After just an eight-month tenure, Scripps College President Suzanne Keen and the Board of Trustees announced she was stepping down, effective immediately, in a statement emailed to the Scripps community this morning.
A follow-up email from the Office of the Board of Trustees was sent minutes later with additional details, including that Amy Marcus-Newhall will take over for the third time as acting president.
Keen was appointed president in November 2021 and began her term on July 1, 2022 after a controversial search for candidates. Her resignation comes just over a month before her official inauguration, which was set for April 28-29.
In her resignation statement, Keen said she is “very sorry for the disappointment that this news causes” and noted that she and her husband, Francis MacDonnell, “have so much to be grateful for despite [their] short time in Claremont.” She said she plans to return to the East Coast — where she and her husband’s elderly fathers live — and her role as an English professor, which she “sorely missed.”
No other reasoning was given as to why Keen’s resignation occurred so abruptly.
The Board of Trustees noted in their email that Keen successfully guided Scripps through its reaffirmation of accreditation, a short-term goal she highlighted in a Q&A with TSL in September.
However, the long-term goals she spoke of — improving access and affordability — will not have the chance to be fully realized under her leadership.
“We would like to thank Dr. Keen for her contributions during her time as president. We wish Suzanne and Fran well,” Laura Hockett SC ’85, chair of the Board of Trustees, said.
In recent years, the Scripps community has been faced with uncertainty as administrators have resigned and been reappointed. Keen’s predecessor, Lara Tiedens, resigned in April 2021 after five years as president.