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Ed Feasel, PhD, named President of Soka University of America

Edward Feasel, PhD


Aliso Viejo, CA –  In June Daniel Habuki, PhD, founding president of Soka University of America (SUA), announced his upcoming retirement this summer after 27 years of leadership.  On 7/17/2020 Soka University of America’s Board of Trustees appointed Edward Feasel, PhD to become SUA’s second president.

Dr. Feasel responded: “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.”

Feasel previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Feasel has been with SUA since 1998 and was instrumental during the initial phases of development of the university, serving as one of the founding faculty of the undergraduate program, as Dean of Students in 2001, as Dean of Faculty in 2005, and as Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2015.

Feasel has also continued to maintain his responsibilities as Professor of Economics with two books recently published entitled Exports, Trade Policy, and Economic Growth in Eras of Globalization (2018) and Japan’s Aid: Lessons for Economic Growth, Development and Political Economy (2014).

Feasel received his BA in Economics from Yale University and earned his PhD in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests are in economic outcomes and societal values, regional economic issues – Orange County Economy, economic growth, and effects of monetary and fiscal policy.

In recognition of his sincere and heartfelt leadership over the past 27 years, the Board of Trustees has named Dr. Habuki as President Emeritus of SUA in deep appreciation for his years of service and dedication to the university.

Under his leadership, SUA grew from a small graduate program in the 1990s to one of the top 30 liberal arts colleges in the country.

With his focus on academic excellence and care for each student’s development and happiness, Dr. Habuki insured that every student received the best education possible, as he encouraged a culture of care across the campus. Under his leadership, many SUA graduates were accepted into top graduate schools and programs throughout the world.  Dr. Habuki established the Soka Opportunity Grant program to make Soka education available to students of limited means around the world.

The Aliso Viejo campus opened in 2001 and has been further transformed with construction of a world class performing arts center, academic building, additional residence halls, and now the completion of a new state-of-the-art life sciences building – the Marie and Pierre Curie Hall.

Dr. Habuki shared that “none of this would have been possible without the tremendous vision, founding principles and support by our university founder, Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, to whom I have dedicated my life’s work. I am deeply humbled and filled with appreciation to have had this opportunity to serve and to be surrounded by such dedicated staff, faculty and students. And I especially want to express my appreciation to our alumni, the treasures of SUA, who are living our mission as global citizens and leaders each day in making the world a better place.”

Soka University is a private, four-year liberal arts college and graduate school located in Aliso Viejo, CA.  The BA program in Liberal Arts offers an 8:1 student/faculty ratio, average class size of 12, and study abroad for every undergraduate student (included in cost of attendance).  Admitted students whose annual family income is $60,000 or less may be eligible for Soka Opportunity Grants, which cover full tuition.  Additional scholarship opportunities are available for higher income levels. About 50% of Soka University’s students come from the US and 50% come from other countries. Over the past 19 years, international students have come to SUA from more than 50 countries.   www.soka.edu