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Meet the university's senior leadership

President Thomas S. Hibbs

Dr. Thomas Hibbs returns to his alma mater as the first alumnus to serve as president of the University of Dallas, where he received his B.A. in English (’82) and M.A. in philosophy (’83). He completed his M.M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Hibbs was a tutor at Thomas Aquinas College for three years before moving to Boston College, where he taught for 13 years and was full professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy.

From 2003 to 2019, Dr. Hibbs was dean of the Honors College and distinguished professor of ethics and culture at Baylor University. Baylor has honored him with the title Dean Emeritus. Dr. Hibbs also directed Baylor in Washington, D.C., coordinating student internships, a religious liberty initiative in collaboration with the Religious Freedom Institute and monthly faculty events. With his wife, Stacey Hibbs, Ph.D., he co-taught a senior capstone class on friendship.

During his career Dr. Hibbs has published more than 30 scholarly articles and has written, edited or provided introductions for 12 books, including three on the thought of Thomas Aquinas. His most recent book is Wagering on an Ironic God: Pascal on Philosophy and Faith (Baylor University Press, 2017). He is currently writing a book on aesthetics and a book on liberal education.

Called upon regularly to comment on film and popular culture, he has published more than 100 reviews and articles on film, theater, art and higher education in First Things, The Dallas Morning News, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New Atlantis, The Wall Street Journal and National Review, among others. He has appeared on radio, including nationally syndicated NPR shows, more than 100 times.

In 2010, Dr. Hibbs received the American Maritain Association Scholarly Excellence Award. He was a faculty mentor for the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program from 2013-2016 and is past president of the American Catholic Philosophical Association (2017).

The Hibbs have three children, two of whom are Baylor alumni and one who currently attends Baylor.

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Executive Vice President John Plotts

Dr. Plotts joined the University of Dallas in December 2008. He currently serves as executive vice president of the university and served as interim president during the search for the university’s ninth president.

Previously, he held the position of vice president for enrollment and accreditation at Parker University, where he restructured and reengineered the college's planning and evaluation process, implemented a new strategic retention program and raised more than $1 million through strategic business partnerships, as well as a host of other accomplishments. He was also the dean of enrollment management at Parker University for more than two years. Some of his triumphs in that role included creating an enrollment management model, establishing targeted recruiting efforts and enrolling a class with the highest GPA in the school's history.

Prior to his work at Parker University, Dr. Plotts held the position of director at the Howard Center for Christian Studies and the following positions at Dallas Baptist University: vice president for executive and student affairs, vice president for enrollment and administrative affairs, dean of the college of adult education, and director of admissions.

Dr. Plotts received his Ed.D. from the University of North Texas, his master's degree from Dallas Theological Seminary and his bachelor's degree from Summit University of Pennsylvania.


Provost Jonathan J. Sanford 

Jonathan J. Sanford, PhD, is Provost and a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dallas. 

As Provost, Sanford has principal responsibility for all aspects of academics, campus ministry, student life, and athletics at the university.  He graduated summa cum laude from Xavier University in Classical Languages and Philosophy in 1997, received his PhD from University of Buffalo, State University of New York in 2001, and received a post-doctoral fellowship from Fordham University in 2001-2002.   Sanford served at Franciscan University of Steubenville for thirteen years before joining the University of Dallas in 2015.  In his administrative work at Franciscan University he has formerly held the positions of Associate VP for Academic Affairs and Chair of Philosophy, and also served in the role of the principal elected faculty representative.  At the University of Dallas, he has previously served as the Dean of the Constantin College of Liberal Arts. 

He has published widely on philosophical figures and topics, and is especially interested in foundational questions in moral philosophy, as evidenced in Before Virtue: Assessing Contemporary Virtue Ethics (The Catholic University of America Press, 2015 (Paperback, 2019)).  He is currently writing a book on virtue and education.  He has lectured widely to both scholarly and popular audiences on a variety of topics.  You can hear him on the third Monday of each month when he hosts the “Good News at UD” portion of the Good News Show on KATH 910. 

Sanford is a Trustee of the Hildebrand Project, an Executive Committee Member of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, a member of the board of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, a member of Legatus and board member of the Dallas Chapter, a Fellow of the Dallas Institute for Humanities and Culture, and a member of several other learned societies.  He and his wife Rebecca live with their children in Irving, Texas.


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Vice President for University Advancement Jason Wu Trujillo

Jason Wu Trujillo joined the university as vice president for University Advancement in June 2019.

Trujillo served as chief development officer and director of the Honor the Future campaign at the University of Virginia (UVA) Law School Foundation, which conducts alumni relations, external affairs, fundraising and endowment management for the benefit of the UVA School of Law.

Trujillo was responsible for preparing and executing a campaign that raised a record $200 million during its quiet phase ahead of a public launch in the fall of 2019. UVA Law's priorities include faculty support, scholarships and loan forgiveness, as well as an unrestricted endowment. Trujillo helped make broad and deep support a hallmark of UVA Law, which notably holds the No. 1 alumni giving rate among law schools nationwide as well as the fifth largest endowment in legal education.

