Meet FHSU President Mirta M. Martin

2014-2015 Academic Year

Dr. Mirta Martin

The Kansas Board of Regents appointed Dr. Mirta M. Martin the ninth president of Fort Hays State University on May 2, 2014, effective July 1. Dr. Martin holds a baccalaureate degree in psychology and political science from Duke University; a master of business administration degree from the University of Richmond; and a doctorate with an emphasis in strategic management and leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is fluent in three foreign languages.

Dr. Martin's career involves work in both the public and private sectors, including special expertise in organizational behavior, management, institutional advancement and workforce development. As a senior banking executive, Dr. Martin was recognized as a highly effective and innovative practitioner, positioning companies for growth and profitability via leadership in strategic planning, investment management, operations, business development and legislative advocacy.

Dr. Martin's higher education experience is equally diverse and successful. She has served as tenured professor and interim dean at Averett University, Danville, Va.; associate dean and executive director at the University of Richmond's Robins School of Business; executive vice president and executive director of the John Tyler Community College Foundation; and special assistant to the chancellor of the Virginia Community College System. Most recently, she served as dean and professor of management at the Reginald F. Lewis College of Business at Virginia State University.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell appointed Dr. Martin to the Commission on Higher Education Reform, Innovation and Investment and to the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges. She also served as ex-officio member on behalf of the secretary of education to the Virginia Latino Advisory Board. She was appointed by former Gov. Tim Kaine to serve on the Virginia Council on the Status of Women. She served as co-chair of the Citizenship, Core Values and Innovation Team/Strategic Planning Committee for Chesterfield County Public Schools and on the "Go for Red" Executive Leadership Team of the American Heart Association.

She is active in many educational, civic and charitable organizations:

  • President of the Virginia Latino Higher Education Network;
  • Member of the American Association of Community Colleges;
  • Chair of the Hispanic College Institute;
  • Member of the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce;
  • Member of the Metropolitan Business League;
  • Member of Housing Opportunities Made Equal;
  • Member of Safe Harbor; and
  • Member of REDC Community Capital Group.


For her leadership, Dr. Martin has received numerous awards, including:

  • The Humanitarian Award for Academic Excellence;
  • The Presidential Volunteer Service Award from the president of the United States;
  • The Hispanic College Fund Legacy Award;
  • Finalist for the Innovation in Education Educator of the Year Award; and
  • One of the "Most Influential Women" in Chesterfield County, Virginia.


Under her leadership, the Reginald F. Lewis School of Business was named the Best Business Program (out of 108 historically black colleges and universities throughout the country) by the Center for HBCU Media Advocacy. The business school also received the prestigious Governor’s Technology Award for Innovation in Higher Education, the RichTech Technology Innovation Deployment Award, and it made history in 2010 by becoming the first school in the nation to launch an integrated curriculum predominantly digitally, using open source digital textbooks.

Born in Havana, Cuba, and an immigrant to the United States, Dr. Martin uses her interpersonal and cultural expertise to work diligently to promote access to affordable educational opportunities. She and her husband, John, who is an engineer, have two children, Katherine, a doctoral student at the University of Miami, and Patrick, a senior at the University of Virginia.

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