Dr. Colleen Perry Keith to Lead the National Association of Schools & Colleges of The United Methodist Church

SMC President, Dr. Colleen Perry Keith has been named President of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church (NASCUMC) for a one-year term beginning August 2013, during the organization’s Annual Meeting this week.

NASCUMC is a voluntary association of schools, colleges, and universities committed to the historic and distinctive values of United Methodist-related education. It exists to advance the work of education and scholarship in member institutions; working cooperatively with conferences, boards and agencies of The United Methodist Church to address issues of mutual concern to the Church and the Academy.  In addition, they work in partnership with the Church to educate students for leadership and service to the global community; fostering and encouraging the common good of member institutions, and strengthening the collegiality and camaraderie among member presidents, deans and heads of school.

In the United States, there are 119 institutions listed by the University Senate as United Methodist-related schools, colleges, universities, medical college, and theological schools. All of these are invited to become members of the NASCUMC by paying dues and participating in the organization. Institutions are represented by their chief executive officers. The organization meets semiannually for professional development; study of institutional issues; and analysis of proposed legislation and guidelines that affect student aid, federal programs, institutional governance, and reporting requirements. NASCUMC cooperates with and engages in liaison relationships with other agencies of the Church and with professional societies and organizations.

Dr. Keith, the previous 2nd Vice President of NASCUMC, has served as President of Spartanburg Methodist College since July, 2009.  Under her leadership the college launched a $15 million capital campaign; built an $11 million academic building; strengthened its marketing efforts and is about to engage in an extensive planning process.  SMC also received national recognition for service initiatives for first time ever, for two years in a row, with over 5,000 hours of combined service provided annually from faculty, staff and students.

Dr. Keith earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University, a Master of Education degree in Educational Counseling from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from State University of New York, University Center at Binghamton.  For the past twenty-five years Keith worked in various higher education roles from academic advisement, teaching, development to executive administration for institutions such as Rogers State College (now Rogers University), Franklin University, The Ohio State University at Marion, Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation and Ohio University.

Dr. Keith, an active presenter and panelist, is a current member of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, College and University Personnel Association, and the Association of Governing Boards.  She serves on the Advisory Board, South Carolina Women in Higher Education (partner organization of The American Council of Education’s Office of Women in Higher Education); is the 2013-14 Secretary of the South Carolina Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission; and is a member of the Executive Committee of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, in addition to serving on their President’s Council and Finance Committee.

Beyond the campus, Dr. Keith’s involvement and service with area organizations has raised the profile of the college within the Upstate community.  She currently is a member of the Diversity Leaders Initiative Advisory Committee for the University of South Carolina School of Medicine;  Board of Directors, Mary Black Foundation; Board of Directors, Greer Educational Foundation; Board of Directors, Hospice Division, Spartanburg Regional Hospital Foundation; Board of Directors, The Arts Partnership, Spartanburg, SC, serving on both the Financial Policies and Governance Committees; Board of Directors, College Town Inc., Spartanburg, SC; Board of Directors, Habitat for Humanity; and is a member and lector of The Roman Catholic Church of Jesus Our Risen Savior.  Dr. Keith is Chair-Elect of the Board of Directors for the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, where she also serves on the Public Affairs Committee and Workforce Education Committee.  She will begin a two-year term as Chair of the Chamber for 2014 and 2015 in January.

Regarding her new leadership role, Dr. Keith stated, “I am looking forward to collaborating with educational institutions from around the country as NASCUMC provides opportunities for connection with peers and enables discussions on important issues from the shared perspective of each institution’s relationship to The United Methodist Church.  I treasure the partnerships and personal relationships I have developed through NASCUMC.”