A Statement from Soka President Edward M. Feasel

July 17, 2020
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Ed Feasel

Dear Soka Community,

I am very honored to become president of SUA and I want to thank the Board of Trustees for showing their trust in me through their selection. I am especially grateful to our university founder, Daisaku Ikeda, for establishing SUA as a citadel of education for global citizenship. It was my distinct pleasure to serve in Danny Habuki’s administration for over 20 years and I thank and congratulate him on all of his accomplishments during his incredible tenure as SUA president.

Becoming president of SUA at this auspicious time as we celebrate the upcoming 20th anniversary of the undergraduate program, I am focused on recommitting to the founding principles and spirit upon which Mr. Ikeda established SUA.

In his speech at Teacher’s College, Columbia University, Mr. Ikeda clearly outlined the three attributes of a global citizen as courage, compassion and wisdom; attributes that encourage an inner transformation of the individual to see oneself as part of a larger community where we all serve each other to enhance our individual and collective existence. The foundation of SUA is based upon the values of peace, human rights, and the sanctity of life.

I look forward to embarking on a deeper community discussion and effort to realize these principles and spirit on our campus. It is also imperative that we continue and build upon the efforts that we initiated earlier this year to respond to the challenge posed by all forms of racial bias and discrimination that we have experienced on campus and see in society. In both these regards, I will be releasing another statement in the near future on some new initiatives I will be implementing as president.

On the occasion of this new departure, I have also discussed the new leadership of the university with the Board of Trustees and, as a first step in this effort to recommit to the founding principles, I would like to announce the appointment of Kevin Moncrief as vice president for mission integration. Dr. Moncrief has an extensive career in higher education and business, as well as a long history of work and understanding of Mr. Ikeda’s philosophy of global citizenship.

Bryan Penprase will serve as our new vice president for sponsored research and external academic relations. Michael Weiner will become our vice president for academic affairs and interim dean of faculty. Vice President Weiner and Penprase’s appointments will be effective August 16. Along with these new appointments, I am creating an SUA Leadership Council including other deans, vice presidents and myself.

The full membership of the SUA Leadership Council is as follows:

  • Edward Feasel, president
  • Arch Asawa, vice president for finance & administration
  • Katherine King, vice president for human resources & risk management
  • Michael Weiner, vice president for academic affairs and interim dean of faculty
  • Tomoko Takahashi, vice president for institutional research and assessment and the dean of the graduate school
  • Bryan Penprase, vice president for sponsored research and external academic relations
  • Kevin Moncrief, vice president for mission integration
  • Hyon Moon, dean of students
  • Michelle Hobby, associate dean of students
  • Andrew Woolsey, dean of enrollment services
  • David Welch, university counsel

I believe that leadership is always a position of service. Together with all members of the SUA Leadership Council, we look forward to working together with and serving all of you, the members of the Soka community.

Sincerely,
Ed Feasel, President