Jeff Abernathy is Alma College’s 13th president. An English professor by training, he has a long-term commitment to the core values of a liberal arts education. Recognizing the rapidly changing higher education landscape, he has championed the use of data analysis and strategic planning to engage the campus in preparing for a future. Prior to coming to Alma, Dr. Abernathy served as vice president and dean of Augustana College from 2004-2010, where he helped to found the Midwest Alliance for Learning in the Liberal Arts, a consortium of seven liberal arts colleges committed to collecting, sharing and analyzing data on student learning for the purpose of improving student outcomes. Dr. Abernathy’s primary area of study is African -American literature. He is author of “To Hell and Back: Race and Betrayal in the Southern Novel.” A native of Richmond, Virginia, Dr. Abernathy graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from Longwood College. He earned a master’s degree in English from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Ph.D. in American literature from the University of Florida.