Three Presidential Finalists to Visit Guilford College

Posted: March 31, 2014

The three finalists to become Guilford College’s ninth president will visit campus for meetings with students, faculty, staff and community leaders.

They are Jane K. Fernandes, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina at Asheville; Michele D. Perkins, president and professor of theatre at New England College in Henniker, N.H.; and Carolyn J. Stefanco, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta.

Fernandes will visit campus for interviews March 31-April 1, Perkins April 1-2 and Stefanco April 6-7. Trustees, who will select the new president, are scheduled to meet April 7 to discuss the candidates.

The finalists were recommended by the Presidential Search Committee to the Board of Trustees after semifinalist interviews March 12-13. The new president will succeed Kent Chabotar, who will retire June 30 after 12 years in office.

Jane K. Fernandes—March 31-April 1

Fernandes has served as the chief academic officer at UNC Asheville since 2008. She was provost of Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., and held leadership roles with the National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet, the American Sign Language Programs at Northeastern University, and the Hawaii Center for the Deaf and Blind. She was born deaf to a deaf mother and hearing father.

A senior fellow at the Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity & Inclusion Institute at Bennett College in Greensboro from 2007-11, Fernandes is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., where she earned her undergraduate degree in French and comparative literature. She earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Iowa.

Michele D. Perkins—April 1-2

Perkins was appointed president of New England College in 2007 after serving six years as vice president and later senior vice president for enrollment. Prior to joining New England College, she worked as a consultant in enrollment management and held positions in admissions and enrollment management at several private institutions, including Emerson College and New York Law School.

She earned her Ed.D. in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania and holds an M.A. with distinction in communication studies from Emerson College and a B.S.S. in theatre from Northwestern University. Her research interests include leadership and change in higher education, focusing on the small private college.

Carolyn J. Stefanco—April 6-7

Stefanco has served as vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college at Agnes Scott College since July 2010. She was hired at Agnes Scott from the position of founding dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at California State University, Stanislaus. For 16 years she was a professor and administrator at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in history and a certificate in women’s studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an M.A. in history from the State University of New York at Binghamton. At SUNY Binghamton, she pursued her first dissertation topic on Quakers and women’s rights. She received a Ph.D. in history from Duke University.

Interview Schedule

As announced March 24, students, faculty, staff and community leadership will have sessions with each candidate, and all will have the opportunity to give the trustees input through an online survey. Survey links will be provided in messages posted in the Buzz, with deadlines noted.

Each candidate will interview on campus on a different day. On all three days, open faculty and staff sessions with candidate presentations will be held from 10-10:45 a.m. and 2-2:50 p.m. in the Moon Room of Dana Auditorium. Student sessions with candidate presentations will be held 11-11:40 a.m. in Bauman Gallery East.

In addition, candidates will meet with Senior Staff, the Clerk of Faculty, Clerk’s Committee and Academic Division chairs, members of the Board of Visitors, alumni and community leadership, and trustees, as well as President Kent Chabotar. They will be given campus and Greensboro community tours in the afternoon the day before the interviews begin.

Biographies of the finalists are available on GuilfordNet (login required).

Last Updated: April 3, 2014