J. Matthew Melton has been with SACSOC (the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools, Commission on Colleges) since January 2023. He spent twenty-two of his twenty-nine-year academic career in faculty administration. Before joining SACSCOC, Melton served as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Lee University in Cleveland, TN, and before that as chair of the Communication Arts department, Director of the Honors Program, and Director of Student Media. A recipient of the university’s student advising award, Melton taught courses in media, speech, journalism, and film, along with a general education course in classical world humanities. He has led multiple study-abroad experiences in Europe and South America. He has authored textbook materials for communication courses and the freshman collegiate experience. Melton has an MA in journalism and a PhD in communication studies from Regent University. He began working with higher education accreditation at his former institution in 2004 and began serving on SACSCOC committees in 2006 and as a committee chair in 2014. These latter experiences sparked a strong interest in higher education accreditation that ultimately led to his joining SACSCOC.
Heather Guevara is the Dean of Online Learning at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon. She provides strategic leadership for the college’s online learning division. The division collaborates across college academic and student services to create holistic and equitable outcomes for students through excellence in teaching, culturally responsive course and program design, faculty development, responsive student services, and direct support for students and faculty. Recognizing that for many community college students an online education is their only opportunity to go to college, she believes these students deserve the highest quality experience the institution can provide. In her free time, Heather enjoys hiking and backpacking with friends.