Will Oversee Academic Affairs and Curriculum; Work with Faculty; Assist with Program Expansion in Newburgh

PHOTO: Heather PerfettiMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Heather Perfetti, most recently the vice president of instructional affairs at Allegany College of Maryland, has been named as SUNY Orange’s new vice president for academic affairs, College President Dr. William Richards announced recently.

Perfetti is replacing Richard Heppner, who served as the College’s vice president for academic affairs for the past three years and is retiring following 27 years as a member of the faculty and administration at SUNY Orange. Perfetti begins her new post on July 5.

A former trial attorney with more than a decade of increasing teaching and administrative experience at the collegiate level, Perfetti moved from the courtroom to the classroom full-time in August 2000 when she was hired as an instructor of criminal justice at Murray State University, Murray, Ky. She was elevated to assistant professor one year later and remained at Murray State until August 2003 when she was hired as assistant professor and program coordinator for the criminal justice and paralegal programs at Darton College in Albany, Ga.

She was promoted to assistant academic dean at Darton, a two-year college within the University System of Georgia, in August 2007. One year later, she was named to fill the vice president’s slot at Allegany College.

“We are extremely excited to have Heather join or leadership team,” Richards said. “She has experience in directing academic programming at colleges with multiple campuses, and her knowledge in that area will be invaluable as we coordinate our College-wide curriculum growth with our Newburgh campus expansion and Middletown campus renovations.

“She also has a proven track record of working with and alongside faculty members. We believe that the faculty at SUNY Orange is unmatched, and I look forward to watching Heather and our faculty members unite collaboratively to further the academic reputation, mission and programming for which the College has become renowned,” Richards added.

At Allegany, Perfetti directed the academic programs and course offerings for an institution that serves approximately 4,200 credit students at three campus locations in Cumberland, Md., and its surrounding communities in Maryland and Pennsylvania. She worked with local school districts to create new initiatives for dual enrollment for students in the K-12 system, enhanced and expanded new faculty orientations, increased professional development opportunities for faculty members, and encouraged the use of emerging instructional technology resources and multimedia services to augment the curriculum.

She developed online courses and created online degrees to strengthen the criminal justice and paralegal programs during her tenure at Darton, a college that serves more than 5,000 students. She hired and supervised part-time faculty, developed transfer articulation agreements with nearby four-year colleges and universities, and developed partnerships with community groups and organizations.

At each of her academic stops, she has demonstrated a willingness to work hand-in-hand with students both inside and outside of the classroom. Her ability to work collaboratively has extended to faculty members and administrators alike, and she has been an active participant in shared governance structures as both a professor and administrator.

She graduated cum laude from Frostburg State University, Frostburg, Md., with a bachelor’s degree in English and also graduated cum laude from the University of Mississippi School of Law, where she earned her juris doctor degree. Perfetti also has a master’s degree in criminal justice from Troy University, Troy, Ala., and is pursuing her doctorate in education at Northcentral University, Prescott Valley, Ariz. Perfetti participated in Vanderbilt University’s Peabody Professional Institute for Higher Education Management in 2009 and the American Council on Education’s Institute for Chief Academic Officers during 2010-2011.

Perfetti was chair of the Maryland Council of Community College Chief Academic Officers this past academic year and received the Outstanding Administrator Award from Allegany College as well as the Chair Academy’s International Exemplary Leader award this spring. She has also served as president of the Criminal Justice Association of Georgia (2005-06) and co-chair of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents’ Academic Advisory Committee for Criminal Justice (2008). She received Darton College’s “Teacher of the Year Award” in 2005 and was presented with the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s “Excellence Award” in 2006.

SUNY Orange delivers more than 40 degree and certificate programs to a student body that topped 7,000 for the first time ever this past fall. The College opened its brand new Kaplan Hall classroom and laboratory building on its expanding Newburgh campus this past January and is presently renovating the existing Tower Building in Newburgh. Seven of the College’s degree programs can be completed entirely at the Newburgh campus.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940