Our View: Course set | SteamboatToday.com

Our View: Course set

At the end of September, we'll say goodbye to Peter Perhac, vice president of Colorado Mountain College Alpine Campus in Steamboat Springs. Earlier this month, Perhac, who has led the campus for the past seven years, announced he would be leaving his post and returning to his home in Las Vegas.

With his hand on the CMC rudder, we have seen our local community college — which we described in this space last year as "a brick and mortar reminder of the visionary work" of a community — grow and mature.

Since Perhac took the helm of the Steamboat campus in 2008, the institution has seen remarkable growth, and perhaps the most visible testament to his successful tenure can be seen in the 2011 completion of the $20 million academic building — an architectural marvel that has transformed the campus into a community showpiece and, in the four short years since its dedication, has become a Steamboat icon.

"His (Perhac's) greatest legacy is that building on the hill," said CMC President Carrie Besnette Hauser after Perhac announced his impending departure. "He really stewarded that."

And while we agree the academic building represents a remarkable achievement that will surely stand as the most directly tangible of Perhac's many accomplishments at CMC, we think his real legacy is to be found in something else, something that can't be drawn out on a drafting board.

He's fostered a partnership between institution and community — a symbiosis that benefits both and is built upon education.

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Under his leadership, we've seen the implementation of bachelor's degree programs, the introduction of new associate's degree programs, the expansion of adult education and concurrent enrollment courses, including courses in yoga, cooking, digital photography, business planning and art. All is built upon the idea that an educational institution should gear itself to meet the needs of the community it serves, and CMC, under Perhac's tutelage, has done just that.

And here lies the true value of community colleges such as CMC's Alpine Campus —the true contribution Peter Perhac has made to our community. During his tenure, CMC has expanded and enriched the educational opportunities offered at CMC, and in turn, the community has grown and been enriched.

For that, we salute him, we thank him and we wish him all the best in the future.

Perhac's vision, leadership and ever steady hand on the rudder will be missed, but at the same time, we look forward to CMC's continued progress and excellence in the future.

Current Dean of Academic Affairs Kathy Kiser-Miller — a 20-year CMC veteran who worked hand-in-hand with Perhac — will soon be taking over as head of the Steamboat campus, and we're confident she will continue to build on Perhac's vision.

The ship will continue to sail, but the sailing will undoubtedly be smoother thanks to the the course Perhac has set.

At Issue

After seven years at the helm of Colorado Mountain College Alpine Campus, Peter Perhac is stepping down

Our View

Under Perhac’s leadership, CMC Alpine has matured into a first-class junior college ideally suited to the Steamboat community, and we look forward to its continued growth and success.