Lori Bettison-Varga: 2009-2015

Lori Bettison-Varga became Scripps College’s eighth president July 1, 2009. During her six-year tenure, President Bettison-Varga advanced Scripps College’s reputation as a superior liberal arts college and a leader in women’s education, resulting in a significant increase in admission applications.

President Bettison-Varga launched the College’s most ambitious fundraising campaign to date, which enabled new student scholarships, new facilities including the College’s tenth residence hall, and the Laspa Center for Leadership. In addition, the endowment per student by grew by more than 15 percent during her tenure. President Bettison-Varga’s accomplishments include leading development of a comprehensive sustainability program, establishing campus-wide inclusion and diversity initiatives, and strengthening engagement with all Scripps constituencies through accessible, responsive, and results-oriented leadership.

As a national advocate for higher education, Bettison-Varga served on the boards of the Annapolis Group, Women’s College Coalition, National Merit Scholarship Corporation, the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, National Institute for Technology and Education, the Wye Advisory Council, and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and she was a member of the International Women’s Forum.

Prior to coming to Scripps College, Bettison-Varga was provost and dean of the faculty at Whitman College, from 2007 to 2009. Previously, she served as a professor in the Department of Geology and associate dean for research and grants at the College of Wooster, from 2002-2007. She earned 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.