President Cynthia Pemberton

Dr. Cynthia L. Pemberton was named the 16th president of Lewis-Clark State College by the Idaho State Board of Education on April 5, 2018. Her first day in office was July 1, 2018.

Pemberton came to LC State after serving two years as vice president for academic affairs at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colo. 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, from 1998 to 2012 she held a number of positions, including associate and interim dean of the graduate school at Idaho State University.

Originally from Medford, Ore., Pemberton earned her B.S. degree in biology and psychology from Willamette University in Salem, Ore., in 1980, and later earned her master’s in interdisciplinary studies: physical education, psychology, and nutrition at Southern Oregon State College (University). She received her Ed.D. in education leadership at Portland State University.

She began her academic career in 1984 at the University of Nevada in Reno and also taught at Truckee Meadows Community College. In 1989, Pemberton moved back to Oregon serving as assistant athletic director, head women’s and men’s swim coach, faculty and later senior women’s administrator for athletics at Linfield College in McMinnville.

Pemberton is also a two-time Fulbright awardee. She spent a year in the Republic of Malta (2011-2012) on a Fulbright Scholar award, and more recently, a month in the Kingdom of Jordan on a Fulbright Specialist award serving as an educational leadership consultant to Jordan University of Science and Technology.

Pemberton has conducted research, published and presented locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Her record of scholarly achievement includes two books, a chapter in an international adult learning compendium, over 30 refereed and/or limited review publications/proceedings, numerous invited publications, over 40 regional/ national/international presentations, and well over 100 local/university and community presentations. Her 2002 book, “More Than a Game: One Woman’s Fight for Gender Equity in Sport,” was recognized with the Phi Kappa Phi Bookshelf Award in October 2002. Likewise, her 2012 book: “Getting There: Women’s Journeys to and through Educational Attainment,” received the Phi Kappa Phi Bookshelf Award, summer 2013.

Pemberton is just LC State's third president since 2001, as Dr. Dene Thomas served from 2001-2010 and Dr. J. Anthony (Tony) Fernandez from 2010 to the 2018. She also is only the third female president in the history of Idaho’s four-year public institutions as she joins Thomas and Dr. Elisabeth Zinser, former president of the University of Idaho.