An Innovator with a Global Vision

By Scott Craig   |   January 4, 2022
Rick Ostrander heads up the expanding Westmont Downtown program

The Westmont Downtown semester program has become an important link between the college and the Santa Barbara community. With the acquisition last summer of a second building on Anapamu Street in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, Westmont has the opportunity to extend its reach even further.

Rick Ostrander has assumed the new position of executive director of Westmont Downtown and assistant to the president for global education, innovation, and new program development. In overseeing Westmont Downtown and global education, he’ll lead the next phase of extending Westmont’s reach and influence.

“Rick’s 20-year career of serving and leading in various executive positions in higher education and his global experience make his contributions highly valuable,” says President Gayle D. Beebe.

“I have long admired Westmont as one of the nation’s leading Christian liberal arts colleges, and I’m thrilled with the opportunity to contribute to its continued development,” Ostrander says.

In addition to directing Westmont Downtown, Ostrander will promote and coordinate innovative efforts across various departments and entities on campus. His deep experience in global higher education will help the college develop new academic programs and partnerships to strengthen enrollment on campus and expand off-campus programs.

Ostrander’s extensive background includes a doctorate in history from the University of Notre Dame and work as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Germany. He has also served as provost of Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and as vice president for academic programs at the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities in Washington, D.C. Throughout his career, he has visited more than 80 colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. Christian colleges nationwide have used his book, Why College Matters to God: An Introduction to Christian Learning, as a first-year text.


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