Presidential Search Update

Dear Scripps Community Members,

As our community prepares for President Tiedens’ departure from Scripps College and the search for our 10th president, the Board of Trustees will provide periodic updates to keep the community informed about our progress. The selection of a president is the Board’s most important responsibility, and we are committed to a leadership search process that builds on our academic, financial, and reputational strength and prepares the Scripps community for a new era of opportunity and success.

I’m pleased to share an overview of steps the Board has taken to formally initiate the search process and develop pathways for community input.

Leadership Transition

I have convened a trustee working group to facilitate the appointment of an interim president who will assume office upon President Tiedens’ departure. I expect to announce the appointed interim president in the coming weeks.

Search Committee

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce the co-chairs of the Scripps College Presidential Search Committee: Ellen Clark Brown, a trustee since 2013 and chair of the Scripps Beyond Committee, and Deborah David ’72, a trustee since 1990 and chair of the Audit, Risk, and Compliance Committee. Ellen and Deborah 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 trustee, faculty, student, and staff members to ensure that the College’s campus constituencies have an opportunity to help define and prioritize the desired attributes of our next president. Faculty, staff, and student representatives will be identified at the beginning of the spring semester through a peer recommendation process.

Trustee members of the Presidential Search Committee are:

Ellen Clark Brown (Co-Chair)

Deborah David ’72 (Co-Chair)

Mark R. Herron

Joan Isaacs ’71

Patricia Jackson ’82

Gale Picker P’14, P’19

Robert Sacks P’14 (Board Co-Vice Chair)

Lynne Thompson ’72 (Board Chair)

Brooke E. Tomblin ’92, P’22

In addition to the trustee members, Dean Calvo, Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer, will serve on the committee.

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.

We are fortunate to have such strong leadership shepherding this important work. Please join me in thanking Ellen, Deborah, and the search committee appointees for making such a significant commitment of time and energy to support Scripps College.

Community Input

Consistent with the College’s last presidential selection process and best practices endorsed by the Association of Governing Boards and executive search firms, the Presidential Search Committee has decided on a confidential search approach, in which the committee conducts a thorough vetting process culminating in the presentation of a final candidate for approval by the Board. This decision reflects the Board’s understanding of its critical obligation to attract the most highly qualified candidates by ensuring confidentiality throughout the process.

The Board remains committed to an inclusive search process that provides multiple avenues for information and engagement. This spring, 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.

The search committee will convene community forums 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 in February. Once a finalist is identified, expanded input will be sought from community members via confidential small group constituent meetings.

Throughout the search process, the Presidential Search Committee co-chairs will provide regular updates and progress with the Scripps community. I encourage you to stay abreast of the committee’s progress and participate in the many engagement opportunities available over the next few months.

Farewell to President Tiedens

Over the next few months, the Scripps community will have opportunities to wish President Tiedens a fond farewell. Stay tuned for more information from the College about how you can join in our collective celebration of Lara.

Thank you for your continued support of Scripps College.

Warmest regards,

Lynne Thompson ’72 

Chair, Scripps College Board of Trustees



Late January 

Presidential Search Committee Trustee members announced 


Executive search firm selected

Interim President appointment announced

Early March

Times and locations of community forums announced

Presidential Search Committee constituent members announced 

Search website launched

Late March 

Community input and engagement commences

April 15 

Interim president assumes office