Frequently Asked Questions


Q: When did the search process begin?

A: The search process formally began in December by the Board of Trustees.

Q: Who is leading Scripps’ presidential search?

A: Board Chair Lynne Thompson ’72 convened a trustee working group to lead the search. The committee is co-chaired by Trustees Ellen Clark Brown and Deborah David ’72.

Q: What happens next?

A: When the committee feels confident that a strong applicant pool exists, it will work to develop a list of candidates to be interviewed by the search committee, which will then meet to narrow the list to one recommended candidate. The entire Board of Trustees will review the committee’s recommendation and vote to select the next president.


Q: Is the Board’s role to endorse the search committee’s recommendation or will the Board conduct an independent evaluation of the candidates?

A: A committee that has conscientiously fulfilled its duty will recognize the best candidate, one who “fits” the College, and will be able to convince the Board of the wisdom of its recommendation. The final act in the search process is the appointment of the president, a decision made by the full Board.


Q: What is the role of the Presidential Search Committee?

A: The search committee will identify and evaluate potential candidates to serve as Scripps’ next president and will advance a recommended finalist to the Board of Trustees. The ultimate decision to appoint a president rests with the full Board.

Q: What is the role of the co-chairs relative to the rest of the committee members? Do the co-chairs make all of the decisions?

A: The co-chairs 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 co-chairs will work closely with the search firm to ensure that the process moves forward on schedule and in alignment with the charge from the Board. Co-chairs provide an important connection between the Board and the search committee and serve as spokespersons for the committee. Co-chairs ensure that the full range of constituent voices is represented in discussions and decisions.

Q: How is the search committee membership composed so that it represents the Scripps community?

A: The committee is composed primarily of trustees because it is ultimately the Board’s responsibility to select a president, and the search committee wants to ensure that a number of trustees have been involved throughout the process. The committee composition reflects Scripps’ shared governance structure, which ensures the participation of faculty members appointed by the Faculty Executive Committee and staff and student members selected through an application and review process administered by the search committee. However, it is important to note that every committee member serves with the best interest of the College in mind, rather than as a representative of a particular constituency. The search committee will make decisions thoughtfully and collaboratively, considering the perspectives of all constituencies. Decisions will not be made on the basis of a simple majority vote.

Q: How many candidates will the search committee submit to the Board of Trustees?

A: One candidate will be submitted to the Board.



Q: What information can search committee members share with the community?

A: 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 an open, yet 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.

Q: Will there be updates throughout the search?

A: The Presidential Search Committee co-chairs will provide regular updates and progress with the Scripps community.


Q: How can stakeholders provide input into the process?

A: Stakeholders are a critical component of an effective search, and the search committee welcomes comments and feedback. Stakeholders are encouraged to visit to offer input via the online comment form.

Q: How can we guarantee that the next president is committed to issues that have been designated as priorities by the Scripps community?

A: The best way to shape the position description is to take advantage of all of the input opportunities available to the community. The College’s Centennial Plan will also guide the work of the search committee as they do the work of the Board, and the job prospectus will reflect the community’s values and priorities.

Q: To whom do I direct specific questions about the search process?

A: Questions about the search process may be submitted directly to the co-chairs at [email protected], and they will respond as well as ensure they are shared with the committee.