By Edith Tucker
GROVETON — Lisa Perras began work on Feb. 28 in a new job at the School of Business at Plymouth State University. Because PSU has suspended all in-person classes because of the nation-wide effort to flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread, she has been working from home, using Zoom and other computer-based technology.
Perras accepted the post of Director of Academic Operations at PSU’s School of Business, which enrolls 900 undergraduate students and 150 graduate students.
She is working closely with the those already in place so that her entry, making her entry as seamless as possible, she said.
“It’s more challenging that we can’t all meet together face-to-face, but everyone’s being extremely helpful and supportive,” Perras explained.
The job includes several areas of responsibility. The director schedules the faculty, after carefully noting under what collective bargaining agreement (CBA) they work: tenured professor, teaching faculty or teaching lecturer. The director seeks to work out any anomalies that students face, especially those seeking on-time graduation or who would like to take a course outside its regular sequence.
“Working with students and problem-solving is what I’ve done for many years; it’s definitely in my comfort zone,” noted Perras. “That’s true for the curricular areas taught in the School of Business.” The director is also responsible for developing the School’s budget and for professional development.
As a lifelong Coos resident, she anticipates being sought out as an additional resource for those on campus who set up and facilitate internships and externships.
Starting in the fall semester, Perras will teach a business course or two as an adjunct professor, which will also include being a student advisor.
One of the many appealing aspects of her new job is that she will be able to enroll in graduate courses without any cost, allowing her to earn a doctorate in Educational Leadership, Perras pointed out. She earned her Master’s in Business Administration at PSU plus a certificate in organizational communication.
Earlier she earned her undergraduate degree from Southern New Hampshire University. Perras started her public-school teaching career some 30 years ago as a high school business teacher in the K-to-grade-12 Pittsburg School. She was a business and hospitality teacher and CTE director at White Mountain Regional High School in Whitefield and vice principal and principal at Groveton High School.
Late in 2019 Perras accepted the principalship of Salve Regina Academy in Gorham, but never actually started work there.
One of the pluses of her new job, she noted, is that she will be able to more frequently see both of the now-adult sons that she and her husband Paul raised. Matthew and his wife Luz live in Plymouth, where he works as a safety engineer and she as a teacher. Beau is a police officer in the City of Laconia. Her husband retired from a lumber business in Bath and now works for his hometown.
Other lures beside her new job’s inherent challenges and an opportunity to earn her Ed.D. include the use of the library, yoga classes, swimming pool and fitness center and, importantly, a designated parking space.
Plymouth State University, formerly Plymouth State College, enrolls approximately 4,200 undergraduate students and 2,100 graduate students. The school was founded in 1871 as Plymouth Normal School.
The School of Business now offers six undergraduate degree options: accounting, business administration, finance, management, marketing and sports management. Its graduate options include two master’s degrees — Business Administration and Master of Science in Accounting — and four certificates — accounting, health care administration, international business, and strategic marketing management.