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C-RAC Announces Leadership Transition

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC) announced today that Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) President, Dr. Heather F. Perfetti, will become chair of the organization effective July 1, 2024. Dr. Mac Powell, President of the Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), will serve as vice chair.


Dr. Perfetti, who is completing a two-year term as vice chair and will serve a two-year term as chair, succeeds WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) President Jamienne S. Studley, who has been chair since 2022. A recognized leader with a long career as a higher education executive, Dr. Perfetti will lead C-RAC’s collaboration with the Administration, Congress, States, and other stakeholders on issues related to institutional accreditation.


“I consider it an honor to lead C-RAC with Mac as vice chair, and we will continue to promote the public’s understanding of the important work of accreditors and how student-centered accreditation remains one of the most powerful and influential levers impacting the quality of institutions,” said Dr. Perfetti. “While challenges confront the higher education community, there is no better time to serve in a leadership role to carry an important perspective and voice into critical policy discussions about today’s accreditation.”


Dr. Perfetti was appointed in 2020 as president of MSCHE, which conducts accreditation and pre-accreditation activities for institutions of higher education across the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Perfetti served in several roles with the Commission leading to her presidency and has influenced many sectors of higher education throughout her professional career, including through academic and student affairs, faculty affairs, legal and regulatory affairs, strategic planning, policy development, and innovative, organizational change management. Learn more about Dr. Perfetti here.


Dr. Powell, also an accomplished leader in higher education, will succeed Dr. Perfetti as vice chair. Dr. Powell said, “I look forward to supporting Heather in her new role and to advocating for the importance of accreditation in fostering high quality education and equitable student outcomes for all of our nation’s students.”


Dr. Powell became president of ACCJC in 2022. The agency conducts accreditation and pre-accreditation activities for institutions of higher education across the United States and the Pacific. Prior to his presidency, Dr. Powell served as Senior Vice President of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. His career in higher education also includes serving as the president of three universities, the Chair of the American Council of Education’s Commission on Educational Attainment and Innovation, a Commissioner on the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Commission, and the Chair of the Council of Applied Master’s Programs in Psychology. Learn more about Dr. Powell here.

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