Adventist Review Online | La Sierra University Board of Trustees Selects New University President


Current school provost Joy Fehr will take office on July 1, 2019.

The La Sierra University Board of Trustees announced the selection of a new leader to take the university’s helm as President Randal Wisbey enters retirement at the end of June.

In a vote on May 29, 2019, and following a search process in compliance with board policy, the university trustees elected Joy Fehr, La Sierra’s provost, to serve as the university’s next president. She will take office on July 1. Fehr has held the provost’s position since 2016, following one year as associate provost. She arrived at La Sierra University from Burman University in Alberta, Canada, where she served as vice president for academic administration from 2010 to 2015.

The presidential search committee formed in February, following Wisbey’s announcement of his retirement the preceding month. The committee, chaired by university trustee and Pacific Union Conference Director of Education Berit von Pohle, consisted of faculty, staff, student, and alumni representatives, members of the board of trustees, and two non-voting members. The search process began with stakeholder focus group meetings through which candidate selection criteria were developed. A job posting distributed through various media around the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists garnered 32 candidates, including several from other countries.

After a four-month vetting process and 30 hours of meetings, the search committee presented their top selection to the Board of Trustees for their vote.

“The Board of Trustees believes Fehr is the best person available to La Sierra University at this time based on her qualifications, demonstrated experience, and the support of organizational and academic stakeholders,” said La Sierra University Board of Trustees chair Ricardo Graham. “The search committee prayerfully went about its work under the expert leadership of von Pohle. The process was systematic, with all candidates evaluated equally under the same criteria. These principles were compiled based on the valuable input the search committee received from stakeholder meetings held before the start of the search process. The board stands in full support of Fehr.” 


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