Garrison named VP for Academic Affairs
Dec. 3, 2009
Dr. David Garrison was named today as LaGrange College’s vice president for academic
affairs by President Dan McAlexander.
Garrison was selected for the post following a national search that started last
summer and yielded 140 candidates. He currently serves as dean of the College of
Arts and Sciences at Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus.
“David is an outstanding scholar and proven academic leader who has devoted his
career to creating innovative, interdisciplinary and effective learning experiences
for students,” said Dr. McAlexander. “A visionary leader, he brings to this new
role extensive teaching and administrative experience from a wide variety of institutions
across the country.
“Under his leadership, LaGrange College will continue to build its reputation
for and commitment to exceptional academic programs and student transformation.”
Before assuming his post at Georgia Southwestern in 2006, Garrison served as associate
dean of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business from 2004. While at
Georgetown, he was responsible for broadening the business student experience,
including study-abroad opportunities and language study.
Prior to that time, he was head of the Department of English at the University
of Tennessee at Chattanooga from 2001.
He has been an active classroom teacher for 30 years, and his poems, articles
and reviews have appeared in regional, national and international journals and
magazines. His particular scholarly interest is modern and post-modern American
“I’m honored to have been chosen to join the work of LaGrange College,” Dr. Garrison
said. “The importance of higher education in our lives—to promote knowledge, understanding,
cooperation, principled thinking and informed, socially-conscious action—has never
“I can think of no better place to carry on this work than here at LaGrange College,
with its rich history of contributing to the greater community and its focus on
the growth of each and every student. I’m eager to begin.”
Instrumental in the creation of writing centers at three different institutions,
Garrison has primarily taught courses in writing and literature, including study-abroad
classes in the Republic of Ireland. Before assuming administrative roles, he taught
English for eight years at Spalding University in Louisville, Ky.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Appalachian State University,
his master’s in English from Baylor University, and his Ph.D. in English from the
University of Minnesota.
Born and raised in Asheville, N.C., Garrison is married to Donna Barger, and they
have five children and two grandchildren. The couple have been actively involved
in work with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and the Sumter County Domestic
He will begin his new role at LaGrange College on Feb. 1.
The college’s academic affairs post previously was held by Dr. Jay Simmons, who
left the institution in 2008 to assume the presidency of Iowa Wesleyan College.