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Presidential Search

Thomas S. Hibbs Appointed President of University of Dallas

Thomas S. HibbsBaylor University Honors College Dean to Lead UD

The University of Dallas Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that it has selected Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., BA ’82 MA ’83, to serve as the university’s ninth president. The first alumnus of UD to be president, Hibbs has served as dean of the Honors College and distinguished professor of ethics and culture at Baylor University since 2003.

“We are extremely pleased to have Dr. Hibbs as our ninth president at the University of Dallas. Dr. Hibbs brings all the tools for a successful presidency. He is a phenomenal leader, a builder of complex programs, a prolific fundraiser, an academic and a scholar who has a great appreciation for the Core and for how a rigorous Catholic liberal arts education benefits not only the graduate, but society at large,” said Chairman of the Board Thomas Zellers, M.D., BA ’79. “I anticipate he will be a great role model for faculty, staff and students and will invigorate and sustain a collaborative and respectful culture on campus.”

“I am humbled and honored by this appointment, which allows me to return to the university where I first learned what Catholic liberal education is all about,” said Hibbs. “My experience at a number of other academic institutions since I left UD has only confirmed in my mind the distinctive and indispensable role of the University of Dallas in the landscape of American higher education and in Catholic education across the globe. I am especially honored to be joining a university with such a well-earned reputation for excellence in teaching, at the center of which is a faculty that combines scholarly achievement with devotion to the craft of teaching.”

“We are truly blessed to have Dr. Thomas Hibbs return to his alma mater as president. His educational history as a student, professor and administrator at top Catholic universities throughout our land and most recently at Baylor University is absolutely exceptional. I look forward to working with him and welcoming him into his role as president of the University of Dallas,” said Bishop of the Diocese of Dallas and University Chancellor Edward Burns.

Originally hailing from the D.C. suburbs, Hibbs first came to Irving in 1980 as a seminarian at Holy Trinity, after studying business for two years at the University of Maryland. A year later, he left Holy Trinity for his true calling: that of the intellectual life that he discovered at the University of Dallas.

"Being an alumnus and having been in higher education continuously since graduating from UD, I feel like I have a very good sense of where UD fits in the higher education sphere and the special, distinctive role it plays,” said Hibbs. “I know the culture and how students can be formed by it, as I certainly was during my years in Irving. I look forward to working closely with students, faculty and administrators across the university community, and with the board, parents, alumni and benefactors, to build a University of Dallas that will flourish for generations to come.”

Hibbs received a B.A. in English and an M.A. in philosophy from UD and both a master’s and a doctorate in medieval studies from the University of Notre Dame. He was a tutor at Thomas Aquinas College for three years before moving to Boston College, where he taught for 13 years as full professor and chair of the philosophy department.

“Tom Hibbs is one of the finest Catholic educators in America: a first-rate intellect wedded to administrative ability and a deep commitment to the church,” said George Weigel, distinguished senior fellow and William E. Simon chair in Catholic studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, as well as the father of two UD alumnae. “UD couldn’t have made a better or more exciting choice of president.”

Read the Full Announcement

Search Committee Members

Our search committee represents a cross section of the UD community, including trustees, faculty (with each of UD’s four schools represented), an academic dean, a National Alumni Board representative, a member with senior staff experience, and the current student government president. We are also particularly pleased that eight members of the search committee are University of Dallas alumni.

  • Richard Husseini, ’88, Trustee, (Committee Chair)
  • Win Bell, Trustee
  • The Most Reverend Bishop Edward J. Burns, University Chancellor and Bishop of the Diocese of Dallas
  • J. Barry Clark, Trustee
  • Andrew Farley, ’98, Trustee and National Alumni Board President
  • Susan Hanssen, Ph.D., Department Chair and Associate Professor of History
  • William Keffler, Trustee
  • Richard Miller, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Operations Management
  • Randall Muck, Trustee
  • Brian Murray, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management and former Vice President and CFO
  • Joseph O. Neuhoff Jr., Trustee
  • Terry O’Halloran, ’83, Trustee
  • Joshua Parens, Ph.D., Dean of Braniff Graduate School, Director of the Institute of Philosophic Studies, Director of the Philosophy Ph.D. Program and Professor of Philosophy and Politics
  • Laura Felis Quinn, ’86, Trustee
  • Diana Dudoit Raiche, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Catechetics and Pastoral Ministry
  • Mary Ritter, ’85, Trustee
  • Clare Slattery, ’19, Student Government President
  • Patrick V. Stark, Trustee
  • Ellen Steinmiller, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Analytical Chemistry
  • Bridgett Wagner, ’81, Trustee
  • Matthew Walz, Ph.D., Faculty Senate President, Director of Philosophy and Letters and Pre-Theologian Programs, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Philosophy
  • Julie Weber, ’91, Trustee
  • Gerard Wegemer, Ph.D., Professor of English and Director of the Center for St. Thomas More Studies


Search Partner

Witt/Kieffer LogoWitt/Kieffer, a national search firm with substantial experience in presidential and executive searches in higher education, is assisting with the search. Dennis Barden, a senior partner with the firm, will lead the Witt/Kieffer team with Elizabeth Bohan and Christine Pendleton. Dennis has a national reputation for assisting universities in searches with a particular expertise in Catholic higher education. His deep appreciation of our Core curriculum and our professional graduate programs will prove an invaluable resource to the search committee and the board.

Anticipated Search Timeline


Date Event

Mid-August 2018

Search consultant meets with board and officers.

Late August 2018

Search consultant conducts stakeholder listening sessions on campus.

September 2018

Leadership profile describing the ideal candidate and summarizing the priorities for the next president is posted.

Through Mid-November

Candidates are recruited and assessed.

Late November – Late December 2018

Search committee conducts preliminary interviews and selects finalists.

Late January 2019

Finalists are interviewed.

February 2019

Board elects president and makes public announcement.

Through June 2019

University prepares for presidential transition.

July 2019

New president takes office.


Leadership Profile  

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