President Ricardo R. Fernández


President Fernandez photo

Ricardo R. Fernández became the second president of Lehman College on September 1, 1990. Throughout his long tenure, he has expanded the College’s commitment to excellence and increased access to higher education for low-income students.

Dr. Fernández has encouraged the development of new majors and programs, including undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, nursing, public health and social work. He has focused on expanding the College’s technological infrastructure and facilities, including Science Hall, a state-of-the-art research and teaching facility. Under his direction the College has fully embraced technological advances in the classroom; 15 percent of the College’s courses are either hybrid or fully online.

Also during his tenure, the College has significantly extended its educational partnerships into the international arena, and is a major resource for the economic, cultural, and educational development of the Bronx. In partnership with the NYC Department of Education, the High School for American Studies at Lehman College was established in 2002. In its remarkably short history, it has become one of the nation's top 100 high schools. In 2014 U.S. News & World Report ranked it No. 32 out of more than 19,400 public high schools in the nation, and No. 1 in New York State. Under Dr. Fernández’s leadership Lehman College has been the home to BronxNet, the borough’s public access cable channel which, in addition to providing news coverage for the Bronx community, has also launched the careers of dozens of media professionals.

Dr. Fernández is a Trustee of Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, the New York Botanical Garden, Wave Hill, the Riverdale Mental Health Association, and the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the boards of directors of the Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA); Multicultural Education Training and Advocacy (META); and the Hispanic Educational Technology Services (HETS). He has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education (ACE) and of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). In 2013, he was named to the Board of Directors of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).

He is the recipient of numerous recognitions, including most recently BronxNet 20th Anniversary Honoree, the New York Immigration Coalition’s Builders of the New New York Award (2013), the NFL’s Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award (2011), ASPIRA Education Award (2011), and the Latino Trendsetter Award (2010). In 2009 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Sungshin Women’s University in Seoul, Korea. Hispanic Business Magazine named him one of “The 100 Most Influential Hispanics” in 2007, and in 2004 he was selected by Crain's New York Business as one of New York City’s 100 Most Powerful Minority Business Leaders.

Dr. Fernández holds B.A (Philosophy) and M.A (Spanish Literature) degrees from Marquette University, as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. (Romance Languages) from Princeton University.