New Provost Envisions SMC as College for “Students with a Conscience”

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Bethami (Beth) Dobkin, Ph.D., became the College provost and vice president for academic affairs on Feb. 1, replacing Sally Stampp, who will return to teaching in fall 2008.

Brother President Ronald Gallagher announced Dobkin’s appointment in November. She was chosen after a comprehensive national search.

“I’m excited about assuming a prominent leadership role at Saint Mary’s College,” Dobkin says. “From the beginning of the search process, I was attracted to the depth of Saint Mary’s commitment to a high quality, liberal arts education, to its investment in all aspects of students’ growth and to its faith in the capacity of students to change the world.”

Dobkin, a native of Northern California, says she felt like she was “coming home” when she stepped on campus. For 17 years, she was on the University of San Diego’s faculty in the Department of Communications Studies. Since 1995, she worked in various academic leadership roles, including associate provost. Her wide-ranging duties included initiatives to enhance campus inclusiveness and diversity, learning assessment, service learning and student support services. She was also chair of the University Senate and project coordinator for the Joan B. Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice.

“Throughout our national search for a new provost, Dr. Dobkin demonstrated a deep appreciation for Catholic higher education, the liberal arts and the Lasallian traditions that distinguish and animate our mission,” Brother President Ronald Gallagher says. “Dr. Dobkin’s experience in enhancing campus diversity, academic assessment, service learning, and faculty and curriculum development will be a great benefit to Saint Mary’s.”

Dobkin, who is married and has a son and daughter, says she will spend her first few months at SMC “getting to know the people, culture, and traditions at Saint Mary’s, helping advance the strategic plan and building a collective vision for the future of the College.

“I would like to see Saint Mary’s become the college of choice for students with a conscience.”