BY Christopher Lang, Correspondent, @topherlang2 | June 1, 2018 | MonroeNow
EDISON — Middlesex County College is in the market for a new president after it was announced that the school’s current leader would retire this month effective June 30.
Joann La Perla-Morales’ decision caps a 50-year career in higher education. She became the institution’s sixth president in 2005.
The Middlesex County College board of trustees plans to appoint an interim superintendent in the coming weeks and begin a national search for a full-time president.
To the students, faculty, administration, employees, alumni and board of this great institution, I offer my sincere gratitude for providing me with the opportunity to lead an institution that will only grow stronger,” La Perla-Morales said in a statement.
Prior to joining the county college, La Perla-Morales was provost at New York College of Technology, held positions at Bloomfield College, Union County College and was the dean of instruction at Nassau County College. She holds a doctorate from Columbia University.
“My 13 years at Middlesex have been the most professionally rewarding of my life,” La Perla-Morales said.
During her 13-year career at the county college, she has also served on several local boards including New Brunswick Tomorrow, United Way, New Jersey Community College Consortium for Workforce Development and Making it possible to End Homelessness among others.
“Dr. La Perla-Morales has been an integral part of our growth and we wish her well in her retirement,” said Dorothy K. Power, chairwoman of the board of trustees, in the statement. “On behalf of the Board and our entire community, we thank her for her many years of service to Middlesex County and its residents.”
La Perla-Morales is credit with overseeing many successfully endeavors while at the county college including keeping tuition increases to less than 2 percent for more than 10 years, as well as launching 55 new academic programs, wrote the grant for establishing and maintaining the Veterans Services Center and opened three new LEED-certified buildings among other achievements.
“Middlesex County College offers a quality, affordable education for students from our county and state” said board vice chairman Mark Finkelstein in a statement. “Building on Dr. La Perla-Morales’ work, we are confident that our college will be more equipped than ever to carry out its mission in the years ahead.”