Two top administrators are leaving Fort Hays State University to become chief academic officers at universities in Idaho and Maine.
Dr. John "Tony" Fernandez, dean of the College of Health and Life Sciences, is leaving to become provost and vice president for academic affairs at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, ID, and Dr. Robert F. Scott, assistant provost for quality management, will become vice president for academic affairs at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.
Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, recognized Fernandez and Scott during Commencement on May 17, thanking them for their contributions to excellence at the university and wishing them well in their new positions.
Fernandez has 26 years of higher education experience. He moved up through the ranks in higher education having served as both a faculty member and administrator at three universities. He holds a Ph.D. in plant pathology from Washington State University, and he taught at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and the University of Wyoming.
"It is with mixed emotions that Diane and I prepare to leave Fort Hays State University," he said. "We have had eight wonderful years in Hays and we will certainly miss our many friends both on and off campus. I take some comfort in the fact that I leave a strong and growing college with a dedicated and talented faculty."
He added: "Diane and I are pleased to be returning to the Northwest. Lewis-Clark State College is a fine institution with a proud past and a great future and I am honored by this opportunity."
Scott said that besides the opportunity to become a chief academic officer, he was excited to be "moving home" in a sense. He's from southern Ontario in Canada, and he pointed out that Fort Kent is just across the St. John Valley River from New Brunswick, Canada. He and his wife, Laura, have an 18-year-old daughter, Kara, who just graduated from Hays High School and plans to study psychology at UMFK, and a 9-year-old daughter, Rylie, who will be a fourth grader.
Scott earned a master's degree at State University of New York at Buffalo and a Ph.D. in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX. He came to FHSU in the summer of 1995 to start the justice studies program. He was director of the program, and in fall 2000 he took on additional duties as an assistant to Dr. Larry Gould, FHSU provost. Scott was promoted in 2001 to his current position as full-time assistant provost.
"As I prepare to leave Fort Hays State, I especially want to thank Provost Gould for mentoring me along the way and making all this possible," Scott said. "Larry was a good friend as well as a mentor."