Dear members of the Saint Mary's College community,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Bethami (Beth) Dobkin as college provost. She will officially join our community on February 1, 2008.

Dr. Dobkin comes to Saint Mary's from the University of San Diego, where she served as a highly valued member of USD's faculty for 17 years and, since 1995, in various academic leadership roles. Since 2005 she has served as associate university provost, with wide-ranging duties that included initiatives to enhance campus inclusiveness and diversity, learning assessment, service learning and student support services. Prior to 2005, her roles included chair of the University Senate and project coordinator for the Joan B. Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice. Dr. Dobkin has also achieved national recognition for her research and teaching in the area of media and conflict. Her CV and related background materials are available for review.

Throughout the search process, Dr. Dobkin demonstrated a deep appreciation for Catholic higher education and the liberal arts and Lasallian traditions that distinguish and animate our mission. Her many of years of service at USD, a fellow member of the West Coast Conference, will also be helpful to Dr. Dobkin as she begins her work here – including addressing many of the priorities in our Building on Strengths strategic blueprint.

This appointment culminates a comprehensive national search that attracted many qualified candidates. I want to express personal thanks to the campus search committee, ably led by Carole Swain, and to the many faculty, staff, students and others who took time to meet Dr. Dobkin and other finalists during their visits to campus.

I also want to take this opportunity to express profound thanks to Sally for her eight years of distinguished service as provost. As many of you recall, she earlier announced plans to return to full-time teaching and research in our Department of Psychology in fall 2008, after returning from a well-earned sabbatical that begins at the conclusion of the fall academic term. True to form, Sally has asked that we not hold a formal "farewell" event in her honor. I know she will welcome hearing from you individually.

In St. La Salle,
Brother Ronald Gallagher, FSC

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