He attended Brigham Young University where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in 1982. He then earned a law degree at the University of Utah in 1986. While attending law school he began his career in journalism, working part-time at the Deseret News. He taught at the University of New Mexico and working as a reporter at the Albuquerque Journal, he took a job as a professor at Drake University in Iowa, where he served as the Assistant Dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
In 1999, Perkins was recruited to BYU by Department Chair Laurie Wilson. The following year, he was appointed as chair of the Department of Communications. His appointment came as a surprise to many of the faculty since Perkins had no tenure at BYU.
Together, Perkins and K. Newell Dayley, the college dean, tackled the issue of where to house the department -- Ralph Barney's plans for a communications building had been dismissed, and the department was divided into available space in the Wilkinson Center and the Harris Fine Arts Center. Finally, it was suggested that the department be moved to the George H. Brimhall Building, and preparations for the move began.
Perkins died tragically August 14, 2003 at the age of 45 in a kayaking accident on the Salmon River in Idaho.
- Somewhere Between Mount Olympus and Mount Everest, Paul Alfred Pratte, 2003.