Thank You Dean Ladany!

Dean Nick Ladany

Everyone at the School of Leadership and Education Sciences would like to thank Dean Nick Ladany for all he has done at SOLES and USD.
We wish him the best as President of Oglethorpe University and all his future endeavors. 

In appreciation and recognition for his service, leadership and commitment to the core values of the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego, an annual scholarship award for students will be presented at the Diversity, Inclusion, Social Justice Excellence Showcase.

Message from the Provost

It is with great pride that I write to announce that Dean Nicholas Ladany, School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES), has been appointed to become the seventeenth president of Oglethorpe University, a private liberal arts college in Atlanta, Georgia.

Nick took on the role of Dean in 2015. During his tenure, he demonstrated an ambitious vision for SOLES that has driven the school forward during a time of great change. An advocate for increased access to higher education, Nick launched the faculty-initiated academic online PhD program, Education for Social Justice, Arts and Culture. As Dean, he embraced opportunities for making higher education innovative by leading the development of a comprehensive enrollment management plan that resulted in increased applications, enrollments, and revenue. He developed over a dozen diversity and inclusion initiatives; creating pathways for student support resources including scholarships, an alumni mentoring program, and a writing center. Further, his vision goes beyond SOLES as evidenced by his unwavering commitment to advancing undergraduate and graduate education, raising more than $21 million towards USD’s comprehensive campaign.

Moving forward, Dr. Joi Spencer, associate dean and professor in SOLES, has agreed to serve as interim dean beginning in July 2020.  Dr. Spencer spearheaded the newest degree in SOLES, the PhD in Education for Social Justice program, which welcomed its first cohort in Fall 2019. She is also co-founder of STEAM Academy and the STEAM Youth and Community Conference; two initiatives designed to improve mathematics, engineering and science learning opportunities for middle and high school students and have served over 1500 high school students and their families throughout the San Diego region. Most recently, Joi served as chair of the editorial board for her field’s premiere academic journal, Journal for Research in Mathematics Education.

In the coming months, we will organize a search committee to help us select the School’s next leader who will build upon the foundation already established in SOLES. As with all of our search initiatives, the goals articulated by this committee will guide the process so that we select a dean whose values and vision align closely with the mission of USD.

I will seek input from the faculty, staff and students in appointing the committee who will begin their work by the end of the semester.

Once again, please join me in congratulating President-elect Ladany on his outstanding contributions to our community and his bright future at Oglethorpe. 


Gail F. Baker, PhD
Vice President and Provost


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