January 17, 2023
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Huntingdon President Announces Academic Appointments
Montgomery, Ala.— Huntingdon College President J. Cameron West announced three academic appointments earlier this week. Dr. Tom Perrin, who serves as senior vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty and professor of English, will move back to the classroom and will serve in academic leadership as chair of the Department of Language and Literature and director of the Hobbs Honors Program and Academic Outreach. Dr. Sarah Conrad Sours, associate vice president for academic assessment and accreditation support, associate dean of faculty, and associate professor of religion, will move into the role of vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty and professor of theological ethics. Dr. Sara Shoffner, chair of the Department of Sport Science and Physical Education, assistant professor of sport science and physical education, and faculty athletic representative, will move to the role of associate dean of faculty.
A member of faculty since 2011, Dr. Perrin was appointed associate provost in 2017 and senior vice president in December 2020, after helping to steer the College’s academic programs through the complexities of distance and hybrid learning during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The last three years have been among the most challenging in the long and storied history of American higher education, and Dr. Perrin’s steady hand throughout this period has advanced the College’s academic program while at the same time guiding our faculty and students through the turbulent waters of the pandemic,” said President West. “We all owe him an incalculable debt of gratitude for his leadership.”
Also a leader in the Council of Independent Colleges Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) nationally, Dr. Perrin developed and implemented the College’s SACSCOC Quality Enhancement Plan on vocation and calling; led the accreditation approval process for the substantive change necessary to add graduate-level programs; and developed the College’s Flexible Fridays class schedule, among other advances in academic programming. He led the creation of interdisciplinary minors in African American studies, environmental studies, global studies, and public policy and the revision of the interdisciplinary women’s studies minor. Under his leadership, the College instituted the Master of Athletic Training as well as undergraduate majors in biochemistry/pre-health; cell biology/pre-health; exercise science/pre-athletic training/pre-occupational therapy; and exercise science/pre-physical therapy.
“[Dr. Perrin] now returns to the classroom, where he served as a highly inspirational teacher before his appointment to the administration, and to the leadership of the Hobbs Honors Program, which grew in participation by nearly 80 percent during his previous tenure as director of that program,” said President West. In his role as director of academic outreach Dr. Perrin will initiate dual enrollment relationships with high schools and academic partnerships with other higher education institutions. Huntingdon currently has partnerships with the University of Alabama-Birmingham for students to pursue early admission to the Accelerated Master of Nursing Pathways Master of Science in Nursing program; with Duke Divinity School for students to pursue seminary admission; and with the University of Alabama for early law school admission notification, among other agreements.
Dr. Sours, a member of faculty since 2013, has served in her role as associate dean for three years. She is a John Wesley Senior Fellow and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She completed the Council of Independent Colleges Senior Leadership Academy during the 2021–2022 academic year and has taught previously at Kings College and Southwestern College. She earned an honors Bachelor of Arts in English and music at the University of Delaware and Master of Divinity and Ph.D. in Christian theology and ethics at Duke Divinity School.
“I have worked with Dr. Sours on the College’s Academic Management Council since 2020,” said President West. “I have been consistently impressed with her informed grasp of the strategic direction of the College’s mission and academic program, her appreciation of the interrelationships of academic and non-academic programs necessary for advancing the College, and her willingness to help foster and lead structural discussions and decisions necessary for implementing institutional strategy.”
In speaking to his selection of Dr. Shoffner as associate dean, President West said, “Since joining the faculty in 2017, Dr. Shoffner has distinguished herself as an excellent, innovative classroom teacher noted for her energetic commitment to effectively engage students of all levels of academic achievement. She has participated as a leader in the Huntingdon Travel-Study Program and serves as a faculty coach in the Presidential Fellows program.” An NCAA-Division I golfer for the University of Mississippi, she earned her B.B.A. and M.B.A. at Ole Miss and Ph.D. at Troy University.
All three appointments will become effective June 1, 2023.
Huntingdon College is a coeducational residential liberal arts college of the United Methodist Church offering more than thirty undergraduate programs of study, an Honors Program, Presidential Fellows Program, Kingswood Initiative, choral and instrumental music programs, dance and cheer teams, student organizations including Greek life and Campus Ministries, 21 NCAA-Division III athletic teams, and coed ESports, new for fall 2023. The College also offers the Master of Athletic Training.