Professor Julie Liss Appointed Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty

Posted: August 20, 2015

Dear Scripps College Community,

Julie Liss

I am pleased to announce that Professor Julia (Julie) Liss has been appointed interim vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty for the 2015−16 academic year, effective August 21, 2015. As you know, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Amy Marcus-Newhall has agreed to serve as interim president while a national search for Scripps College’s ninth president is underway, and I am grateful for Julie’s willingness to serve as dean until Dean Marcus-Newhall returns to her post.

Julie was selected following a process generated by members of the Appointments Promotion and Tenure Committee (APT) and Faculty Executive Committee (FEC) in consultation with the interim president-elect and me. Her appointment was approved by the Board of Trustees on August 20. I would like to offer my sincerest thanks to the committee and to acknowledge the leadership of Stacey Wood, APT chair, and Nathalie Rachlin, FEC chair, who steered the effort.

We are fortunate that accomplished faculty members such as Julie are prepared to fill important leadership roles in periods of transition, ensuring that the College is in good hands as we launch the national search for a president during the upcoming academic year.As interim vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, Julie will lead the Scripps faculty and provide oversight for the development and implementation of all academic policies and programs from the date of her appointment through June 30, 2016.As interim dean, Julie will:

  • Serve as the representative of the faculty to the Board of Trustees, the president and interim president, and other senior officers of the College;
  • Advance strategic objectives established by the faculty, such as the 2-2 feasibility study and proposal, the Diversity and Inclusivity Strategic Plan, and the goals set forward in the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant proposal; and spearhead faculty engagement with the LASPA Center;
  • Oversee development of academic budgets;
  • Advise the interim president on faculty appointments and promotions;
  • Serve as co-chair, with the vice president for business affairs/treasurer, of the college-wide budget committee;
  • Negotiate and oversee a variety of intercollegiate academic programs as a member of the Academic Deans Committee;
  • Work closely with colleagues at Pitzer College, Claremont McKenna College, and the W.M Keck Science Department to monitor the success of the science program.

Julie has demonstrated her leadership abilities as a member of the APT, and of FEC for three terms, including two terms as FEC chair. During her most recent term as FEC chair (2011−12), faculty achieved increases in sabbatical compensation. She also helped revive and participated in the Intercollegiate Faculty Council that was a useful forum for addressing concerns across the Consortium. She has a long and successful track record in sustaining intercollegiate curricular endeavors as a member of the American Studies faculty. She led the development of programs while director of the Humanities Institute, has taught in the Core Program in Interdisciplinary Humanities, and served as assistant to the director for Core II. In addition, her background with The Claremont Colleges and Consortium will serve Scripps well and provide continuity to the administration during the period of presidential transition.

Julie’s areas of academic expertise include American intellectual and cultural history and Franz Boas and the history of anthropology. She has earned faculty recognition and achievement awards for teaching, research, and service to Scripps, and has been the recipient of numerous faculty research grants, including the Irvine Faculty Development Grant. She received a prestigious Bernard and Audre Rapoport Fellowship in American Jewish Studies from the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives in 2013 and was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in Bologna, Italy, in 2010.

I am thrilled Julie Liss will lend her leadership skills as a valued member of the senior leadership team and an officer of the College; please join me in congratulating her and wishing her well.


Lori Bettison-Varga

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