Westminster College’s Board of Trustees selected Bethami (Beth) Dobkin, PhD, as the college’s next president. Dr. Dobkin will serve as Westminster’s 19th president—and the second woman to lead the college. She has a distinguished history in higher education as a faculty member and academic leader.
“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, president-elect of Westminster College
Beth Dobkin, provost emeritus and professor of communication, served for the past 10 years as provost and vice president for academic affairs of Saint Mary's College of California, a private, comprehensive and Catholic university of approximately 4,000 students. She oversaw the academic vision and operational management of the college, with specific responsibility for academic affairs, enrollment, student affairs, and technology. Dobkin is a commissioner for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and serves on the boards of the Foundation for Hispanic Education and Ujima Family Recovery Services.
Under Dobkin’s direction, Saint Mary’s College achieved upward trends in enrollment, retention, and graduation rates, and she led the college to achieving national recognition in hybrid executive education, performing arts, diversity initiatives, community service, and study abroad; earning inclusion in the 2012 edition of Colleges that Change Lives; and obtaining Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation. Dr. Dobkin’s initiatives led to the highest graduation rates in the college’s history, with a 15 percent increase in the four-year graduation rate of first-time, first-year students during her tenure; acquisition of over $4 million in federal grants as a Minority and Hispanic Serving Institution; and establishment of the College Committee on Inclusive Excellence, a Bias Incident Response Team, campus-wide diversity training, and the college’s first chief diversity officer.
Dr. Dobkin was honored by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the “Most Influential Women in Business in the Bay Area” in 2015 and 2014, and in 2013, she was identified by Diablo Magazine as one of six “Women to Watch.” Previously, she directed the University of Massachusetts Public Debate program and taught at Hartford University, the University of Connecticut, and the College of Our Lady of the Elms. Dr. Dobkin has achieved national recognition for her research and teaching in the area of media and conflict. Her honors have included a fellowship in executive leadership with the American Council on Education and lifetime membership in Phi Kappa Phi. She earned her doctorate and master’s degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and received a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from Humboldt State University.
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.