Jonathan J. Sanford, PhD, is the 10th president of the University of Dallas, having assumed the position in 2021. As president, Dr. Sanford has dedicated his efforts to leading the University of Dallas to more fully realizing its calling as a premier Catholic liberal arts university by means of a thoroughgoing commitment to academic excellence, a distinctive and thoroughly nurturing approach to forming the character of our students, and the cultivation of true magnanimity in service to church and society.
President Sanford originally came to the university as the dean of Constantin College of Liberal Arts in 2015 and was elevated to provost in 2018. As provost, Dr. Sanford oversaw all academic deans and departments, including the Constantin College, Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts, Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business, what is now the Ann and Joe O. Neuhoff Institute for Ministry and Evangelization, the dean of university libraries and research, and the dean of the Rome campus. Dr. Sanford also oversaw the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, the Office of Personal Career Development, the Registrar, and the departments of Athletics and Campus Ministry, in addition to special outreach projects such the Studies in Catholic Faith and Culture program.
Dr. Sanford, who holds the rank of professor and is tenured in the Philosophy Department, graduated summa cum laude from Xavier University (Ohio) with a degree in classical languages and philosophy in 1997. Dr. Sanford received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Buffalo, State University of New York in 2001 and a postdoctoral fellowship from Fordham University in 2001-02. Dr. Sanford served at Franciscan University of Steubenville for thirteen years before joining the University of Dallas. In addition to his academic responsibilities at Franciscan University, Dr. Sanford held the administrative positions of associate vice president for academic affairs and chair of philosophy and also served in the role of the principal elected faculty representative.
An active scholar, Dr. Sanford has published widely on philosophical figures and topics, especially in foundational questions of moral philosophy. His books include the critically acclaimed Before Virtue: Assessing Contemporary Virtue Ethics (The Catholic University of America Press, 2015) and The Philosophical Legacy of Jorge J. E. Gracia (Rowman and Littlefield, 2022). He is currently writing a book on virtue and education.
Sanford is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Hildebrand Project, a member of Legatus, a Fellow of the Dallas Institute for Humanities and Culture and a member of several other learned societies. He and his wife Rebecca, a registered nurse and founding board member of the Catholic women’s ministry Mighty Is Her Call, have nine children and four grandchildren and live in Irving, TX.