president beth dobkin with students

Office of the President

Becoming Westminster University

Westminster’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to transition from college to university. The college will be known as Westminster University beginning Fall 2023. University accurately describes what Westminster offers, how we are structured, and the core values that guide us.

Bethami (Beth) Dobkin, PhD, is Westminster University's 19th president and second woman to lead the university. She has a distinguished history in higher education as a faculty member and academic leader.

Learn More ABout the transition

“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. 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 Westminster community to provide students with an inclusive and supportive education, one that challenges students to create, innovate, and lead with passion and integrity.”

beth dobkin portrait"I think higher education will experience a renaissance. We’ve had years of angst about the relevance of liberal arts—and talk of dismantling higher education into a series of training exercises and job-specific online programs. There’s growing awareness that people need more than an app or a high-speed internet connection to acquire lasting knowledge, and that professional and liberal arts programs can be combined in ways that prepare people for success while inspiring them to also make the world a better place."

president dobkin review magazine cover

The Review Cover Story:
Westminster's 19th President

"There’s this blend between getting to know the new president as a person and also honoring the work on the academic side. It’s a fine line to walk when talking about women.”

READ the story

Meet President Beth Dobkin

President Bethami Dobkin is Westminster University’s 19th president. Dr. Dobkin is challenging Westminster to bring the strengths of a liberal arts foundation – broad knowledge, analytic thinking, ethical action – to the contemporary challenges of leadership. She believes that integrating all aspects of student life gives students the knowledge, skills and experience to build the communities that will solve both today’s problems and those we have yet to imagine. Dr. Dobkin brings a service orientation to leadership, providing students with an inclusive and supportive education that challenges them to create, innovate and lead with passion and integrity. She is driven by her conviction that that learning can be transformative, and that education is imperative in creating a more just, humane, and sustainable world.

Dr. Bethami Dobkin was appointed 19th President of Westminster University on July 1, 2018, after more than 30 years of teaching and administrative work in higher education. In Dr. Dobkin’s first year as president, Westminster University achieved national recognition for the successful career outcomes of its students, its work on sustainability and support for first-generation students, and as a leader in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.

Before her presidency at Westminster, Dr. Dobkin served as the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Saint Mary's College of California, a private, comprehensive, Catholic university. There, she oversaw the academic vision and operational management of the college, with specific responsibility for academic affairs, student affairs, enrollment management, communications, institutional research, diversity and inclusion, accreditation, and technology.

Under Dobkin’s leadership, Saint Mary’s College earned national recognition for academic excellence and student achievement and attained AACSB accreditation and Hispanic Serving Institution status. The college also achieved rapid increases in retention and graduation rates, increased prominence in national rankings, and significant increases in faculty, staff, and student satisfaction with the institutional climate and quality of the Saint Mary’s College educational experience.

Before joining Saint Mary’s College, Dobkin spent nearly 2 decades as a teacher and administrator at the University of San Diego.

Dr. Dobkin’s honors include a fellowship in executive leadership with the American Council on Education, teaching awards, recognition by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the Bay Area’s “Most Influential Women,” and a lifetime membership in Phi Kappa Phi, the academic honor society.

Dr. Dobkin’s considerable volunteer services have included activity as a commissioner for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, a board member for the Foundation for Hispanic Education, and as secretary and board member for Ujima Family Recovery Services.

Dr. Dobkin’s publications span academic journals, widely used textbooks, and popular editorials on politics, journalism, and communication.

View Dr. Dobkin's CV

president dobkin with horse at the ranch

Contact the President