Highlights of Qualifications

  • Five years as president of Frances Lucas Consulting, LLC, a talent development company

  • Ten years as president of Millsaps College, a nationally top ranked, liberal arts college

  • Twenty-eight years as vice president or president of notable institutions of higher education

  • Nationally known in higher education networks

  • Strong communications and media skills

  • Presented over 85 national and regional keynotes and invited addresses

  • Conducted hundreds of talent development workshops for companies and institutions


2009: International Leadership Training Institute on Prejudice Reduction, National Coalition Building Institute

1990: Harvard University Institute for Education Leadership

1985: Ph.D., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa — Administration of Higher Education, with minors in Research, Human Resource Management, Continuing Education and a Proficiency in Network Analysis

1980: M.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa — Administration of Higher Education

1978: B.A., Mississippi State University — Communications with public relations emphasis, graduating with honors

Professional Experience

July 2014 - Present: President of Frances Lucas Consulting, LLC

July 2014 – July 2015: Professor of Practice, Human Capital Development Program, University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast, Long Beach, Mississippi

July 2010 – June 2014: Vice President and Campus Executive Officer, University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast, Long Beach, Mississippi

Served as the senior leader for a dual campus with five teaching sites across the Mississippi Gulf Coast with approximately 100 faculty, 400 staff members and approximately 3,000 students. Provided leadership for 30 undergraduate degree programs, 16 master degree programs, and four doctoral degree programs. The faculty brought in $32,442,200 in research and grant funding from 2010-2013.

Provided leadership for the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, which is a nationally recognized marine and coastal research facility located in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

Supervised the Center of Higher Learning at John C. Stennis Space Center, which serves over 5,000 employees.

Founding Director of the University of Southern Mississippi Evelyn Gandy Women’s Center for Leadership and Museum.

Chief Accomplishments

  • Achieved record enrollments.

  • Supervised $39 million of construction and opened six buildings between July 2011 and September 2013, rebuilding the campus after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

  • Negotiated successfully with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to add an additional $8 million to already funded Katrina projects.

  • Created an international student recruitment program that grew the Masters of Arts in Computer Science program from 20 to 107 students from 2010 to 2014.

  • Taught two graduate classes for masters and doctoral students on Executive Decision Making (Human Capital Development) and one for masters students on Foundations of Student Affairs (Higher Education).

  • Principal Investigator for the University of Southern Mississippi $800,000 National Science Foundation Grant Collaborative Proposal, Gulf Coast ADVANCE: Cross Institutional Synergy for Women Scientists, which was a collaborative effort with the University of South Alabama (Cwikla, PI), Dauphin Island Sea Lab (Valentine, PI) and Bishop State Community College (McCane, PI).

July 2000 – June 2010: President, Millsaps College, Jackson, Mississippi

Named as first female president of Millsaps College and was the first woman college president in Mississippi. Provided overall leadership and strategic direction for a private, nationally ranked liberal arts college. Enrolled approximately 1,100 undergraduate and 100 graduate students.

Chief Accomplishments

  • Strengthened philanthropic culture by raising $132 million, added 115 new scholarships, increased donor giving units by 25%, expanded faculty giving from 25% to 39%, and increased alumni giving from 31% to as high as 42%.

  • Inherited an 11% spending rate on the endowment and lowered it to as low as 7.5% before the 2009 stock decline.

  • Increased employee productivity and satisfaction by engaging colleagues with a positive, focused and inclusive style of leadership; developed a culture of praise; prioritized work-life balance; and encouraged innovation.

  • Inspired top scholarship by adding a top scholar student program that grew from 12 to 85 top scholars in six years and enjoyed the naming of a Rhodes Scholar and Truman Scholar during her presidency.

  • Created an environment that encouraged faculty success in research and publishing, yielding numerous national and regional faculty awards.

  • Developed an engaged and participatory Board of Trustees by shifting purpose of board meetings from “rubber stamp” processes to strategic discussions.

  • Made diversity and social justice hallmarks of the college’s identity by diversifying the Board of Trustees, the faculty, and student body; encouraged student leadership on “Safe Space GLBTQ” issues and added sexual orientation and partner benefits to the employee policies.

  • Positioned Millsaps College as an enhanced national competitor through a new approach to marketing and communications; participated in leadership roles in national networks.

July 1992 – July 2000    Senior Vice President for Campus Life, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

Named first female vice president at Emory University; served as a member of President’s Cabinet making university-wide decisions for a premier private research university enrolling 6,000 undergraduate students and 5,500 graduate students; supervised a $44 million budget and 650 employees.

