Dr. Claude G. Perkins
Dr. Perkins has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer at Virginia Union University since January 2009. He is the 12th President of this historic University. He comes to Virginia Union with an impressive record of academic leadership in various levels around the country. His most recent assignment prior to Virginia Union University was in the position of Professor of Educational Leadership, Graduate Dean and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia.
While at Albany State University, he was the chief academic officer of graduate education for the university, granting degrees in thirteen areas of study including education, business, criminal justice, public administration and nursing education. He was also responsible for developing and coordinating the post-tenure review process, graduate faculty selection and on-line course development.
In addition to the above, Dr. Perkins also provided leadership in establishing international education programs in Kenya, Brazil, Jamaica, South Africa and volunteer programs in Europe and Asia through a program called “Camp Adventure.” Dr. Perkins presently serves as the chief administrative officer of the African Educational Research Network (AERN), and publisher of the international journal, “The Symposium.” This on-line journal publishes original research on education and human development issues in Africa. Prior to his duties as Associate Vice President and Graduate Dean at Albany State, he served as the Dean of the College of Education, the second largest college of the university. He served on the university system of Georgia’s International Affairs Committee and chaired the system’s committee on graduate work. While serving as graduate dean, he was a member of the Graduate Records Advisory Board and Vice President of the National Council of HBCU Graduate Deans.
Dr. Perkins was a member of the faculty at Clarion University of Pennsylvania and the founding director of the Center for Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from 1987-1992. In his role as a tenured professor, he worked to establish collaborative ventures between the university, business community and public schools throughout the region. He also consulted domestically and abroad on developing school business partnerships to support education. In his 35 years as an educational leader, he spent 18 years as a public school administrator. Dr. Perkins was superintendent of schools in Clark County Schools (Las Vegas, Nevada), now with an enrollment of nearly 300,000 student. He also served as Superintendent of Schools in Kansas City, Missouri and Deputy and Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the City of Richmond, Virginia for several years where he served as Chief Operations Officer for the school division.
In 1982, Dr. Perkins was appointed by the Governor of the State of Nevada to serve as the State Director (Secretary) of Commerce. In this capacity, he was a member of the governor’s cabinet and the chief regulator of all state banks, credit unions, insurance companies, real estate and related financial institutions. He was the principal in the issuance of state industrial development bonds to promote economic development for the state of Nevada. He is a member of numerous professional and civic organizations, including the Richmond Management Roundtable, Executive Board of Venture Richmond, Bridging Richmond Executive Committee and the Steering Committee of the Future of Richmond’s Past. He is also a member of the UNCF Presidents, Board of Directors for the CIAA and Chair of the CIAA Finance Committee, Life member of the NAACP and member of the Board of the Council of Independent Colleges of Virginia.
He has received numerous fellowships, awards and citations from various groups and organizations, including the Alumni Medal of Merit Award at The Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and the Dr. James Herbert White Preeminence Award from Mississippi Valley State University. The most recent honor was the naming of a new school in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2005, the Clark County Nevada School Board approved the naming of the new Claude Grandford Perkins Elementary School in recognition of Dr. Perkins’ service to the Clark County, Nevada education community. The $25 million facility was completed in the fall of 2007.
Dr. Perkins earned his Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Curriculum and Supervision from The Ohio University, Master of Arts Degree in Economics Education from Purdue University and his Bachelor of Science Degree (with Distinction) in Political Science from Mississippi Valley State University. He also did further study at Vanderbilt University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
He is married to Mrs. Cheryl Elizabeth Perkins and the father of two sons and one daughter.