Margaret H. Venable
Dr. Margaret H. Venable’s passion for higher education is as infectious as it is inspiring. As a dedicated chemistry professor with a love of connecting with students, a happenstance job opening allowed Dr. Venable to move into an administrative role. Fellow administrators quickly recognized her innate executive talent, and by the end of her higher education career, she was President of one of Georgia’s premier colleges. As a Senior Consultant with Academic Search, Dr. Venable can continue to share her expert guidance and advice with the next generation of executive higher education leaders.
In 2015, Dr. Venable was named President of Dalton State College, a University of Georgia System public institution, and was the first woman to hold the title. Located in northwest Georgia, Dalton State became the state’s first Hispanic Serving Institution while under Dr. Venable’s leadership. This designation signifies that at least 25 percent of students who attend Dalton State identify as Hispanic, and today that number is now more than one-third of the institution’s total enrollment. Dr. Venable retired from the helm in May 2023.
Dalton State’s diverse student body, composed of many first-generation college students, motivated Dr. Venable to constantly improve the institution’s academic offerings and affordability to ensure that aspiring graduates are on paths that will result in promising careers. She is wholeheartedly devoted to helping all students receive a quality education, and as a senior consultant, she has a sharp eye for potential hires who will help institutions continue to open doors for eager students.
Almost all of Dr. Venable’s higher education experience has been with the University System of Georgia. Her tenure has seen her enjoy booming enrollments and robust budgets and weather financial woes, dwindling enrollment, and a pandemic. That experience provides her with in-depth knowledge of the challenges institutions may face, and it gives her a unique perspective on the candidates an administration might consider for certain positions. Additionally, as Vice President of Gainesville State College, Dr. Venable guided her faculty and staff through the consolidation with another institution to become the University of North Georgia, and she serves as a mentor for others experiencing this transition.
In addition to the presidential and vice presidential roles, Dr. Venable was Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Gordon State College, and she held several positions at Georgia Perimeter College. Ten years after being hired to teach chemistry at the Atlanta institution, Dr. Venable’s peers nominated her to chair the science and physical education department in 2002, igniting her administrative career. She is incredibly proud of her time in the Early College and Academic Initiatives program that provided high school and college credits for high school dropouts, as it exemplifies her passion for helping all people benefit from higher education.