Supervised Athletics, Barkley Forum (debate team), Bookstore, Career Center, Counseling Center, Dean of Students, Disability Resources, Food Services, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Health Services (for faculty, staff and students), Housing and Residence Life (with maintenance and custodial services), Identification Cards, International Student Office, Intramurals, Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgendered, and Questioning Office (GLBTQ), Multicultural Services and Programs, New Student and Parent Orientation, Recreation Center, Student Activities, Student Conduct, Student Government, Student Publications, University Center, Volunteer Emory, and Wellness Programs.

Chief Accomplishments

  • Renovated all 18 residence halls to prepare for the 2006 Olympic Games; housed the Gold Medal USA Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team, many other athletes and Olympic workers.

  • Re-engineered the fraternity system by introducing new behavioral standards and renovation plans, which increased overall occupancy of 12 fraternity houses from 44% to 98% in six years.

  • Strengthened diversity programs by increasing racial diversity of direct report professional staff by 40%, initiated the Safe Space Program for GLBTQ students, and implemented prejudice reduction programs on race, gender, religion, differently abled, national origin, and sexual orientation.

  • Played a significant role in designing a $72 million updated residential campus on 40 acres of re-purposed land near the main campus.

July 1986 – July 1992     Vice President for Student Affairs, Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio

At age 29, named first woman vice president at Baldwin-Wallace, becoming the youngest Vice President of Student Affairs in the country; led student life for a private, liberal arts institution enrolling 4,800 students and employing 1,100 faculty and staff.

Supervised Counseling Center, Freshman Year Experience, Greek Life, Health Center, New Student Orientation, Radio Station, Residence Life, Student Activities, Student Union, Student Publications and Wellness Programming.

October 1983 – July 1986     Assistant Dean for Student Life, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi

Provided administrative and student leadership development to 11,000 students at a major state university, facilitated the success of 300 student organizations, supervised a check cashing facility, advised student media, and advised 30 fraternity and sorority organizations, Panhellenic Council, Inter Fraternity Council, and the Student Government Association.

July 1979 – October 1983     Residence Life Coordinator, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Ultimately directed residence life operations for 15 residence halls housing 3,500 students at a major state university. Supervised 232 staff and student staff members. Coordinated food service, security, discipline, maintenance, and programming. Held positions of Area Coordinator, Residence Hall Director, and Director of Conferences.


2014   Mississippi's Woman of the Year in Education by the Commission on the Status of Women
2014   Outstanding Community Leader for South Mississippi and named to Roland Weeks Hall of Fame
           by the Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce
2014   Graduate of Leadership Gulf Coast Program
2013   Woman of the Year Award for the Mississippi Gulf Coast by Business and Professional Women
2010   Francis Asbury Award for Leading in Education by the United Methodist Church Mississippi Conference
2008   Outstanding Leadership Award by the American Council on Education, Mississippi Women’s Network
2008   International Shield Award for Outstanding Professional Accomplishments by Delta Gamma Fraternity
2007   Leonard Goldman Citation for Outstanding Service to Students by Associated Colleges of the South
2007   Pillars of the Profession Award by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
2005   Most Outstanding College President by American Football Association
2004   Outstanding Mississippi Woman Award by the Mississippi State University Women’s Commission
2003   Vision Award by the India Association of Mississippi
2002   Mississippi Business Woman of the Year by the Mississippi Business Journal
2000   Lifetime Achievement Award by Emory University Campus Life
1998    Bob Leach Award for Outstanding Contribution to Furthering Diversity by the Southern Association of
            Student College Administrators
1995    John Jones Award for Outstanding Performance by a Dean by the National Association of Student Personnel
            Administrators Region III
1991    Most Outstanding Woman Administrator by Baldwin-Wallace College
1984    Mississippi’s Outstanding Young Career Woman by Business and Professional Women
1978    Most Outstanding Senior Woman by Mississippi State University
1978    Who’s Who Among American College Students
1976    Mortar Board
1975    Omicron Delta Kappa

Keynote Addresses

Over 85 national and regional conferences, including:

  • National Association of Student Personnel Administrators: "Become a President . . . or Not," March 2003, St. Louis, Missouri

  • Phi Delta Theta National Emerging Leader Institute: "Gentlemen: What Presidents Want," July 2006, Miami, Ohio (first female keynote for the organization)

  • National Association for Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church Annual President's Meeting, "What Leadership?," July 2008, Denver, Colorado

  • National Women’s Leadership Institute: "Courage in the Work Place," December 2010, December 2009 and December 2008, Amelia Island, Florida

  • Southern Methodist University Women’s Week: "Leading Ladies," March 2010, Dallas, Texas

