19 September 2023 |
According to a statement released by La Sierra’s PR department, La Sierra University faces a change in leadership as President Joy Fehr resigned from her duties effective Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, following discussions with the Board of Trustees.
Fehr took over the presidency in 2019 after Dr. Randal Wisbey’s retirement. Her tenure was marked by the unprecedented challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to campus closure until fall of 2021. She played a pivotal role in ensuring compliance with health directives and protocols, developing a detailed reopening plan, and implementing successful Covid-19 testing procedures on campus.
Dr. April Summitt, the university’s current provost, will step in as acting president during the transitional period while the Board of Trustees initiates the appointment of an interim president. Summitt, who has been serving as provost since July 1, 2020, joined La Sierra University in 2013 from Arizona State University. She has been instrumental in significant policy changes and the revitalization of the general education program. As the first dean of general education and later as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Summitt shaped strategic plans and developed pathways to facilitate student access to and through college.
According to the statement, the Board’s official position is as follows:
“‘The La Sierra University Board of Trustees is deeply grateful to Dr. Fehr for stepping into the challenging role of president in 2019 and for her diligent guidance during the tumultuous months of the pandemic and beyond. We now have complete faith in Dr. Summitt to fulfill the obligations of the presidency until an interim president is appointed,’ said Dr. Bradford C. Newton, board chair. ‘We also have faith that the university community will proceed to shepherd our students in fulfillment of the institution’s mission to know God, to seek truth, and to serve others. La Sierra University’s historical roots are built upon a foundation of faith, grace, and truth-seeking and we are excited about its future as it continues to shine its light into the world.’”
The academic schedule for the fall quarter remains unaltered, with faculty and students resuming classes during the week of September 25.