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Meet Oglethorpe University’s new president

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After an extensive nationwide search, the Oglethorpe University Board of Trustees has unanimously elected Nicholas Ladany, PhD, as the next President of Oglethorpe University, effective July 1. Ladany will also serve as a member of the faculty, in the role of Professor of Psychology.

Ladany is the Dean of the School of Leadership and Education Sciences and Associate Provost for Academic Outreach at the University of San Diego. A leading expert in counseling psychology, he oversees 30 academic departments and programs, including 12 multi-disciplinary research and community partnership institutes and centers, with more than 200 faculty and staff serving over 1,000 students.

Ladany will succeed Lawrence M. Schall, who has served as Oglethorpe University’s president for nearly 15 years.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire Oglethorpe community, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Nick Ladany as the seventeenth President of this university,” said Tim Tassopoulos, chair of the Oglethorpe University Board of Trustees and president and chief operating officer of Chick-fil-A Inc. “Dr. Ladany is an outstanding scholar and experienced leader, and is highly regarded for building community while inspiring academic excellence. His leadership will be key to the continuation of the growth and momentum that Oglethorpe is currently experiencing.”

Ladany is an internationally known scholar and educator, having taught, given invited lectures, or presented in several countries. The author of six books and more than 80 publications, he has given more than 250 national and international presentations on the topics of mental health supervision and training; diversity, inclusion, and social justice; and higher education leadership. Most recently, he published the article “The Next Pivot for Successful Liberal Arts Colleges: The 2020’s.”

“At Oglethorpe, the culture is about focusing on the whole student, both in academics and life. I’m struck by the work of Oglethorpe’s extraordinary students and deeply engaged faculty and staff,” said Ladany. “It is important to me to serve at an institution whose values I share. The people at Oglethorpe reached my heart.”

Ladany received his PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University at Albany, State University of New York and has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Maryland. He is a Fellow of the Society of Counseling Psychology, a division of the American Psychological Association.

Prior to joining the University of San Diego in 2015, Ladany served as the Dean of the School of Education and Counseling Psychology at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. He previously served as Professor and Director of the Counseling Program at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, as well as Professor and Chair of the Department of Education and Human Services, and Program Coordinator and Director of Doctoral Training of the Counseling Psychology Program at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Born in Washington, D.C. to an immigrant family, he was the first in his family to attend college, like nearly 40% of Oglethorpe students. This experience shaped his outlook on the role of education in society.

“Education is a gateway to a better quality of life,” expressed Ladany. “As a university, we have privilege and with that, a duty to reach out to underserved populations. Everyone should have the opportunity to experience the transformative power of a liberal arts education.”

Ladany is married to Randa El Jurdi, and together have three adult daughters.

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