Dr. Mirta Martin has been named the ninth president of Fort Hays State University by the Kansas Board of Regents.
Martin, who currently serves as dean of the Reginald F. Lewis School of Business at Virginia State University, was named President Edward Hammond’s successor at a special Regents meeting Friday morning on the campus of FHSU. When her administration begins on July 1, she will be the first female president in the institution’s history.
Following the board’s announcement, Martin and her husband, John, were introduced to members of the FHSU and Hays communities during a reception.
“The future of the nation lies in the pursuit of academic excellence,” Martin said. “Progress is not possible without vision, leadership and trust. As your president, my priority is to enable you to become your best self.
“I believe my selection as president is an affirmation of the Regents’ and Fort Hays State University’s commitment to entrepreneurial leadership, opportunity, diversity and innovation,” she added.
Since 2009, Martin has been responsible for strategic and administrative oversight of the Lewis School. She is a professor of management and a member of the president’s cabinet. Prior to her current appointment, Martin served as special assistant to the chancellor of the Virginia Community College System (2009), was executive vice president at John Tyler Community College and executive director of John Tyler Community College Foundation, Chester, Va. (2005 to 2009), and served as associate dean of the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond, Richmond, Va. (2000 to 2003), among other positions.
Martin has served as dean of the Reginald F. Lewis School of Business at Virginia State University since 2009. She has also held various higher education leadership positions throughout her career such as special assistant to the chancellor, executive vice president, and associate dean, among other positions. Dr. Martin received her Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Richmond, and a Bachelor of Science from Duke University.
A native of Havana, Cuba, she received her Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, a master’s of business administration from the University of Richmond, and a bachelor’s degree from Duke University in Durham, N.C. In 2009, Martin was appointed to serve on the Virginia Council on Women; in 2010 she was appointed to serve on Virginia’s Commission on Higher Education Reform, Innovation and Investment; and in 2011 she was appointed as a member of the State Board for Virginia’s Community Colleges. She received the 2013 Metropolitan Business League Humanitarian Award for Educational Excellence, was a 2012 alumni inductee in the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and in 2009 was acknowledged as the first female Hispanic dean in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Hammond last year announced his retirement effective June 30, after serving the university since 1987.
“Selecting a president is about identifying the person that fits the university. In assessing the candidates, we focused on who would embrace and enhance the traditions and achievements of Fort Hays State University,” said Fred Logan, chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents. “The Kansas Board of Regents is fully supportive of this new president and the direction she will lead Fort Hays State University into the future.
“Dr. Mirta Martin is the personification of the American dream,” Logan added. “She has been successful in every challenge she has ever faced. She will be successful at Fort Hays State University.”
The other four finalists for the position were:
The five finalists for the position are:
• Dr. Tisa Mason, vice president of Student Affairs at Fort Hays State University.
• Dr. Gregory Mosier, dean of the College of Business at the University of Nevada-Reno.
• Dr. Michael Droge, president of Park University in Kansas City, Mo.
• Dr. Tom Jackson Jr., vice president of student affairs at the University of Louisville. Jackson had accepted the presidency at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D., earlier this week.
Check Hays Post for more on the story as it develops.