Trujillo earned his bachelor's degree from the College of New Jersey in 1998 and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2001. 

Vice President, Dean and Director of the Rome Campus Peter Hatlie

Director of the Rome Campus, Dr. Peter Hatlie, was born and raised in Minnesota. He holds a B.A. in Classics from St. Olaf College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval and Byzantine History from Fordham University. He came to UD Rome in 1999 after holding positions in the U.S., Bulgaria, Turkey and the Netherlands. He was the acting Academic Director of the Rome Program in 2003, the Academic Director of the Rome Program from Fall of 2005 to Spring 2008, and is now the Dean and Director of the Rome Campus. Dr. Hatlie also teaches History and Ancient Greek.

Constantin College Interim Dean Sally Hicks

In addition to her duties as Interim Dean, Dr. Sally Hicks currently serves as the Chair and Professor of Physics at UD, a Visiting Scholar at the University of Kentucky, and Director of the Electrical Engineering and Physics Dual-Degree Program with the University of Texas, Arlington. She also directs the Clare Boothe Luce Program for women in computer science, engineering, mathematics and physics, after UD was awarded a $290k scholarship grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to support undergraduate female students in those areas of study.

Her research is funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration to complete neutron scattering measurements on nuclei of interest for energy production and national security, as well as to help us better understand how neutrons interact with matter. This research has included many undergraduate students who have gone on to become scientists, engineers, high school teachers, medical professionals, and leaders in other occupations.

Braniff Graduate School Dean Joshua Parens

Although Joshua Parens has taught at the University of Dallas for 16 years, he only recently assumed his current role as dean of the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts. Like all UD professors, he teaches widely, but he especially enjoys studying political philosophy with graduate students. As the son of a Shoah survivor, his lifelong interest has been in understanding spiritedness, love of one’s own, or what late moderns call “rootedness,” and its place in the economy of human life, which may be the first question of political philosophy.

He has a book forthcoming in spring 2016, titled "Leo Strauss and the Recovery of Medieval Political Philosophy," which will be the first title in a book series published by University of Rochester Press and Boydell & Brewer, which he is co-editing with Douglas Kries of Gonzaga University. He has published many articles on Alfarabi, Maimonides, and Spinoza and two books on Alfarabi on Plato and Aristotle, respectively with SUNY Press: "Metaphysics as Rhetoric" (1995) and "An Islamic Philosophy of Virtuous Religions" (2006). His last book "Maimonides and Spinoza: Their Conflicting Views of Human Nature" was published by the University of Chicago Press (2012). He co-edited with Joseph Macfarland the second edition of the classic anthology by Ralph Lerner and Muhsin Mahdi, "Medieval Political Philosophy: A Sourcebook" (Cornell University Press, 2011). He also has writing projects on Bacon, Descartes, Montesquieu and Heidegger.

Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business Dean Brett Landry 

Brett J. L. Landry is the Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business' dean and associate professor of cybersecurity. For more than twenty years, he has worked in information security in the public and private sectors. He has taught and consulted in the U.S., Europe and South America and has published and presented numerous articles in the areas of cybersecurity, IT ethics, IT management, network architecture, and disaster recovery. He also lectures domestically and internationally on IT and cybersecurity issues.

Landry earned his doctorate from Mississippi State University and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). His information security expertise includes risk management, disaster recovery, technology education, and change management.

Landry has been instrumental in the college's AACSB Accreditation efforts, the graduate business MS in technology programs, university technology initiatives, and is responsible for the University of Dallas's certification as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Information Assurance by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Ann & Joe O. Neuhoff School of Ministry Dean Theodore Whapham

Theodore “Ted” Whapham, a theologian specializing in Christology and Trinitarian theology, oversees the university’s undergraduate and graduate ministry programs, adult education courses and the University of Dallas Ministry Conference, the nation’s second largest Catholic ministry conference.

Previously, Whapham served as assistant professor and director of master’s degree programs at St. Thomas University (Miami Gardens, Fla.) where he taught courses at the undergraduate to doctorate level, as well as provided administrative oversight for the master of arts in pastoral ministry and master of divinity degree programs.

Whapham has written two books, including “The Term ‘Person’ in the Trinitarian Theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg,” and has published articles in the Irish Theological Quarterly and the Encyclopedia of Christian Education, among others. He earned a master’s degree in theology and a doctorate in historical and systematic theology from The Catholic University of America. He earned a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from the University of Dayton.

Dean of University Libraries and Research Cherie Hohertz

Cherie Hohertz, dean of university libraries and research, has been with the University of Dallas for 17 years.  Before serving as dean, she held the position of access services and systems librarian in the Cowan - Blakley Memorial Library.  She has served the university as an adjunct instructor in the Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business and is currently the staff accompanist for the music department.

Hohertz holds a bachelor’s of music in piano performance from Millsaps College and a master's of library science from Texas Woman’s University.  Her research interests are centered around the impact of library services on student retention, student success, and student matriculation. Her most recent publications include articles on using technology to deliver library services to distance education students.


UD Organizational Chart



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