Bethami Dobkin, Ph.D., named 19th president of Westminster College

Westminster College’s Board of Trustees has selected Bethami Dobkin, Ph.D., as the 19th president of Westminster College. Dobkin will join Westminster in July with inauguration celebrations planned for the fall.

Dobkin has a distinguished history in higher education as a faculty member and an academic leader – most recently as provost of Saint Mary’s College of California. Dobkin succeeds Stephen R. Morgan, who will retire in May after three years as president and 37 years in leadership roles at Westminster.

“Dr. Dobkin is a proven changemaker in higher education whose values align perfectly with the things that matter the most to us at Westminster,” said Jeanne Ambruster, chair of Westminster’s Board of Trustees. “She brings successes in student enrollment, retention and graduation rates along with a passion for the power of education to develop human potential and create a more just world. The college welcomes her fortitude in tackling big challenges, and the board is confident her vision aligns with Westminster’s strategic goals for the future.”

Saint Mary’s President James Donahue offered his congratulations to Westminster in the selection of Dobkin as the college’s next president.

“Beth Dobkin is by far one of the most gifted leaders that I have ever worked with in higher education,” Donahue said. “She is also keenly aware of the many complexities affecting higher education today, and the critical role that liberal arts institutions serve in helping to shape the academic curricula and ethical priorities for colleges and universities in our nation.”

The board of trustees selected Dobkin after a nationwide search – a rigorous and insightful process facilitated by Isaacson, Miller, a national search firm. A search committee comprising trustees and campus stakeholders (staff, faculty, students, emeritus trustees and alums) narrowed the candidate pool to four finalists and presented the board of trustees with their recommendation.

“The liberal arts come alive at Westminster, and a dedication to students shows in everything the college does,” Dobkin said. “I’m excited to join an institution devoted to the personal and professional success of students, and enthusiastic about building on the college’s strong foundations.”

Dobkin joins a line of Westminster presidents charged with fueling the lifelong curiosity that a liberal arts education inspires. She will serve as the college’s 19th president and will be the second woman to lead the college.

“I am honored to serve as the next leader of this impressive institution. The college inspires exploration and creativity, bringing out the best of students both in and out of the classroom,” Dobkin said.  “In a world becoming increasingly divided, Westminster offers an education that can build connections and bring people together to help solve today’s most pressing human problems. I look forward to working with the Westminter community to provide students with an inclusive and supportive education, one that challenges students to create, innovate and lead with passion and integrity.”

In addition to her anticipation of joining the Westminster community, Dobkin said her family is also looking forward to exploring Utah’s storied landscapes with their horses. Dobkin has been married for 27 years to her husband, Randy Chiotti. The couple have two children: Alexandra, who is headed to graduate school in architecture this fall, and Randall, who will be attending a University of California campus as an undergraduate. 

President Morgan, 63, leaves a legacy of dedication after 37 years at Westminster. He’s served as an auditor, treasurer, executive vice president and vice president for institutional advancement. He has also advised six past presidents on major campus decisions since 1981.