MSCHE Leadership Transition: Dr. Elizabeth H. Sibolski to Retire as President on June 30, 2020; Dr. Heather Perfetti to Assume Presidency on July 1, 2020

After nearly two decades of service to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), including the last 10 years as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Elizabeth H. Sibolski, Ph.D., has announced her retirement effective June 30, 2020. The Executive Committee of the Commission has promoted Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff Heather Perfetti, Ed.D., J.D., to the role of President-Elect, effective June 26, 2019. She will assume the Presidency on July 1, 2020.

Margaret M. McMenamin, Ed.D.

Margaret M. McMenamin, Ed.D.

MSCHE Chair Margaret M. McMenamin, Ed.D., wrote to key contacts within the membership to announce the transition:

“For the past several years, the Executive Committee of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) has been working with our President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Elizabeth Sibolski on organizational succession planning. In 2018 and in anticipation of a future transition in the CEO’s position, Dr. Sibolski recommended and the Executive Committee approved the plan to elevate Dr. Heather Perfetti to Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff. Today, we are announcing to you that Dr. Sibolski will retire as our President and CEO on June 30, 2020. She has served in that role for 10 years and has even more years of service to MSCHE as a Vice President Liaison.

“At our meeting on June 26, 2019, the Executive Committee, in consultation with Dr. Sibolski, promoted Dr. Perfetti to President-Elect. She will assume the role as the MSCHE President and CEO on July 1, 2020. During the 2019-2020 academic year, Dr. Sibolski will continue to mentor Dr. Perfetti with an increasing emphasis on external relations with federal and state governments as well as national associations with special emphasis placed on working with the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC). Additionally, we intend to take the time over the course of the year and particularly at the Annual Conference to celebrate Dr. Sibolski and her legacy of service to the Commission.

We are pleased for Dr. Sibolski as she is moving to a new chapter, and we look forward to working with Dr. Perfetti as she transitions to her new role.”

Elizabeth H. Sibolski, Ph.D.

Elizabeth H. Sibolski, Ph.D.

Dr. Sibolski joined MSCHE in 2000 as a Vice President, was named Executive Vice President in 2007, and was appointed President in 2009. Over the course of her tenure at MSCHE, Dr. Sibolski has helped to transform the organization through the adoption of new standards and a renewed cycle of accreditation, growth of data analytics, and an increased reliance upon technology. She spearheaded MSCHE’s formal separation from the Middle States Association to become a fully independent Commission. A national voice on accreditation matters, Dr. Sibolski serves as vice chair of C-RAC and was an alternate during the United States Department of Education’s most recent negotiated rule making process. Prior to joining MSCHE, Dr. Sibolski was Director of University Planning and Research at American University (DC). Dr. Sibolski is a past-president of the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) and has served as a trustee of the Mortar Board National Foundation. She holds a Ph.D. and M.P.A. in public administration and a B.A. in political science from American University. Dr. Sibolski is co-author of Integrating Higher Education Planning and Assessment: A Practical Guide.

“In reflecting on my tenure at the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, I am proud of all that has been accomplished by our dedicated commissioners, staff, and peer evaluators,” said Dr. Sibolski. “I will leave the Commission knowing that it will be in good hands under the leadership of Dr. Heather Perfetti.”

Heather Perfetti, Ph.D., J.D.

Heather Perfetti, Ed.D., J.D.

As a member of the President’s Cabinet, Dr. Perfetti has provided organizational-wide leadership and has been instrumental in developing and supporting strategic priorities, working across units to respond to complex legal and regulatory matters, overseeing the development of policies and procedures, and managing organizational changes impacting the Commission and accreditation within the region. She joined the Commission as a Vice President liaison to institutions in January 2015, was promoted to serve as Vice President for Legal Affairs and Chief of Staff in July 2017, and elevated to Senior Vice President in July 2018. Prior to joining the Commission staff, Dr. Perfetti served as a peer evaluator through on-site evaluation visits, the Committee on Substantive Change, and the Committee on Periodic Review Reports. Previous positions include Vice President for Academic Affairs at SUNY Orange (NY) and Allegany College of Maryland; Assistant Dean, Assistant Professor, and Program Coordinator at Darton College (GA); and Assistant Professor at Murray State University (KY). She has also held adjunct faculty positions at Georgia Southern University, Barstow Community College (CA), and Darton College. Dr. Perfetti earned her Doctor of Education degree with specialization in Higher Education Leadership from Northcentral University (CA), the Juris Doctor degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law, the Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Troy University (AL), and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Frostburg State University (MD). In addition to her academic credentials, Dr. Perfetti has participated in the American Council on Education’s Institute for Chief Academic Officers and Vanderbilt University’s Peabody Professional Institute on Higher Education Management.