Biography

Learn more about President Nicholas Ladany

Dr. Nicholas Ladany and his wife, Randa El Jurdi

Nicholas Ladany, PhD was unanimously elected as the 17th President of Oglethorpe University, effective July 1, 2020. Dr. Ladany also serves as a member of the faculty, as Professor of Psychology. 

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 graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education Institute for Management and Leadership in Education and the Management Development Program. He is a Fellow of the Society of Counseling Psychology, a division of the American Psychological Association.

An internationally known scholar and educator, Ladany has taught, given lectures, and presented in countries that include Canada, Denmark, Ecuador, England, Italy, Kuwait, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Uruguay. The author of six books and more than 80 publications, he has given 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.”

An administrator with a proven record of success, Ladany has decades of experience as a teacher and scholar who places a strong value on the liberal arts.  Prior to Oglethorpe, Ladany was Dean of the School of Leadership and Education Sciences and Associate Provost for Academic Outreach at the University of San Diego, where he oversaw 30 academic departments and programs, including 12 multi-disciplinary research and community partnership institutes and centers. 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, where he developed and funded a second campus location focused on preparing teachers to work in under-served Latinx communities.  He also 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, Ladany 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. His life experience and academic training have also influenced how he leads. He significantly increased the diversity of the faculty, staff and students at both institutions where he served as Dean, and has commented that “A focus on diversity and inclusion is the primary lens through which I make decisions.” 

Ladany’s commitment to shared governance and collaboration with all stakeholders will be critical as he leads the development of Oglethorpe’s next strategic plan, an area in which he has deep experience. His innovative practices in teaching and learning, including project-based learning, design thinking, interdisciplinary programs, augmented reality, employer-college partnerships, and global education, will play a key role in the university’s future. 

Ladany is married to Randa El Jurdi, and together have three adult daughters. El Jurdi was born in Beirut, Lebanon and graduated from the American University of Beirut with a B.S. in Nursing. She received her master’s degree in Globalization and Educational Change from Lehigh University. She has worked in a variety of inter-connected professions including as a registered nurse during the Civil War in Lebanon in the 1980s, nursing instructor at the Ministry of Health School of Nursing in the United Arab Emirates, Head of the Science Department of a K-12 an international school, and an educational consultant with Pearson Education. Most recently, she worked as a study abroad advisor at Loyola Marymount University and Santa Clara University. She is strongly committed to diversity and inclusion, particularly in the areas of women’s rights, racial equality and civil rights, and LGBTQ advocacy, and is passionate about international and global issues, having lived in five countries and visited more than 26 countries.


President Nicholas Ladany on Creativity


President Ladany on Diversity and Inclusion


President Ladany on Shared Governance