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C-RAC Leadership Transition


June 29, 2022

C-RAC Announces Leadership Transition to Presidents Studley and Perfetti, Extends Thanks to President Wheelan

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC) today announced that WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) President Jamienne S. Studley will become chair of the organization effective July 1, 2022. Dr. Heather F. Perfetti, President of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), will serve as vice chair.

Ms. Studley, who is completing a two-year term as vice chair and will serve a two-year term as chair, succeeds Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) President Belle S. Wheelan, who has been chair since 2020. A recognized leader with a long career in higher education and civil rights, Ms. Studley will lead C-RAC’s collaboration with the Administration, Congress, states, and other stakeholders on issues related to institutional accreditation, particularly expanding the use of data for improved accountability and student success, and promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.

“As accreditors, we have the responsibility and opportunity to assure quality and improvement across higher education. We aim to foster thoughtful innovations and policy directions to yield better outcomes for our nation’s students and reinforce the value of higher education,” Ms. Studley said. “We thank Dr. Wheelan for sharing with C-RAC her deep knowledge of accreditation and powerful commitment to students and institutions.”

Ms. Studley was appointed in 2018 as president of WSCUC, which conducts accreditation and pre-accreditation (candidacy status) activities for institutions of higher education across the U.S. and internationally. Ms. Studley has served as deputy undersecretary, acting general counsel, and chair of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) for the US Department of Education, and as President of Skidmore College and Associate Dean and Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School. Learn more about Ms. Studley here.

Dr. Perfetti, also an accomplished leader in higher education, will succeed Ms. Studley as vice chair. Dr. Perfetti said, “C-RAC Presidents are committed to working together as the higher education community seeks solutions to today’s challenges. C-RAC continues to collaborate with higher education leaders and stakeholders to ensure institutions are strong and serve our students well.”

Dr. Perfetti became president of MSCHE in 2020. The agency conducts accreditation and pre-accreditation activities for institutions of higher education across the United States as well as globally. 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.

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The Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions is a collective of seven organizations responsible for the accreditation of roughly 3,000 of the nation’s colleges and universities. To learn more, visit

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