  • National Panhellenic Conference Annual Meeting: "Ten Commandments for Working with Today’s Students," October 2010, Grapevine, Texas

  • Tri Delta Sorority National Conference: "You Are Your Sister’s Keeper," March 2011, Dallas, Texas

  • Phi Mu National Advisors Annual Meeting: "Communicating with Today’s Students," March 2011 Peachtree City, Georgia

  • Delta Gamma National Chapter Advisors Seminar: "What Will We Do with the Millennials?," June 2011, Columbus, Ohio

  • Kappa Delta National Convention: "Hazing: Don’t Do It," July 2011, Tucson, Arizona

  • Associated College Unions International Convention: "100 Year Anniversary Leadership Panel," April 2014, Orlando, Florida, and "Inviting Success," March 2007, Atlanta, Georgia

Higher Education Association Keynotes

  • Alice Manicure National Symposium, Director and Faculty Member (two years)

  • Amelia Island National Higher Education Women’s Leadership Conference (three years)

  • American Association of University Women

  • American Council on Education: Women’s Workshop to Advance to President

  • American Council on Education National Convention: Women’s Network Association

  • Associated Colleges of the South, Student Affairs Conference

  • Association of College Unions International Conference (two years)

  • College Personnel Administrators of Kentucky

  • First Year Experience National Convention

  • Georgia Residence Hall Association

  • Louisiana Statewide Student Affairs Drive-In Conference

  • Mid-America Greek Conference

  • Mississippi Association of College Student Affairs Conference

  • Mississippi Foundation of Independent Colleges

  • Mississippi Association of Colleges State Meeting

  • National Academic Advisory Association Region 4

  • National Association of Campus Activities

  • National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church

  • National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) National Convention

  • NASPA Region IV Conference (Great Lakes)

  • NASPA Region III Conference (South)

  • NASPA Region III Mid-Manager’s Institute Faculty Member (three years)

  • National Institute for Aspiring Senior Student Affairs Officers

  • National Symposium for the Recruitment and Retention of Students

  • Southern Association of Career Educators

  • Southern Association of College Student Administrators Conference

  • Southern Graduate Student and Faculty Forum

  • Southeastern College Housing Officers Convention

  • University Athletic Association National Student Leadership Conference

  • Women’s Network in Higher Education State Convention of Mississippi

University Keynotes, Workshops, and Consultations:

  • Allegheny College: Greek Week

  • Baldwin Wallace College: Convocation

  • Bowling Green University: Greek Week and College of Technology, Architecture, and Applied Engineers

  • Brandeis University: Academic Advising

  • Cleveland State University: Residence Life Conference

  • Colorado College: Greek Week

  • DePauw University: Greek Week

  • Emory University: Convocation

  • Hiram College: Convocation

  • Huntington College: Convocation

  • Florida Gulf Coast University: Dean of Students Team

  • Florida State University: Alumni Association Hardee Celebration

  • Furman University: Student Affairs Conference

  • Georgia State University: Student Leadership Conference

  • Kennesaw State University: Student Affairs

  • Mansfield College: Student and Academic Affairs

  • Memphis State University: Student Affairs Conference

  • Millersburg University: President Organization Redesign

  • Mississippi University for Women: Alumni Association

  • Louisiana State University: Student Affairs Drive-In Conference

  • Loyola University: Student Affairs Retreat, Academic Advisory Consultation, President's Cabinet

  • Piedmont College: Convocation

  • Sanford University: Student Leadership Conference

  • Southern Methodist University: Student Affairs Conference and Women’s Week

  • Texas Christian University: Student Affairs, Career Development, Housing and Residence Life, Religious and Spiritual Life

  • University of Alabama: Higher Education Program and Greek Leadership Retreat

  • University of Alabama at Montgomery: Student Leadership Conference

  • University of Denver: Board of Trustees

  • University of Houston, Clearlake: Academic Affairs

  • University of Louisiana, Lafayette: President's Cabinet

  • University of Louisiana, Monroe: School of Nursing

  • University of Louisville: Pathways for Women

  • University of Miami: Student Affairs, Continuing Education, Residence Life, Recreation Center

  • University of Mississippi: Greek Leadership Retreat, Student Affairs, and National Sea Grant Law Center

  • University of North Carolina, Charlotte: Student Affairs, General Counsel's Office

  • University of South Carolina: Student Affairs

  • University of Southern Mississippi: Student Leadership Retreat

  • University of West Florida: President's Cabinet, Academic Engagement, Student Affairs, Enrollment Management, Finance and Administration, Human Resources Advancement, Research and Strategic Innovation

