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Bernardo (Bernie) Joaquin Canteñs, CPA, MA (Accounting), MA (Philosophy), and  Ph.D. (Philosophy) was born in Miami, Florida. He is a first-generation Cuban American. His parents were exiled to the United States in the 1960s as political refugees from Cuba.


Bernie earned his Bachelor of Accounting and Master of Accounting from Florida International University. He became licensed as a Certified Public Accountant and worked at Coopers & Lybrand. After a few years, he decided to return to school, and he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, graduating Cum Laude and earning an Academic Achievement Award in Philosophy. He left accounting to pursue his passion and study philosophy at the University of Miami. He completed a Master's and Doctorate in Philosophy. His teaching career began as an assistant philosophy professor at Barry University in Miami, Florida. He moved through the ranks of associate and later full professor. In 2008, he accepted an offer at Moravian University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to be a professor and chair of the Philosophy Department. He was promoted to the associate provost of Global Education and Online Innovation. In January 2022, he accepted an offer to be the executive vice president of Sul Ross State University (SRSU).   

Sul Ross is a comprehensive regional university and a Hispanic-serving institution. It is part of the Texas State University System. Sul Ross has 2,300 students and 178 faculty members (109 tenured or tenure track). The Provost oversees an extensive curriculum comprised of 80 undergraduate programs and 25 graduate degrees, six colleges, 17 departments, and four campuses in Alpine, Eagle Pass, Del Rio, and Uvalde.  

Bernie's higher education vision and philosophy are committed to the following:

  1. Model ethical behavior.

  2. Display equanimity consistently.

  3. Create a shared vision among all campus constituencies.

  4. Build and sustain effective communication strategies with faculty.

  5. Create transparency of information, processes, and decision-making.

  6. Apply data and evidence in decision-making processes.

  7. Advance and protect academic freedom.

  8. Endorse and practice shared governance.

  9. Pursue excellence in curriculum development, teaching, and research.

  10. Encourage creative, experimental, and forward-thinking ideas to meet the new challenges in higher education.

  11. Create an inclusive community in which every voice counts.

  12. Support and promote respectful and civil engagement;

  13. ​Advance student support and success.

  14. Establish fair academic policies and implement them consistently.

  15. Create a culture of trust among members of the institution.

Bernie's scholarly research and teaching focus on metaphysics, logic, virtue ethics, American pragmatism, and applied ethics in the health sciences (Bioethics, Medical Ethics, Ethical Issues in Genetic Engineering, Ethics for the Public's Health, Ethics of Abortion, Virtue Ethics and Nursing, and Law, Regulation and Ethics in Medicine.) His research and scholarship have been recognized through national awards, prizes, grants, and fellowships. In 2004, he received the first American Philosophical Association Award in Latin American Thought for his essay on Fransisco Vitoria's International Law. He also received the American Philosophical William James Prize in 2005 for his paper on C. S. Peirce's philosophy of religion. His research on American pragmatist C. S. Peirce also earned him a year-long fellowship from the National Endowment of Humanities in 2005-2006. In 2006, he was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University, where he continued his work on Peirce and evolutionary theory. He also received a National Endowment of the Humanities scholarship for a New York University (Buffalo) Summer Institute on Cuban Identity.

His teaching has also been recognized with a two-year (2014-2016) Enduring Questions Grant by the National Endowment of the Humanities. The $32,000 grant was to develop a new course entitled What is Peace? Bernie also participated in an $800,000 online teaching grant with The Council of Independent Colleges, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon FoundationCantens was the director of a new Grant funded by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation on Applied Humanities. The purpose of the project is to create a sustainable model for the integration of the humanities with professional programs.

Bernie is a well-published scholar with over 30 peer-reviewed articles and over 70 lectures at scholarly national and international conferences. He was the editor of the APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy from 2008-2013. In addition to the peer-reviewed journal articles, Bernie has several book chapters published in anthologies with the following publishers: Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Blackwell Publishing, Acumen Publishing Limited, Cambridge Scholars Press, and Brill Publishing. His essay "Philosophy, Law and Mysticism in Renaissance Spain" was recently published in 2018 in A Companion to Spanish Renaissance by Brill Publishers. His book A Critical Introduction to the Ethics of Abortion: Understanding the Moral Arguments was published in February 2019 by Bloomsbury Publisher. 

He is working on a manuscript: Ethics of Abortion: The Potentiality Argument. He is also working on several essays on abortion and pragmatism.

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