Biography of Michele D. Perkins, Ed.D.
President and Professor of
Higher Education Administration
New England College
With a record of stellar higher education leadership and transformation, Michele Perkins brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her position as the 15th president of New England College. Since her appointment as president in 2007, her tenure has been marked by renewed strategic and campus planning, curriculum innovation, compensation review, financial well-being, and enhanced external support. Thanks to her implementation of an integrated process of optimal enrollment planning, New England College has grown to more 2,000 students — the highest enrollment in the College’s history. New England College is now also nationally recognized for its programs in civic engagement and experiential learning.
Dr. Perkins began her service to the College in the fall of 2001 as vice president for enrollment. Two years later, as senior vice president, she became responsible for all areas of admissions, financial aid, student accounts, student development (including residential life, athletics, health and counseling, safety, career counseling, and academic support), the registrar’s office, and public information. She was instrumental in founding New England College’s current program in Graduate and Professional Studies, which features diverse offerings online, on campus, and on location in schools and businesses throughout New Hampshire and Maine.
Currently, Dr. Perkins teaches in the master’s program in Higher Education Administration at New England College; she previously taught Speech and Drama at Emerson College and Curry College. Her research interests include organizational change in small college environments and leadership decision-making.
Prior to serving New England College, Dr. Perkins held positions in admissions and enrollment management at White Pines College, New York Law School, Trinity College, and Emerson College. As an independent consultant, she has worked with colleges and universities across the country on a wide range of projects focused on recruitment, retention, and strategic planning.
A co-founder of the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals (NAGAP; formerly NEAGAP), Dr. Perkins serves on a number of boards and advisory groups in higher education. She is the chair of the New Hampshire College and University Council and of Campus Compact for New Hampshire; the treasurer of the New Hampshire Commission for Higher Education; and a board member of the Council for Independent Colleges, the NCAA Division III Financial Aid Committee, and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities Accountability Committee.
Dr. Perkins earned her Ed.D. in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania. She holds an M.A. with distinction in Communication Studies from Emerson College and a B.S.S. in Theatre from Northwestern University.
Remaining active in theatre, President Perkins occasionally performs at New England College and other locations in New England. She has been a member of the Milton Ensemble (a readers’ theatre group dedicated to performing all the books of John Milton’s Paradise Lost) and is a past board member and company member of the Champlain Arts Theatre Company. She currently serves as a judge for the New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud competition.
Dr. Perkins resides in Henniker, New Hampshire, with her husband, James, and her son, Caldwell.