About Cumberland

Dr. Robert Clark elected to third term as Middle States Commissioner

Friday, February 2, 2018

Cumberland County College’s Dr. Robert K. Clark recently began his third elected term as a Commissioner on the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). His service as a commissioner started when he filled a vacated seat in 2009, and he remained on the Commission until he reached his term limit at the end of 2016.

“Dr. Clark’s reappointment speaks to his continued value to not just the Commission but also the Mid-Atlantic region and higher education sector in general,” said Cumberland County College President Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernandez. “We know how exceptional a professional he is and we’re glad that others externally see that as well.”

Clark has served the Middle States Commission since 2006, first as an evaluation team member and team chair for more than one half dozen MSCHE institutions, service on the Executive Committee of the Commission, and as Secretary of the Commission. He has been a presenter at various MSCHE annual conferences and workshops. More recently, he served as a member of the committee that wrote the revised Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation, and chaired the Commission’s Steering Committee on Process Review, resulting in the new MSCHE accreditation cycle and process.

According to Clark, “The renewed Middle States Standards and accreditation process keeps institutional improvement as the core of this peer review process while meeting increasing Federal and public calls for assurance of quality in higher education, and being responsive to the over-stretched resources of our member institutions.”

As chair or co-chair of the college’s Self-Study and Periodic Review Report Teams for evaluations in 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016, Clark was instrumental in helping Cumberland County College begin the arduous process of maintaining the college’s Middle States accreditation.

Long recognized as a sign of quality, Middle States accreditation is important to institutions such as Cumberland County College for purposes of maintaining the high level of the education our students receive, obtaining federal financial aid and helping to ensure the transferability of earned credits. The accreditation process certifies educational quality, through peer review and a rigorous application of standards.

Clark has worn numerous hats during his distinguished career in higher education and in the scientific community.

Currently serving Cumberland County College as Special Assistant to the President for Planning, Research, Institutional Effectiveness and Grants, Clark began his career at Cumberland in 1991 as a professor of biological science. The Pilesgrove resident is the author of an anatomy and physiology textbook, and the holder of two biotechnology patents related to the AIDS virus. He has also authored numerous research publications in the fields of cancer, stroke and most recently, equine laminitis.

Clark was named the 2001 New Jersey Professor of the Year in a program sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Four years later, he was the recipient of the award as Outstanding Faculty Member for the Northeast Region by the Association of Community College Trustees. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from the University of New England, and earned a Ph.D. in Experimental Pathology from Hahnemann University.