Devorah Lieberman

President, University of La Verne (CA)

As the first female leader of the University of La Verne, Devorah Lieberman, Ph.D., began her tenure as the University’s 18th President in July 2011. She brings with her a strong research and publication background in intercultural communication and diversity issues in higher education, as well as extensive knowledge and experience in higher education administration.

Her leadership philosophy fully aligns with the mission of the University of La Verne—to provide opportunities for students to achieve their personal goals and to become successful professionals and contributing members of the global community through a student-centered, values-based, and diverse learning environment.

During her tenure at Wagner College she led the strategic development of Civic Innovations, a multi-year effort for which the Corporation for National and Community Service provided significant funding. At La Verne, she is implementing the La Verne Experience which will connect theory to practice among all colleges and campuses, and reach across all curricular, co-curricular and community engagement programs.

In January 2012, she was named to the American Council of Education’s (ACE) Commission on Inclusion and to the Resource Development Committee for the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU). Also in 2012, she joined the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles regional office of the American Jewish Committee. In 2011 Lieberman was appointed to the ACE Network Executive Board as a state liaison for Women in Higher Education and is currently serving a three-year term on the Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC) Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges & Universities. She is also a member of the regional Los Angeles County Fair Association.

She has previously served as the chair of the ACE International Collaborative, worked as an ACE Institute Facilitator, acted as an Institutional Representative chair for the New American Colleges & Universities, and sat on the advisory board for the National Review Board for Civic Engagement.

Throughout her administrative career, Lieberman has brought national recognition to the institutions she has been associated with including the ACE “Bringing the World into the Classroom” award, the Washington Center “Higher Education Civic Engagement Award,” and the TIAA-CREF “Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Excellence.”

Lieberman’s personal honors include being one of 13 national scholars chosen to participate in the three-year Project on the Future of Higher Education from 2002 through 2005; the 2000 Oregon Professor of the Year named by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; 1999 Distinguished Faculty Award presented by the Portland State Alumni Association;  and while chairing the statewide Board of Directors for the Oregon Council for Hispanic Advancement (OCHA),  received OCHA’s 1995 Si Se Puede Award and its 1998 Amistad Award, as well as the 2003 Las Mujeres de la Raza Award from the Portland State students and the City of Portland.

She has published and co-authored dozens of books and articles relating to diversity, institutional transformation and current issues affecting higher education including “Successful Models and Practices” in the 2012 edition of Transforming Undergraduate Education: Theory that Compels and Practices that Succeed, and “Engaging a campus in effective intercultural and interracial communication initiatives” in Coming in from the Margins: Faculty Development’s Emerging Organizational Development Role in Institutional Change (2011). Lieberman has also presented and given keynote speeches at national and global conferences, including the ACE Fellows Institute, National Communication Association, and the International Communication Association.

Lieberman earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Humboldt State University (’75), a master’s degree in Intercultural Communication from San Diego State University (’77) and a Ph.D. in Intercultural Communication and Gerontology from the University of Florida (’84).