Scripps to Extend Search for New President
Jaicel Ortega | Feb. 19, 2016, 10:37 a.m.
On Feb. 12, the Scripps College Presidential Search Committee announced they are extending their search for Scripps’ ninth President.
According to Search Committee Co-Chairs Bob Sacks and Betsy Weinberg Smith SC ’74, the previous deadline of March 2016 for presenting a candidate to the Board of Trustees has been extended in an effort to grant the time needed to “identify a candidate that it can wholeheartedly recommend to the Board” as Scripps’ next leader.
The committee has convened numerous times both in person and on the telephone to discuss the credentials of a wide range of applicants.
“We have been working under a very aggressive schedule, but now believe we need additional time to properly and fully assess the candidates,” Sacks and Weinberg Smith wrote in an email to TSL.
The search committee is composed of Scripps Associated Students President Minjoo Kim SC ’16, peer-selected faculty members Nancy Neiman Auerbach, Mary W. Johnson and Lara Deeb, Interim President Amy Marcus-Newhall, and Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, a search firm that has worked previously with Harvey Mudd College and Pomona College.
“Interim President Amy Marcus-Newhall’s continued leadership ensures that the college can continue to move forward without missing a beat as the search for a new president continues” wrote Sacks and Weinberg Smith.
Although the search results are confidential, Scripps has been dedicated to receiving community input. According to Sacks and Weinberg Smith, this past September, more than 500 trustees, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents participated in focus groups, information sessions, and online surveys to describe qualities they wanted the new president to embody.
The Committee has embarked on the task to find a candidate with specific qualities that fit the Scripps Community. The prospectus, which can be found on the Scripps Presidential Search website, outlines these qualities. Scripps’ ninth president will be a leader who “believes in sustaining a community of deep engagement and mutual respect, and whose educational philosophy builds upon that of founder Ellen Browning Scripps, who wrote, “the paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.’”
It also reiterates Scripps’ mission “to educate women to develop their intellects and talents through active participation in a community of scholars, so that graduates may contribute to society through public and private lives of leadership, service, integrity, and creativity.”
In an email to TSL, Sacks and Weinberg Smith promised that “the caliber of individuals who have expressed strong interest in joining the Scripps community is impressive and the search committee is very pleased with its progress to date.”
Moving forward in the coming weeks, the search committee expects to conduct in-depth interviews with the final candidates and appoint a new Scripps President by the end of the academic year.
Sacks and Weinberg Smith shared their excitement for Scripps next leader to “have the opportunity to build upon the great successes of President Bettison-Varga’s tenure and to chart the college’s future course.”