Skip to Main Content

Administration

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.

More on Thomas S. Hibbs

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.

 

More on Jonathan J. Sanford

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.

General Counsel Heather A. Lachenauer

Heather A. Lachenauer is an experienced litigator, appellate advocate and educator who has successfully represented international companies, federal agencies, financial institutions, businesses and individuals. She has advocated on behalf of clients in a variety of pro bono matters involving asylum, the death penalty, and religious liberty, among others. Lachenauer has taught political science, rhetoric, and poetics and aesthetics as an adjunct professor and is a former member of the Board of Regents of St. John Paul the Great Catholic University. She is the co-founder of Epiphany Prep Charter School, a school dedicated to providing quality education to children living in low-income communities in San Diego.

Prior to practicing law, Lachenauer spent 10 years working in the field of international development and humanitarian aid, with a focus on legal reform and economic development in Central and Eastern Europe and West Africa and the development of sustainable education in Papua New Guinea.

Lachenauer completed her undergraduate work at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She studied philosophy and theology at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology and obtained a master’s degree in education and human development at The George Washington University. She earned her law degree from the University of Notre Dame School of Law.

A Virginia native, Lachenauer is a member of the State Bar of California and the State Bar of Texas, and is admitted to practice before multiple federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court.

Chief Financial Officer Robert Watling

Robert Watling, CPA, oversees accounting, audit, treasury, procurement, debt management, student accounts and budget operations at the University of Dallas.

Watling has more than 15 years of finance experience in higher education serving as a chief business officer for a college or administrative division. Prior to joining the University of Dallas in January 2020, Watling was the Vice Provost for Academic Resources at the University of North Texas. In this role, he implemented an academic financial program review to facilitate a more strategic and data-informed allocation of resources. Watling brings valuable private sector experience to his work in higher education. Before focusing his career in higher education, Watling spent about five years in corporate finance focusing on financial statement analysis.

Watling has been a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Virginia since 2007 and in Texas since 2010. He is a member of the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers (SACUBO) chairing the Small Institutions Constituent Committee. Watling holds a bachelor’s degree from George Mason University and an MBA from Virginia Tech. A veteran of the United States Army, Robert was awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for service in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Chief Information Officer Ruchi Sheth

Ruchi Sheth joined the University of Dallas in 2010 as an information systems analyst. During her 10 years at the university, she has served in several roles improving IT systems and technology. As CIO, Sheth leads the university’s ongoing commitment to support and promote the strategic use of information technology that advances UD’s mission. She provides leadership and management for Information Systems and Technology Services, including academic technology, enrollment systems, networking services, user support services, the help desk, and telecommunications. She has extensive experience with enrollment management systems and data analytics for decision-making.

Sheth earned a master’s degree in Management Information Systems from Dallas Baptist University. She is currently working toward her second master’s degree in Cybersecurity from UD’s Gupta College of Business.

Constantin College Interim Dean David Andrews

After completing a Bachelor of Science in mathematics at the University of Dallas, David Andrews, Ph.D., BS ’90, earned a Master of Science in industrial engineering from Purdue University in 1993. He continued his graduate studies at Rice University, earning both a Master of Science and a doctorate in statistics. Andrews returned to UD as an assistant professor in 1998.

Largely due to his successes in the classroom and forward-thinking teaching on high-performance computing, Andrews was awarded the SC12 HPC Educator Award, which provided him with a competitive grant to attend the International Conference for High-Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis.

Apart from his teaching experience, Andrews has consulted and worked with a number of businesses, companies and nonprofits, including Texas Instruments, the award-winning political consulting firm Nasica, and the global nonprofit CARE. Andrews has served on and helped advise more than a dozen university committees including the Faculty Senate (2007-present), the Joint Committee on Business Education (2008-present) and the 403b Review Committee (2013-present), which oversees the university’s employee retirement benefits.

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 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

 

News

Alumna Establishes Endowed Scholarship to Honor Longtime UD Administrator, Historian

“No one is more deserving of a scholarship in her name than Sybil Novinski,” said President Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., BA ’82 MA ’83, at the ceremony celebrating the Sybil Novinski Scholarship Fund endowed by Eileen McPherson Meinert, BA ’83, and her husband, David Meinert. “This is something that many alumni, faculty and administrators have talked about, and this is a great day because we get to honor someone who’s meant so much to so many.”

+ Read More

Physics, Chemistry Professors Receive Air Force Grant

In September, the U.S. Air Force awarded the University of Dallas and Cerium Labs a $500,000 STTR Phase II contract to develop a "Silicon Nitride Seal for Thermal Barrier Coating in Gas Turbines for Extended Engine Life.” Affiliate Research Assistant Professor of Physics Will Flanagan, Ph.D., and Associate Professor of Chemistry Ellen Steinmiller, Ph.D., are co-principal investigators on the project. This award builds on a smaller $50,000 Phase I award earlier this year. UD’s portion of the award is $150,000.

+ Read More

Patriotic Ceremony Honors UD Veterans

Against the backdrop of a picture perfect day, students, faculty and staff gathered on the mall in front of the Haggerty Science Center to pay tribute to veterans who have served our country.

+ Read More