for helping university students succeed before the United States Senate and has twice been invited to speak at the White House.  His work has been covered by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time, and CNN and cited by former President Obama. He was named one of 2016’s Most Innovative People in Higher Education by Washington Monthly, was the recipient of the 2015-16 Award for National Leadership in Student Success Innovation, and was awarded the 2018 McGraw Prize in Higher Education. He currently is principal investigator for a $9 million U.S. Department of Education grant to study the impact of predictive-analytics-based advisement on ten-thousand low-income and first-generation students nationally. A summa cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College, Dr. Renick holds his M.A. and Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton University.

Dr. John P. Esser

John Esser is Professor of Sociology at Wagner College.  He received his B.A. from Haverford College, and his J.D., M.S., and Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.   He has been intimately involved in designing and implementing both The Wagner Plan for the Practical Liberal Arts and Wagner's Key Skills and Knowledge General Education Curriculum.  He has made presentations on curricular reform at meetings of the American Association of Colleges and Universities, the National Learning Communities Conference, the New American Colleges & Universities, and others.  He has published academic articles and delivered papers on the changing form of contract law, on dispute resolution, on the changing role of media in covering crises, on government responses to corporate scandals, and on the history of American jurisprudence.  As a trial consultant, he has worked on some of the most noted civil and criminal cases arising from the corporate scandals of the Enron, stock options backdating, and subprime melt-down eras, and is the co-editor of the book The Science of Courtroom Litigation (2008).  He is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. 


Invited Speakers

Douglas MacDonald

Douglas MacDonald  joined the MSCHE in October 2017 as Senior Analytics Specialist. He is responsible for the creation of databases, algorithms, and statistical models; the development of dashboards, reports, charts, graphs, and tables to display the outcomes of analyses for use by MSCHE’s internal and external stakeholders.


Ms. Erin Mattson

Ms. Erin Mattson join the Commission staff as the Assistant Director for Accreditation Services in 2012, served as Director for Accreditation Services from 2015 to 2018, and has served in her current role since July of 2018. In her role as Senior Director for Accreditation Services, she leads the Accreditation Services unit and is responsible for the oversight of the Commission’s volunteer management, standing accreditation Committees, and maintenance of the official accreditation record for institutions. Prior to joining Middle States, she served for six years as Senior Admissions Counselor at Temple University (PA). She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Temple University and a Master of Arts from University College Dublin (Ireland). 


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