Ricardo R. Fernández was president of Lehman College of the City University of New York (CUNY) from 1990 to 2016. Previously, he held academic and administrative appointments at Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he served as Special Assistant to the Chancellor, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Professor of Educational Policy Studies.
Dr. Fernández was a Fellow in Academic Administration of the American Council on Education (1981-1982). In 1992, he attended the Harvard Institute for Educational Management. He chaired the boards of directors of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) in 1998-1999, and the American Council of Education (ACE) in 2007-2008. Under his leadership, the Board of Trustees established the CUNY Mexican Studies Institute at Lehman College, a capstone of his years of dedicated service to the Mexican community.
He is the recipient of numerous public recognitions, including the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity’s César E. Chávez Award (2021), Marquette University Alumni Association’s Professional Achievement Award (2017), Crain’s NY Business’s “People to Watch in Higher Education” (2014), New York Immigration Coalition’s “Builder of the New New York Award” (2013), National Football League’s Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award (2012), and ASPIRA Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2011). In 2007, he appeared on Hispanic Business magazine’s roster of “100 Most Influential Hispanics” in the United States.
His service on business, health and education-related boards and advisory committees includes PepsiCo Latino/Hispanic Advisory Board (2003-2007); Bronx Care Health System (1992-present); New York Botanical Garden ((2005-2016); Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA), a K-16 research and advocacy organization serving public school districts (2001-present); and META-Multicultural Education Training and Advocacy (1984-present).
The author and/or co-author of two books, several research reports, book chapters and numerous articles on educational equity, Hispanic school dropouts, bilingual education, and school desegregation, Dr. Fernández has served as a consultant to K-12 schools as well as institutions and systems of higher education nationally and internationally.
Dr. Fernández holds degrees from Marquette University (BA and MA) and Princeton University (MA and Ph.D.). He and his wife, Patricia, reside in Washington, D.C.