|Magazine of the UW-River Falls Alumni Association
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Fernando Delgado, Provost
By Kevin Bertelsen
He describes himself as pretty accessible, pretty friendly, and pretty informal. But don’t let that mild-mannered, low-key image fool you. Fernando Delgado is also an adventurer; he can be a tough competitor when he wants to be and there’s no denying his passion.
It was probably his passion for teaching that landed him in his current role. Starting July 1, he assumed the position as UWRF’s new provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. As such, he works with the faculty to ensure a strong curriculum—making the most of UWRF’s learning environment.
The path that led him to UWRF started in graduate school.
“They put me in the classroom at Iowa. Instead of a research assistant, they made me a teaching assistant, and it was at that point I knew I was going to be a professor. I developed a real passion for students, for teaching,” he says.
So with doctorate in hand he moved to the West campus of Arizona State, to be closer to home (California) and to get in on the ground floor of a campus still in its infancy.
There, as a result of serving on various campus and university committees, he became interested in the administrative side of the house. “It was another adventure—taking an administrative job in higher education was an opportunity to get a wider view, a chance to see a larger span of how a university works. It’s really not that much different. I still think of myself as a faculty member,” says Delgado.
From ASU, he moved to MSU Mankato to serve as dean of the Graduate School and then to Hamline University in St. Paul as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. By then he was married, with children, and the move brought him closer to his in-laws. As dean, he continued to teach. “It helped me understand the challenges of being in the classroom,” he notes. “I was better able to identify with faculty and the problems they encountered.”
Now at UWRF, his first impression of campus is one of a remarkably caring and committed faculty and staff, a campus that is direct and forthright about its strengths and opportunities. “There’s an openness and honesty among the people who work here, a humbleness that goes overboard at times,” says Delgado. “My goal is to create a profile for the campus, so that others will recognize the quality of the UWRF brand. I’m confident we can succeed.”
Outside of work, he and his wife are raising a five-year-old and an eight-month-old which takes nearly all of his time. But he also likes to retreat into his research and writing for fun. A noted consumer of popular culture, he’s published and lectured on sport, music, television, and film.
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