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NEC president no longer in running at two universities

New England College President Michele Perkins is no longer in the running to lead Guilford College in North Carolina or the University of Akron in Ohio and will remain in her leadership role at the Henniker college, according to an NEC spokesperson.

Perkins had been one of three finalists in Guilford College’s search for its next president. She visited the school in Greensboro to meet with students, faculty, staff and community leadership April 1 and 2, according to a Guilford College news release.

“Our president was recently flattered to be a finalist at a college in North Carolina. After consideration she withdrew her name from candidacy,” wrote NEC Communications Director Dia Kalakonas in an email Thursday.

On Tuesday, Guilford College named Jane Fernandes, provost at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, the new president. A college spokesperson couldn’t comment on the search process.

Perkins was also one of 19 candidates under consideration to lead the University of Akron, according to a March 21 Cleveland Plain Dealer article. But Perkins withdrew herself from consideration, said the university’s Chief Communications Officer Eileen Korey, and her name does not appear on a current applicants list, dated March 25 and posted on the university’s website. The school of 27,000 students launched its presidential search last year.

“Perkins has served New England College for 13 years, successfully completing many initiatives and adding programs to effectively grow the institution,” Kalakonas wrote. “She is not a candidate at any other institution, and we are proud to have her leadership.”

Perkins was named the 15th president of New England College in 2007, where she oversees more than 2,000 students, the highest enrollment figure in the school’s history, according to the school’s website. Before that, she served in other positions at the school starting in 2001, including vice president and senior vice president of enrollment.

Perkins declined to comment for this article.

(Allie Morris can be reached at 369-3307 or at amorris@cmonitor.com.)

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