Dear Scripps College Community Members,
I am pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Suzanne Keen as the 10th president of Scripps College, effective July 1, 2022. She will hold the title of the W.M. Keck Foundation Presidential Chair, established in 1980. Dr. Keen is a distinguished scholar and professor of English literature, who comes to Scripps from her position as the vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty at Hamilton College in New York.
Dr. Keen was unanimously selected from a highly competitive pool of 64 applicants and 14 semifinalists, developed over the course of an eight-month search process. The Board believes that Dr. Keen’s proven track record of academic and administrative leadership, strategic planning, and fundraising, as well as her commitment to inclusivity, access, and affordability, will establish the framework for her success at Scripps. Dr. Keen brings a decade of experience as a dean; her current role followed a term as dean of the college at Washington and Lee, where she had also served as chair of the English Department. As a chief academic officer, Dr. Keen has enhanced experiential learning opportunities for students by expanding undergraduate research, improving access to student research, study abroad, and internship programs, and establishing a robust advising initiative.
Dr. Keen’s scholarship focuses on narrative empathy and feminist rhetorical narrative theory. Over the course of her career, she has earned numerous awards and honors, including the Academy of American Poets Prize, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia. While at Hamilton, she created and expanded initiatives for faculty development and retention as well as for comprehensive integrated advising and student support, focusing on experiential learning, such as off-campus study, internships and vocational exploration, and collaborative research opportunities. A professor of literature and creative writing, Dr. Keen has remained an active interdisciplinary scholar. Her full résumé is available here.
She received her AB in English Literature and Studio Art from Brown University, graduating magna cum laude, with election to Phi Beta Kappa. She also received an AM in creative writing from Brown before earning her MA and PhD in English language and literature from Harvard University. She is looking forward to engaging with and learning from the Scripps community, and I encourage you to join me in providing a warm welcome to Dr. Keen and her family.
We thank the College community for its input, trust in the process, and support throughout this effort. The Board of Trustees wishes to extend special thanks to the members of the Presidential Search Committee, which was composed of trustee, faculty, student, alumnae, and staff representatives, for their dedication to the College in this important endeavor, and to Trustees Ellen Clark Brown and Deborah David ’72 for serving as search committee co-chairs.
Scripps College Interim President Amy Marcus-Newhall will return to her previous position as vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, a position she has held since 2010, effective July 1, 2022. The Trustees are grateful for Marcus-Newhall’s invaluable leadership as interim president over the past seven months and for her dedicated service throughout her career at Scripps College.
Lynne Thompson ’72
Chair, Board of Trustees