Jane K. Fernandes is the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. An advocate for diversity and equal opportunity, Jane K. Fernandes has worked in many educational and administrative capacities over the course of her long career.
After graduating from The University of Iowa with a PhD in Comparative Literature, Jane K. Fernandes worked at a series of academic positions that included roles at Northeastern University, Gallaudet University, and Kapi’olani Community College. Her experience in the American Sign Language (ASL) and ASL-English interpreting programs at these schools prepared Jane K. Fernandes for a position as the Director of the Hawaii Center for the Deaf and Blind in Honolulu, Hawaii. From 1990 to 1995, Jane K. Fernandes spearheaded numerous changes at the Center, turning it from an educational institution serving a small population of students into a resource for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, partially sighted, and deaf-blind throughout the entire state. Jane K. Fernandes oversaw the transformation of the Center for the Deaf and Blind, providing students with technological assistance, sending out evaluation and technical assistance teams through the state, overseeing and developing a staff of 80 people, working with several unions, and managing the annual budget of $2.5 million. During her time at the Hawaii Center for the Deaf and Blind, Jane K. Fernandes also developed a five-year plan to improve education and opportunities for students with hearing and visual impairments. The plan resulted in the establishment of a preschool, a re-working of the curriculum to better serve students, and the development of new training programs for teachers. Under the leadership of Jane K. Fernandes, the Center's enrollment increased ten-fold.