La Sierra University President Resigns Amid Faculty Concerns

Following a Friday meeting between faculty leaders and the La Sierra University Board of Trustees, President Joy A. Fehr’s resignation was announced late Saturday, effective Sunday. April Summitt, the university’s provost, will become acting president until the Board selects a new leader for the Southern California campus. Summitt was appointed provost in July 2020 after about seven years in academic dean roles on campus and almost 20 years teaching history at Arizona State University and Andrews University. With classes beginning in about a week, the three sentence statement noted that the “academic schedule for the fall quarter is unaffected by this change in leadership.” 

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

This whole thing seems weird. Was it general incompetence or some kind of failure to meet the requirements of “progressive Adventism”? What did they want that she didn’t give them? What does John Webster want us to get from this? Why the path of public humiliation of her rather than a graceful exit? Something seems off in the kingdom of Riverside.

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Very vague.

Timing is curious.

She’s a seasoned academic.

She’s not fund-raiser? Doesn’t articulate a vision?

What is it really? She’s out overnight.

Did she negotiate a golden parachute?

Not a negotiator?


Apparently, an orderly, dignified transition was either ignored or impossible. Neither option speaks well of Board Leadership which, in my experience, yields to conference leadership on matters it should bypass. Aggressive leadership to propel a school into the future is too often neutralized by Boards that exist in a risk-averse culture they themselves create.


The good news is that La Sierra will continue to proudly progress as host campus for the next Kinship Kampmeeting this November! Not to speculate but can’t help but wonder if this event is helped or hindered by the resignation. La Sierra is the best college for diversity and will continue to hold aloft the Pride banner of tolerance, celebration, and inclusion.

For more info on Kampmeeting, which will feature workshops and a drag brunch, visit:

As usually. LSU will just move on OK. I am confident that a more capable President will soon be found and installed.

Ain’t working? Replace! (Simple rule)

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The Kingdom of Riverside (where I lived for 33 years) is really sui generis and special. Yes, it’s a progressive university, not a stagnant one. It’s an open-minded university, not dedicated to the past but to the present and the future. Thus, some people may not possess the gifts needed to be its President.
“If you don’t fit, you must quit.”

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Neither Maury Jackson or John Webster would have used the Kinship Kampmeeting as a reason to end Fehr’s presidency. That suspicion is totally unfounded!! I’m a very progressive Adventist, I know these men, and I know that they are very supportive of Kinship. Don’t judge too quickly. Neither these faculty members nor any board member can LEGALLY detail all the reasons behind this decision. Because I know and respect these men, I choose to trust that they knew what was best and that much thought and discussion led up to this decision - sad as it may be.