Greek Organizations Keynotes

  • Tri Delta National Convention (two years)

  • Delta Gamma National Officers Training

  • Kappa Delta National Convention

  • National Panhellenic Convention

  • Lambda Chi Fraternity Convention

  • Delta Gamma National Convention (two years)

  • Southeastern Panhellenic Conference

  • Southern Inter-Fraternity Association

  • Sigma Phi Epsilon National Convention

  • DePaul University Greek Week

  • Colorado College Greek Week

  • University of Alabama Greek Leadership Retreat

  • Phi Delta Theta National Emerging Leader Institute

Civic Organization Keynotes and Speeches

  • American Society of Women Accountants State Conference

  • American Heart Association Go Red Luncheon, Hattiesburg, MS

  • American Heart Association Go Red Luncheon, Jackson, MS

  • Boys and Girls Club Annual Awards Dinner, Jackson, MS

  • Business and Professional Women Mississippi State Convention

  • Business and Professional Women Young Career Convention

  • Caring Women of South Mississippi, Mississippi Gulf Coast

  • Celebration of Strong Women Luncheon, Jackson, MS

  • Daughters of the American Revolution State Conference for Mississippi

  • Jackson Legal Professional Association

  • Junior League of Jackson, MS

  • Kiwanis Clubs

  • Leadership Gulf Coast Education Day

  • Long Beach, Mississippi, Historical Society

  • Louisiana Department of State Civil Service

  • Mississippi Association of Realtors Leadership Program

  • Mississippi Bar Association State Convention, Inaugural Evelyn Gandy Lecture

  • Mississippi Business Journal Awards Luncheon

  • Mississippi Development Authority State Conference

  • Mississippi State Conference for Retired Teachers

  • Mississippi Technology Alliance

  • Mississippi Women’s Lawyer Association State Meeting

  • Mississippi United Methodist Annual Conference, 2007

  • Necumen Mississippi Statewide Awards Banquet

  • Optimist Clubs

  • Rayne Memorial United Methodist Church: Senior Leadership Team

  • Rotary Clubs

  • Saint Andrews Episcopal School Board of Trustees Retreat

  • United Methodist Church Lay Sunday Preacher, Leadership Retreats, Regional Meetings, State Conferences, Youth Rallies

Professional Associations and Community Service

National and Regional

  • National Speaker’s Association: Professional Speaker, Chapter President, 2017-present

  • National Coalition Building Institute, 2009 — Completed the International Leadership Training Institute on Prejudice Reduction

  • National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church — President, 2006; Executive Board, 2004-2006

  • National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities — Treasurer, 2006; Board of Directors, 2003-2006

  • Associated Colleges of the South, 2000-2010 — Chair, 2007-2010

  • Southern Collegiate Athletic Association, 2000-2010 — Chair, 2004

  • American College Educators: Women’s Commission, 2004-2006

  • Annapolis Group: 2000-2010 — Group of 80 college and university presidents from liberal arts institutions

  • Southern University Conference, 2000-2010 — President, 2005; Group of 50 private and public college presidents from the South

  • University Athletic Association, 1992-2000 — Chair, 1996-1998

  • National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, 1986-2000 — Greek Relations Chair, 1988; Alice Manicure Symposium Chair, 1998-1999

  • The National Vice President’s Group, 1992-2000 — Invitation only group of 20 vice presidents of student affairs from top research universities around the country

  • Association of Fraternity Advisors, 1983-2000 — University Relations Committee Chair, 1985


  • Trustmark Banking and Finance Corporation — Board of Directors, 2001-2011

  • Mississippi Chapter of International Women’s Forum, 2001-present — President, 2008-2010

  • Mississippi Foundation of Independent Colleges, 2000-2006 — Chair, 2002-2006

  • University Club Board of Directors, 2001-2010

  • Jackson Medical Education District Board, 2000-2007 — President, 2003

  • Mississippi Symphony Board of Directors, 2000-2003

  • University of Mississippi Dental School Board of Governors, 2003-2010

  • Jackson YMCA Board of Directors, 2009-2010

Mississippi Gulf Coast

  • Leadership Gulf Coast 2013-2014Graduate

  • Gulf Coast Business Council Board of Directors, 2010-2012

  • United Way of South Mississippi Board of Directors, 2010-2013

  • American Heart Association, Executive Committee, 2011-2012

  • Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors 2010-2011

  • YMCA Board of Directors, 2010-2011


With R. Britton Katz. "Career Wellness: From Great Depression, through Great Recession, to Great Ascension." In Further Wellness Issues for Higher Education: How to Promote Student Health During and After College, edited by David S. Anderson. New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2017.

