Tracy Artis Named Executive Director of Federal TRIO Programs and Minority Affairs

Tracy Artis

MACON – Tracy B. Artis was named executive director of Mercer University’s Federal TRIO Programs and Minority Affairs, effective July 1. Artis had served as interim executive director since January.

“Tracy brings more than 23 years of professional experience, knowledge and expertise to this position,” said Dr. Samantha Murfree, associate dean of students. “When looking at her credentials and her commitment to Mercer over the years, it was clear to us that she was a solid candidate to serve as interim executive director and was deserving of leading Federal TRIO Programs and Minority Affairs to the next level. During her tenure as interim executive director, Tracy demonstrated effective leadership, creativity, impeccable work ethic and, most of all, passion for serving the students and community partners who benefit from the services offered through TRIO programs.”

A member of the University community since 1995, Artis previously served as director of the Office of Nontraditional and Evening Services, associate director of the Educational Opportunity Center and a graduate program specialist in Mercer’s Tift College of Education.

She is a member of the Georgia Association of Special Programs Personnel and the Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel. She has been on the board of directors for the Economic and Entrepreneurial Training Center, youth council for the Middle Georgia Regional Commission Office of Workforce Development and advisory board for Macon Housing Authority’s Family Investment Center.

Artis earned her Bachelor of Science in political science from the University of Central Arkansas and Master of Public Administration from Arkansas State University.

“With the speed of change facing TRIO and diversity programs, I am excited about the opportunity to formulate and execute program strategies that lead to higher retention and graduation rates among traditionally underrepresented populations at Mercer and program participants in the Middle Georgia area,” said Artis.

TRIO is a set of federally-funded college opportunity programs that motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of a college degree. More than 812,000 low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities — from sixth grade through college graduation — are served by more than 3,100 programs nationally.

TRIO programs provide academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance and other support necessary for educational access and retention, as well as direct support services for students and relevant training for directors and staff.

In 1966, Mercer began one of the nation’s first Upward Bound programs under the direction of Dr. Joseph M. Hendricks, a beloved administrator and faculty member who was instrumental at the University during the Civil Rights Movement. Today, Mercer has two Upward Bound programs and ranks eighth in funding among 956 programs nationwide.

In 1970, the University added Student Support Services to improve the retention and graduation rates of Pell Grant-eligible, first-generation college students and students with disabilities on the Macon campus.

In 1988, Mercer’s TRIO programs grew to three with the addition of the Educational Opportunity Center, and in 2015, in an effort to assist the University’s Regional Academic Centers, the Office of Nontraditional and Evening Services was established in Henry County with a five-year, $1.1 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

“Over the years, Mercer’s five TRIO programs have grown to provide a wider range of services and reach more students, becoming a vital pipeline to opportunity by serving traditional students, displaced workers and veterans,” said Artis.

For more information, visit