COLUMBIA, SC — Dr. L. Jeffrey Perez, an accomplished higher education leader and public affairs strategist, has been named the seventh president and CEO of South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Inc. (SCICU).
Russell Cook, chair of the SCICU Board of Trustees, announced the appointment at SCICU’s Fall Board Meeting hosted by Presbyterian College on September 26, 2018.
Perez began his leadership with SCICU on Oct. 29.
“We welcome Jeff to the SCICU team,” said Cook. “Our twenty member colleges and universities will greatly benefit from his significant experience in public policy, advocacy, and strategic communications.”
Perez succeeds Mike LeFever who retired from SCICU in August 2018 after leading the higher education advocacy organization for more than 10 years.
“It is my honor to have the opportunity of serving SCICU’s twenty member independent colleges and universities and their 33,000+ students in South Carolina, said Perez. “I am dedicated to building upon the many strengths of these institutions and helping them grow throughout South Carolina.”
Prior to accepting the president/CEO position with SCICU, Perez most recently served as vice president for University Relations at Winthrop University. He was Winthrop’s principal institutional spokesperson and representative at the local, state, and federal levels.
Perez’s higher education leadership in South Carolina also includes a five-year appointment as vice president for external affairs at The Citadel. While at The Citadel, Perez developed and implemented communications and marketing strategies that helped the military college achieve record enrollments and the highest annual giving in its history.
Before moving to SC in 2008, Perez served as the executive director for communications and government affairs at Shawnee State University (Portsmouth, OH).
In his native New York state, Perez held two higher education leadership positions in the State University of New York system, including director of public affairs for the Charter Schools Institute of the State University of New York. As director of communication services at the headquarters of the State University of New York, he served the largest college system in the country with 400,000 students across 64 campuses.
Other previous leadership positions held by Perez include director of research and government relations representative for the New York State School Boards Association.
Perez holds a Phd in American history from the College of William and Mary. He earned a master’s degree from Binghamton University and a Bachelor of Science in foreign service from Georgetown University. In 2013, Perez attended Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management.