Dr. Damian J. 费尔南德斯 has been named the 10th president of Warren Wilson College.
A Cuban immigrant who grew up in Puerto Rico and a first-generation college student, 费尔南德斯 comes to Warren Wilson with more than 30 years of experience in teaching and leadership positions at both private and public institutions. Most recently, he served as president of Eckerd College.
The selection follows an eight-month national search with a deep, strong and diverse pool of candidates. The search was led by a committee of 15 faculty, staff, students, alumni and trustees. More than 80 members of the Warren Wilson community worked with the committee and provided feedback about presidential candidates.
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are extraordinarily pleased that Dr. 费尔南德斯 has agreed to serve as our next president and to lead Warren Wilson through the challenging times facing colleges and universities across the country,董事会主席Lach Zemp说. “Dr. 费尔南德斯 brings a wealth and depth of experience in higher education that is in perfect alignment with the values instilled in our students from Warren Wilson’s long legacy of excellent academics, 服务 to community and the importance of work.”
费尔南德斯’s aspirations for Warren Wilson College include advancing innovative programs that deepen project- and problem-based learning, 不断增长和多样化的招生, addressing facilities and other institutional needs, and rethinking the traditional business model of liberal arts colleges.
“Warren Wilson’s foundational commitment to access and its pedagogy of mind, 心, 和hand-learning, 服务, and work—are as compelling now as in 1894,费尔南德斯说. “Together we will push the boundaries of experiential learning for the 21st century. Warren Wilson will be a leader in the renewal of the American liberal arts college by focusing on excellence, 包容, 创新, 和影响.”
他在埃克德的时候, 费尔南德斯 raised more than $38 million, 入学人数达到了最高点, 年度基金创下了新纪录, and the Board approved a strategic plan that prioritized 创新 in the liberal arts, 社区参与, Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging, and financial and environmental sustainability. The college launched initiatives to deepen student learning (including a farm and the living shoreline restoration project), funded seed grants for faculty and student collaboration, 并建立了圣. 皮特公民参与中心, 包容性卓越办公室, The Nielsen Center for the Liberal Arts, 以及西班牙的塞维利亚中心.
费尔南德斯 received his bachelor’s from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, master’s in Latin American Studies from the University of Florida, 和Ph值.D. in International Relations from the University of Miami. His research interests center on Latin American politics and international relations. He is the author of the book “Cuba and the Politics of Passion.”
A catalytic leader and progressive educator, he is a National Science Foundation grant recipient, and he sat on the Board of the American Council on Education (ACE) and on the Association of Governing Boards Council of Presidents. ACE profiled him in their series on equity-minded leadership. He said Warren Wilson’s values, heritage and pedagogy resonate deeply with him.
“我很兴奋，博士. 费尔南德斯 is bringing his remarkable energy and set of experiences to Warren Wilson College,艾丽莎·霍夫说, Warren Wilson’s Chair of the Department of Biology who served on the presidential search committee. 在整个搜寻过程中. 费尔南德斯 distinguished himself as a creative, 善解人意, and strategic leader whose philosophy is driven by a strong belief that hands-on, meaningful experiences within the liberal arts are central to building a more just, 公平的, 可持续发展的世界.”
Warren Wilson College is one of nine work colleges in the country, where all residential students are required to work on campus, and in exchange they receive money towards their tuition. Every student at Warren Wilson is also required to do 社区参与, where they volunteer in the community.
“Ours is a pivotal moment in the history of the college and our nation,费尔南德斯说. “Together we will ensure Warren Wilson’s future as a place that contributes to individual and community transformation for the greater good. What an honor and responsibility to be steward of that mission. I thank the Board and the community for this extraordinary opportunity.”
费尔南德斯 has begun working with Warren Wilson Interim President Bill Christy, Provost Dr. 杰伊•罗伯茨, the rest of the college’s leadership team, and the Board of Trustees to fully understand the college. He will assume the role as president on June 1, 2023.