Charleston Southern University welcomes Dr. Julie Fernandez as dean of the College of Education. Fernandez will assume her duties Jan. 1, 2021.
“We are looking forward to welcoming Dr. Julie Fernandez to the College of Education at Charleston Southern,” said Dr. Jackie Fish, vice president for academic affairs. “She has a heart and conviction for our mission; her success in other leadership roles has established her ability to lead us forward as the College of Education continues to grow. Julie has already begun meeting with our education faculty via Zoom, and she is excited to join the CSU family.”
Fernandez was appointed dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences at Houston Baptist University in 2018. Her research interests include school culture and climate, teacher leadership development, and organizational health-based leadership. She is co-author of the book Influencing Student High Achievement through School Climate: A Quantitative Approach to Organizational Health-based Leadership.
At HBU, Fernandez taught undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral courses in education. She served as an assistant professor before being appointed program coordinator of the education administration program and then department chair of leadership and counseling before being named dean. Her desire to incorporate a Christian worldview into school leaders’ development led to her joining the HBU faculty in 2015.
“One look at Dr. Fernandez’s education, experiences, expertise, and calling demonstrates that the Lord has used her entire career to prepare her to lead the College of Education at Charleston Southern University,” said President Dr. Dondi Costin. “Even better, one minute of conversation with her reveals a heart for God, a deep love for students, a strong desire to serve educational leaders throughout our community, and a passion to lead her faculty colleagues in all of the above. After four decades of being geographically separated from her Lowcountry roots, it’s a high privilege to welcome her home.”
Fernandez has been an educator for 36 years. Upon graduation from the University of South Carolina with a BA in elementary education, she and her husband moved to Houston, where she taught elementary and junior high school for 11 years. After earning a master’s degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in reading and postgraduate work in education administration, she was an elementary school assistant principal and principal in Clear Creek Independent School District and then principal in a Title 1 elementary school in Houston Independent School District.
Fernandez earned her doctorate from the University of Houston in executive leadership in 2012, where her research focused on Transformational Leadership in Public School Principals. After graduating from UH, she became a full-time faculty member in their Educational Leadership program. She taught graduate and doctoral students in educational leadership and served as a chair of numerous dissertations.
Fernandez and her husband, Robert, have been married 35 years, and they have two grown daughters, Mary, a chemical engineer, and Sarah, a pediatric nurse practitioner. In Houston, Fernandez and her husband were active members of their church, where they led small home groups, coached small group leaders, and led Bible studies.
About Charleston Southern University
Founded in 1964, Charleston Southern University is a private, Christian liberal arts university. With an enrollment of 3,459 students, CSU is one of South Carolina’s largest accredited, independent universities and has been recognized as one of America’s Best Christian Colleges, America’s 100 Best College Buys, U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs (#11 nationally in 2020), U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans (#8 nationally in 2020), Colleges of Distinction, VA Yellow Ribbon Program and a Military Friendly School. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, CSU offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Students can learn online or in the classroom. The university’s vision is to be a Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving.