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LC State’s Pemberton is named to NAIA Council of Presidents

LEWISTON, Idaho – Lewis-Clark State College President Cynthia Pemberton has been selected to be an at-large representative to the National Association of Intercollege Athletics’ (NAIA) Council of Presidents, NAIA president/CEO Jim Carr has announced.



Pemberton’s term begins immediately and will conclude in June 2026.


The Council of Presidents is the NAIA’s chief governing body and oversees all budgetary and fiscal matters, employment and supervision of the president/CEO, and the review and evaluation of the NAIA’s academic eligibility standards.


Carr, who has been the president/CEO of the NAIA since 2006, said Pemberton was selected among the applicants to fill one of three at-large positions on the council. The position was previously vacant. Each NAIA conference has a member on the Council of Presidents and there are 23 members overall. The council meets twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring.


Pemberton currently serves as chair-elect for the Cascade Collegiate Conference’s Council of Presidents and will assume chair duties next spring.


Pemberton has served as president at LC State since July 1, 2018, becoming the third female president in the history of Idaho’s four-year public institutions.


Originally from Medford, Ore., Pemberton earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology from Willamette University in Salem, Ore., in 1980, and later earned her master’s in interdisciplinary studies: physical education, psychology, and nutrition at Southern Oregon College (now university). She received her Ed.D. in education leadership at Portland State University.


Pemberton began her higher education career in 1984 at the University of Nevada in Reno and also taught at Truckee Meadows Community College. In 1989, Pemberton moved back to Oregon serving as assistant athletic director, head women’s and men’s swim coach, faculty and later senior women’s administrator for athletics at Linfield College in McMinnville.


She held a number of positions during 1998-2012, including associate and interim dean of the graduate school at Idaho State University. She served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Dickinson State University from 2012-16, and then was vice president for academic affairs at Colorado Mesa University for two years before accepting the LC State position.


Pemberton is a two-time Fulbright awardee. She spent a year in the Republic of Malta (2011-12) on a Fulbright Scholar award, and a month in the Kingdom of Jordan on a Fulbright Specialist award serving as an educational leadership consultant to Jordan University of Science and Technology.


Pemberton has conducted research, published and presented locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Her record of scholarly achievement includes two books, a chapter in an international adult learning compendium, over 30 refereed and/or limited review publications/proceedings, numerous invited publications, over 40 regional/national/international presentations, and well over 100 local/university and community presentations. Her 2002 book, “More Than a Game: One Woman’s Fight for Gender Equity in Sport,” was recognized with the Phi Kappa Phi Bookshelf Award in October 2002. Likewise, her 2012 book: “Getting There: Women’s Journeys to and through Educational Attainment,” received the Phi Kappa Phi Bookshelf Award, summer 2013.




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