LEWISTON, Idaho – Dr. Cynthia Pemberton has been named the 16th president of Lewis-Clark State College, the Idaho State Board of Education announced on Thursday afternoon. She will start at LCSC on July 1, 2018.
“I am incredibly honored and excited,” said Pemberton, who was one of 63 candidates to apply for the job. “To have the opportunity to serve as LCSC’s next president is nothing short of extraordinary.”
Pemberton, vice president for academic affairs at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colo., visited LCSC’s Lewiston campus and Coeur d’Alene Center on March 21-22. She said her interest in the position only grew as the interview process unfolded.
“Early on I had the notion that there would be a strong and compelling fit between my core beliefs about the importance of higher education and its life changing impact, and the mission and values of LCSC,” Pemberton said. “And with every step along the way – from my meetings with faculty, staff, students, community members, and most recently the State Board – I grew more convinced of that fit, and increasingly motivated to pursue the opportunity to bring my best abilities into service on behalf of student success at Lewis-Clark State College.”
At its special session on Thursday, the State Board voted unanimously to appoint Pemberton to the position. She will replace President J. Anthony Fernandez who retires this June after eight years at the LCSC helm.
“Dr. Pemberton brings a wealth of experience, skill and knowledge to Lewis-Clark State College,” said Dr. Linda Clark, president of the Idaho State Board of Education. “Her enthusiasm, energy and expressed commitment to the mission of LCSC will be a great asset to students, the college and the community.”
Prior to joining Colorado Mesa, Pemberton served as the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Dickinson State University from 2012-2016. Before this she held a number of positions, including associate and interim dean, over a 14-year span at Idaho State University’s graduate school.
“LCSC is just an incredibly special place,” said Pemberton, who holds a doctorate in educational leadership from Portland State University. “It truly lives the notion of connecting learning to life. The people – the faculty, staff, students, and community members – exude a commitment and belief in the institution and the work that it does on behalf of students.”
Pemberton will be just LCSC’s third president since 2001, as Dr. Dene Thomas served from 2001-2010 and Fernandez from 2010 to the present. She joins a college that has seen a 20 percent growth in enrollment over the past 10 years, has had a record number of graduates the past three years, and has major expansion plans in place with the Career & Technical Education facility in the Lewiston Orchards. LCSC is celebrating its 125th anniversary, and is well positioned with many well-known and emerging programs and the lowest tuition in Idaho among four-year public institutions.
Pemberton said her future vision for the college will center around, “empowering and emboldening LCSC, supporting and growing the role it/we play in helping Idaho achieve its education goals and advancing the citizenry of Idaho.”
“I thank the search committee and all of the individuals who came to the various forums, presentations and sessions,” Pemberton said. “Thank you for showing up and showing me why you value Lewis-Clark State College. This made me feel increasingly excited about the possibility, and now reality of serving as your president. Thank you also to the State Board for its careful and thorough process, I very much look forward to our work together.”