Dr. Christopher McCaghren-Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education
Chris McCaghren, the oldest son of a special education teacher and a retail manager, grew from an early age to appreciate the life-changing force that education can be. His passion for student access and success in higher education is exceeded only by his dedication to innovative problem-solving and sustainable modeling. Most recently, Chris served as the executive vice president and provost, as well as professor of higher education leadership and policy, at the University of Mobile. During his three-year tenure at the university, he and his team of entrepreneurs more than tripled the institution’s academic offerings (including the university’s first-ever doctorate programs) and introduced several cutting-edge initiatives to increase student access and success (including the four-day academic week and the creation of a 360-degree model for student success).
Prior to being named provost at the University of Mobile, Chris served as dean of the College of Education at Anderson University and as assistant to the president for external programs and division head for the division of career and continuing studies at Samford University under his mentor Dr. Andrew Westmoreland. In addition, Chris spent two years serving Congressman Spencer Bachus (AL-6, retired) and the great people of the state of Alabama as special assistant to the congressman.
Chris holds a doctorate from Vanderbilt University in higher education leadership and policy, a master of theological studies from Beeson Divinity School, and a double major undergraduate degree in communication studies and classics from Samford University. When not postulating and contemplating higher education policy and practice, he enjoys spending time with his better-half wife Lauren (a fellow higher education sojourner) and his five-going-on-thirty-year-old daughter Callen.
Dr. Linda Byrd-Johnson-Senior Director, Student Services US Department of Edcuation