With Brit Katz. "Gone with the Wind? Integrity and Hurricane Katrina." Advancing the Integrity of Professional Practice, New Directions for Student Services Series 135 (Fall 2011): 89-96.

"10 Things I've Learned as a College President." Portico, September 2009, 62.

"Jimmy Carter on Service Learning." About Campus 1 (March/April) 1996: 10-13.

"Forward." College Student Affairs Journal 14 (Fall 1994): 3-4.

"What Can We Learn from Earlham College?" In The Role and Contribution of Student Affairs in Involving Colleges, edited by George D Kuh and John H. Schuh. Washington, D.C.: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, Inc., 1991.
"Through the Looking Glass: A Case Study of Perceptions of and about Mid-managers." In The Invisible Leaders: Student Affairs Mid-Managers, edited by Robert B. Young. Washington, D.C.: National Association of College Personnel Administrators, Inc., 1990.

Chapters in Off to College, The Great Transition, edited by Charles Owen. Montgomery, AL: Guidance Research Group, 1990, 1989, 1988.

"Junior Partners: The President’s Children—Their Point of View." In The Partnership Model: A Family Perspective on College Presidency, edited by Roberta H. Ostar. Washington, D.C.: American Association of State Colleges and Universities, 1986.

Consulting Workshops and Seminars

  • Austin College, Texas, Student Affairs Division

    • Enhancing Communication between Male and Female Colleagues

  • Ball State University, Indiana, Faculty

    • Working with Faculty on Understanding New Student Trends and How Trends Impact Pedagogy

  • Coast Episcopal School, Pass Christian, Mississippi, Board of Trustees

    • Strategic Planning

  • Colorado State University, Admissions Department

    • Team Building with Emergenetics

  • DePauw University, Indiana, President

    • Assessing Effectiveness of the Greek System

  • Huntington College, Montgomery, Alabama, Board of Trustees and President's Cabinet

    • Strategic Planning

  • International Women's Forum, Mississippi Chapter

    • Emergenetics, Meeting of the Minds, Creating Happiness

  • Kentucky Wesleyan College, Board of Trustees, President's Cabinet, Admissions Department, Athletic Department

    • Enhancing Enrollment Management, Team Building, Strategic Planning, Talent Development, Emergenetics, Meeting of the Minds

  • Lewis and Clark College, Oregon, Student Affairs Division

    • Emergenetics, Meeting of the Minds

  • Loyola University, Louisiana, Student Affairs Division

    • Team Building, Enhancing Academic Advising

  • Mansfield College, Pennsylvania, Students Affairs Division, Academic Leadership

    • Enhancing Communication and Understanding Between Leaders in Academia and Student Affairs

  • Millersville University, Pennsylvania, Student Affairs Division

    • Assessing Effectiveness of Organizational Design for the Student Affairs Division

  • Southern Methodist University, Texas, Student Affairs Division

    • Enhancing Communication and Relationships among Senior Department Heads to Increase Productivity

  • Texas Christian University, Student Affairs Division

    • Assessing Alcohol Policies and University Responses to Violations; Meeting of the Minds, Emergenetics Talent Development, Leveraging the Power of We, Seven Steps to Courage

  • Transylvania University, Kentucky

    • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Accreditation Visit for Entire University

  • Southern Methodist University, Texas 

    • Student Affairs Division – Enhancing Communication and Relationships among Senior Department Heads to Increase Productivity

  • United Methodist Church Senior Cabinet, Mississippi 

    • Mississippi Conference – Team Building

  • University of Alabama, Student Affairs Division

    • Emergenetics, Meeting of the Minds

  • University of Denver

    • Board of Trustee Retreats, Students Today and First Generation Students

  • University of Miami, Coral Gables Florida, Division of Continuing Education

    • Organizational Development

  • University of North Carolina, Charlotte

    • Student Affairs: Emergenetics, Team Building

  • University of South Carolina, Upstate

    • Emergenetics, President's Cabinet Team Building

  • University of South Florida, Student Affairs Division

    • Assessing How the Student Affairs Division Should Be Organized and Positioned within the Entire University

  • University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Park, Orientation Leaders, National Science Association Women's Advance, Human Capital Development, Faculty

    • Emergenetics, Meeting of the Minds, The Courage to Lead

  • University of West Florida, President's Cabinet, Division of Advancement, Division of Student Affairs, Division of Enrollment Management

    • Meeting of the Minds, Leveraging the Power of We, Emergenetics Talent Development

  • Wright State University, Ohio, College of Nursing and Health

    • Team Building, Finding Happiness, Organizational Development