For the first time in its nearly 100-year history, La Sierra University has chosen a woman to serve as president. Joy A. Fehr, Ph.D. became president on July 1, following the retirement of Randal Wisbey after 12 years at the helm.
An English professor as well as administrator at heart, Dr. Fehr sees her role as La Sierra’s “chief storyteller.” She adds, “As La Sierra University moves into the future, I look forward to discovering with the campus community how we can continue to ensure our students are best served, best educated, and best prepared to be positive change agents—the conduits of God’s grace in their worlds.”
A Canadian who “would be happy never to see snow again,” Dr. Fehr, with her husband, Cornelius, came to La Sierra from Burman University in 2015 to be associate provost and became provost a year later. Her selection as president by the Board of Trustees means that a search is underway for a new provost. A search committee is being chaired by Divinity School professor Maury Jackson and includes members from the faculty, staff, administration, students, and alumni.
While the provost search continues, associate provost Cindy Parkhurst is doing double duty as acting provost. Parkhurst, a graduate of the Willamette University College of Law, has come to know the university well in her 13 years at La Sierra, where she has been a librarian, chair of the criminal justice department, WASC accreditation liaison, and associate provost.