Fernandez named interim president at LCSC
J. Anthony (Tony) Fernandez, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Lewis-Clark State College since 2003, has been named interim president at the college, Idaho State Board of Education officials announced on Monday.
Fernandez will assume duties on July 1, replacing Dene Kay Thomas, who is leaving LCSC after nine years as president to assume the same job at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo.
State Board members Paul Agidius, past president of the board, and Don Soltman, the board's secretary, joined Fernandez for a media conference on Monday morning at the college to announce his hiring. Fernandez will serve as interim president while the board for a permanent replacement. The board, which will announce a search committee chaired by Soltman, will not hire an outside search firm and Fernandez will be allowed to apply for the permanent position. Board members did not set a time frame for announcing the permanent replacement
"LCSC is a strong, growing, quality institution of higher education and I am deeply honored by this appointment," Fernandez said. "I am excited about assuming this new role and I look forward to continuing a strong and productive relationship with the students, faculty, staff and administration of LCSC, the State Board of Education, and the community."
Fernandez has been involved in higher education since earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Sciences from California State College, Fullerton in 1970. He later earned his Ph.D. from Washington State University in 1975 in Plant Pathology. He continued at WSU as a post-doctoral research associate for two years and then was an assistant/associate professor at the University of Wyoming during 1977-86 where he also was Chair of the University Graduate Faculty Committee during the 1984-85 school year.
In 1986, Fernandez accepted an associate professor’s position in Plant Sciences at the University of Hawaii-Hilo and then became Dean of the College of Continuing Education and Community Service in 1992. He served in that position for four years and then became Dean of Educational Technology and Continuing Education at Fort Hays State in Kansas in 1995. He served in that post for two years before becoming Dean of the College of Health and Life Sciences at Fort Hays. He served in that post during 1997-2003 before accepting the Provost position at LCSC.
"I appreciate the board assuring continuity so that LCSC can move forward seamlessly," Thomas said. "The appointment of provost Fernandez as interim president is reasonable. He knows the institution and has been part of a strong administrative team.
"Personally, I am very happy for him and I think he’ll do a great job. I know how much he loves LCSC."
As provost, Fernandez was the No. 2 administrator on campus and oversaw both academic and professional-technical programs. This past year, LCSC had 4,200 students enrolled in the fall with 172 full-time and 80 adjunct faculty members.
According to board officials, Fernandez will be paid $162,000 as interim president, the same salary Thomas made this past academic year.
Fernandez currently serves of the Idaho Workforce Development Council, is Chair of the Governor’s Idaho Health Professions Education Council, and is a member of the Regence Blue Shield of Idaho Board of Directors. He has served on a variety of professional health boards and task forces throughout his academic career.
Fernandez, 62, is married to Diane, whom he met at WSU. She originally from Palouse, Wash., and they have two adult sons.