Dr. Ray Perren Named President of Lanier Technical College

Staff Report From Valdosta CEO

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

The state board that oversees the Technical College System of Georgia has unanimously approved Commissioner Ron Jackson’s choice of Dr. Ray Perren to be the next president of Lanier Technical College.

Today’s announcement was made during the board’s monthly meeting at the TCSG’s Atlanta headquarters. Board member Dinah Wayne of Flowery Branch made the motion to approve the commissioner’s selection.

Perren is currently the president of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College in Valdosta.  He will officially become president of Lanier Technical College on May 1, filling the job left open by the recent retirement of Russell Vandiver.

“I know Dr. Perren to be an accomplished college president and dedicated leader who is constantly focused on enhancing the accomplishments of his college and improving the achievement of its students. I’m very confident that he’ll provide the faculty and staff of Lanier Technical College with strong support and effective leadership as they continue their great work of changing lives, building careers, and contributing to the region’s economic development,” said Jackson.

Perren thanked the commissioner and board for the opportunity given to him. “I’m extremely grateful and humbled by the confidence that Commissioner Jackson and the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia have placed in me. I’m looking forward to meeting and partnering with the faculty and staff of Lanier Technical College.  We’ll set high goals and ensure that an already great college with a long legacy of excellence can become an even better one,” said Perren.

Perren added that it was a hard decision to leave Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, which was the state’s 2010 technical college of the year.  He has been at the helm of the college since June 2009, when it was known as Valdosta Technical College.  Wiregrass Georgia Technical College was formed in June 2010 after Perren helped to lead the merger of Valdosta Technical College and East Central Technical College in Fitzgerald. He had been East Central Tech’s president from 2006 to 2008.

“I’ve spent six of the past seven years serving the two colleges that are now Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, and I’m most appreciative of the entire Wiregrass team and the many accomplishments that we’ve achieved together.  Those great people are the heart and soul of what we do, and it’s because of them that the college will continue to prosper and serve its students well for many years to come,” said Perren.

During his tenure at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, Perren worked with his faculty and staff to lay the groundwork for a number of new programs, including associate degree nursing and engineering technology.  The college recently joined with Valdosta State University in an articulation agreement that allows associate degree credits to transfer to VSU. It is one of the most comprehensive transfer agreements made between a TCSG college and University System of Georgia institution.

Perren was the TCSG assistant commissioner for technical education from 2008 to 2009. Before working in the state technical college system, he was dean of academic affairs for DeVry University and superintendent of the Paulding County (Georgia) School System.

Perren began his career in education almost 33 years ago as a teacher in Paulding County. He rose through several positions with the Paulding County Schools, including elementary and middle school principal, curriculum director, and assistant superintendent. In 1996, the Paulding County Board of Education appointed him to be the superintendent of schools responsible for the education of 15,000 students and management of 1,700 employees.

He became a dean of academic affairs at DeVry University in 2000, where he oversaw the instructional programs and academic operations for 5,200 graduate and undergraduate students at two Georgia campuses and seven other DeVry centers in Atlanta and North Carolina.  

Perren graduated from the University of Georgia in 1979 with a bachelor of science in education.  He has master of education and specialist in education degrees from West Georgia College and a doctor of strategic leadership from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va.

He and his wife, Joy, have six children.

Jackson said that he will appoint Dr. Shawn Utley, the vice president of economic development at Moultrie Technical College, to follow Perren as the interim president of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College.  Utley will manage the day-to-day operations of the college until a new president is named.  

The TCSG will provide information in the coming weeks regarding the selection of the next president for Wiregrass Georgia Technical College.