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Cumberlands Honors Retiree Robert Heffern


Williamsburg, Ky. – University of the Cumberlands (UC) honored Dr. Robert Heffern’s retirement at its 20th annual Faculty-Staff Dinner on April 19.

As Associate Professor and Education Department Chair, Robert Heffern has been an integral part of the reaccreditation process with the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board, devoting countless hours to strengthening UC’s teacher preparation program. His education and experience in public education prepared him well for this task at UC. He received his B.A. in History and Political Science from Union College, M.A. in Education/Secondary Education and History from University of Kentucky, and Ed.D. in Administration and Supervision from University of Virginia.

During his 45 years in education, Dr. Heffern has worked with many professional teachers, including public educators and UC faculty. He worked as a high school and junior high school teacher in Ohio and Virginia, junior high assistant principal in Virginia, elementary school principal in North Carolina, and as an associate superintendent in North Carolina before coming to University of the Cumberlands in 2008.

He holds many professional memberships including the American Association of School Administrators, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, National Association of Elementary School Principals, and Kentucky Association of Teacher Educators.

One colleague observes that he “frequently reminds us that we are educating students, not teaching curriculum.” Another coworker describes him as being “the Heart and Soul of the Education Department during his time as the Department Chair.”

Upon retiring, Dr. Heffern plans to relocate to Winchester, VA, to be close to his four sons, seven grandsons, and a brand new granddaughter. Besides spending time with his wife, Diane, and family, he will continue to teach online courses for UC.

Located in Williamsburg, KY, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.