Preparing For President Bettison-Varga’s Departure From Scripps College

Posted: July 20, 2015


August 3
Search website launched

Executive search firm selected

Beginning of 2015-2016 academic year
Interim Dean of Faculty appointment announced

Early September
Presidential Search Committee members announced

Early October
Farewell event for President Bettison-Varga

October 5
Dr. Marcus-Newhall assumes interim president role

Community input and engagement

Search committee recommends presidential candidates to the Board

Dear Scripps Community Members,

As we prepare for President Bettison-Varga’s departure from Scripps College and the search for a new president, the Board of Trustees will provide regular updates to keep the community informed of our progress. While it is still very early in the process, we wanted to share our initial steps, particularly those that relate to opportunities for community input.

Leadership Transition

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Amy Marcus-Newhall is currently serving as special advisor to President Bettison-Varga and will assume the role of interim president on October 5. The Board expects to appoint an interim dean of faculty upon completion of a faculty-led nomination and recommendation process by the beginning of the academic year.

Search Committee

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce the co-chairs of the Scripps College Presidential Search Committee: Bob Sacks, a trustee since 2014 and parent of a 2014 Scripps alumna, and Betsy Weinberg Smith ’74, a trustee since 1995 and vice chair of the Board of Trustees since 2009. Bob and Betsy will lead the search committee in its charge to develop and implement a thorough and inclusive process for identifying, evaluating, and recommending a candidate for the next president of Scripps College.

The search committee will be composed of trustees, faculty, students, alumnae, and staff to ensure that all of the College’s constituencies have an opportunity to help define and prioritize the desired attributes of our next president. Faculty and student representatives will be identified at the beginning of the academic year through a peer recommendation process.Trustee members of the Presidential Search Committee are:

  • Ellen Clark Brown
  • Barbara Bruner ’76
  • Libby Greig DeMeo ’95
  • Mark Herron (board chair)
  • Bob Sacks P’14 (co-chair)
  • Betsy Weinberg Smith ’74 (co-chair)
  • Linda Davis Taylor P’11
  • Lynne Thompson ’72


In addition to the trustee members, Dr. Marcus-Newhall has been appointed to the committee.

In order to meet our goal of identifying candidates no later than spring 2016, the search committee will soon initiate selection of an executive search firm to help recruit the most highly qualified candidates and advise the College throughout the search process.

Selecting a president is one of the Board’s most critical responsibilities, and we are fortunate to have such strong leadership shepherding this important work. Please join me in thanking Bob, Betsy, and the search committee appointees for making such a significant commitment of time and energy to support Scripps College.

Community Input

The Board is committed to an inclusive search process that provides multiple avenues for information and engagement. At the beginning of August, the College will launch a presidential search website that will provide: current updates as well as past correspondence; a forum to share input on those leadership qualities deemed most important to our community; and an opportunity to communicate with the search committee.

On-campus forums will also be held for Scripps constituents to share their aspirations, insights, and concerns as we consider potential presidential candidates. Details on the times and locations of the forums will be announced at the beginning of the academic year.

I look forward to sharing updates and progress with you throughout the search process over the coming weeks and months. Thank you for your continued support of Scripps College.

Warmest regards,

Mark R. Herron
Chair, Scripps College Board of Trustees

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