Office of the President

“Continue to think deeply and critically about the issues of our day; continue to challenge your assumptions and the assumptions of others; continue to think for yourself, rather than bow to the thoughts of another. Feel free to change your mind, if the evidence warrants.”

— Lori Bettison-Varga, from her charge to the Class of 2012

About President Bettison-Varga

Lori Bettison-VargaLori Bettison-Varga became Scripps College’s eighth president in July 2009. She is recognized as an advocate for undergraduate research and a proponent of the liberal arts.

An accomplished scientist in the discipline of geology, Bettison-Varga has had her research featured in several peer-reviewed publications, including GeologyAmerican MineralogistGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta and Tectonics. She is a vocal supporter of women in science and undergraduate research.

A recipient of a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award (1994-99), Bettison-Varga has received five grants from the National Science Foundation and has been an invited participant and panelist at half a dozen NSF-sponsored conferences and on Capitol Hill.

President Bettison-Varga’s leadership includes the presidency of the Council on Undergraduate Research (2006-07), as well as 15 years of service to the organization in multiple capacities. In 2006, she was project director for The Teagle Foundation with The Five Colleges of Ohio, and panel chair for the National Science Foundation/American Geophysical Union conference in 1996. She is a member of the Presidents Trust, American Association of Colleges and Universities; on the board of directors of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation; executive board member of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities; advisory board member of the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education; and a visionary delegate to Vision 2020.

Prior to Scripps College, Bettison-Varga was provost and dean of faculty at Whitman College. She also served as associate dean for research and grants and chair of the Geology Department at The College of Wooster, and director of the Keck Geology Consortium.

Bettison-Varga has a PhD and MS in geology from the University of California, Davis, and a BA in geology, with honors, from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

She is married to fellow geologist Bob Varga and has three children.