Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner has named Melanie L. Perreault as the college’s new provost and vice president for academic affairs. Perreault currently serves as associate provost and professor of history at Salisbury University in Salisbury, Maryland. She will assume her new role at Buffalo State on July 20.
Perreault’s appointment as Buffalo State’s chief academic officer follows a national search that was initiated last fall after Dennis Ponton announced plans to retire in June. He served the college for more than 30 years.
“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Perreault to the Buffalo State community,” Conway-Turner said. “Throughout the interview process, I was impressed with her understanding and appreciation of the transformative education that Buffalo State has provided to generations of students. Dr. Perreault’s strong skills and background in strategic planning, fostering and supporting academic excellence, and the development of both traditional and online programs indicated both to me and to the search advisory committee that she is a perfect complement to the needs of our college moving forward. I am confident that she will lead Academic Affairs to enhanced distinction regionally and nationally.”
Perreault will be responsible for Buffalo State’s 171 undergraduate programs, 61 graduate offerings, and more than 400 full-time faculty across the college’s five schools: Arts and Humanities, Education, Natural and Social Sciences, Professions, and the Graduate School. She will also oversee Assessment and Curriculum, the Institute for Community Health Promotion, Institutional Research, the Teacher Education Unit, and University College.
“I am very much looking forward to joining President Conway-Turner and the outstanding administrative team at Buffalo State,” Perreault said. “My visit to campus confirmed what I already strongly suspected, that Buffalo State is a community that embraces the transformative power of academic achievement. I met with students, staff, faculty, and administrators who clearly have a deep affection for the college, and I feel very fortunate to become part of the Buffalo State family.”
As associate provost at Salisbury University—a position she has held since 2011—Perreault oversees the university’s honors program, the instructional design and delivery department, and all new program proposals. She also serves as a liaison between the University System of Maryland and Salisbury for academic policies and provides oversight for all of the university’s satellite sites.
She recently led a campuswide effort to develop the university’s new five-year strategic plan, collaborating with faculty, staff, and students to set priorities and goals with deans and administration. Furthermore, she developed a web interface to facilitate inter-institutional accountability and transparency to better connect the university’s budgeting to the strategic plan. Perreault also served as co-chair of the university’s steering committee for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education reaccreditation process; wrote proposals to develop online M.B.A. and social work programs; implemented an online reporting system for faculty tenure and promotion; and successfully advocated to double the university’s faculty provisional development budget.
Perreault previously served as Salisbury’s interim vice president for academic affairs (2010–2011) and chair of the history department (2008–2010). A faculty member in Salisbury’s history department since 2000, she is an accomplished scholar in colonial American history. Her current research focuses on violence in the early Chesapeake. From 1997 to 2000, Perreault was an assistant professor of history at the University of Central Arkansas.
She earned her Ph.D. in history from the College of William and Mary in 1997 and her B.A. in history from Lawrence University in 1990.