University of Dallas Announces Provost Jonathan J. Sanford, Ph.D., As the University’s 10th President

Current President Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., BA ’82 MA ’83, has chosen to return to a full-time faculty position at Baylor University on July 1, where he served prior to UD. He will continue to serve as a professor of philosophy at UD for the remainder of the academic year.

Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Husseini, BS ‘88, said, “We are very excited that Provost Sanford will become our 10th president. Provost Sanford’s vast experience in academic planning and operations, his deep understanding and articulate defense of our mission, and his network of relationships and the trust he has built with internal and external stakeholders of the university, as well as his leadership in developing the new strategic plan over the past year, make him perfectly suited to advance the university’s mission of educational excellence and its commitment to the formation of the whole student. He already has a strong leadership team in place to succeed in leading the university in the long term. We are committed to working with Provost Sanford and his leadership team to see the goals of the new strategic plan realized, and we fully trust that under his leadership, UD’s future is set on a course for growth and success.”

BIOGRAPHY: Jonathan J. Sanford

Incoming President Sanford came to the university as dean of Constantin College in 2015 and was elevated to provost in 2018. As provost, Sanford oversees all academic deans of the university’s four schools (Constantin College of Liberal Arts, Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts, Satish and Yasmin College of Business, and the Ann and Joe O. Neuhoff School of Ministry), the dean of the library, the dean of students, the dean of the Rome campus, Athletics and Campus Ministry. He also oversees special outreach projects such as UD’s Studies in Catholic Faith and Culture program, as well as the Office of Personal Career Development.
Sanford managed the development of the university’s new strategic plan, and as Husseini noted, “Dr. Sanford is ideally suited to ensure the implementation of the strategic plan as president. Both as dean and as provost, he has excelled in strengthening the faculty and encouraging our students to excel in their studies and in their post-graduate appointments; developed a greater focus on grants and awards; built new philanthropic opportunities; strengthened UD’s Catholic identity; overseen the development of new programs and initiatives; and elevated the university’s reputation.”

Sanford, who holds the rank of professor and is tenured in the Philosophy Department, graduated summa cum laude from Xavier University in classical languages and philosophy in 1997, received his doctorate from the University of Buffalo, State University of New York in 2001, and received a postdoctoral fellowship from Fordham University in 2001-02. Sanford served at Franciscan University of Steubenville for 13 years before joining the University of Dallas in 2015. In his administrative work at Franciscan University, he held the positions of associate vice president for academic affairs and chair of philosophy, and also served in the role of the principal elected faculty representative.

Sanford has published widely on philosophical figures and topics and has made significant contributions especially in foundational questions in moral philosophy, as evidenced in “Before Virtue: Assessing Contemporary Virtue Ethics” (The Catholic University of America Press 2015, paperback 2019). Sanford is currently writing a book on virtue and education. He lectures widely to both scholarly and popular audiences on a variety of topics. For the past three years, on the third Monday of each month, he has hosted the “Good News at UD” portion of the Good News Show on Guadalupe Radio (KATH 910 AM). Sanford is a trustee of the Hildebrand Project, a member of the executive committee and the executive council of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, a member of the Dallas board of Legatus, a fellow of the Dallas Institute for Humanities and Culture, and a board member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, and is active in several other professional and academic organizations. His wife, Rebecca, is a registered nurse and founding board member of Mighty Is Her Call, a Catholic mothers’ ministry recognized by the Diocese of Dallas. The Sanfords, parishioners at St. Rita Catholic Church in Dallas, have nine children and one granddaughter, and live with their younger children in Irving, Texas.