Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson will depart Dartmouth for Scripps College after this academic year, College President Phil Hanlon announced in an email Friday morning. Johnson will be the vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Scripps, a 1,000-student women’s college in Claremont, California.
There, Johnson will oversee student life, help develop a student leadership center and teach, according to a College press release.
During her three years at Dartmouth, Johnson helped usher forth several student life initiatives, emphasizing student wellness and harm reduction. These include upgrading student-advising services, introducing new social venues through the Collis Center and Sarner Underground, expanding mental health resources at Dick’s House and promoting new residential options.
“She will leave Dartmouth stronger than when she arrived,” Hanlon said in the email.
Alongside sexual assault prevention expert Jennifer Messina ’93, Johnson and her team also created the Dartmouth Bystander Initiative, a program that educates students on identifying and stopping situations that may lead to sexual assault.
In February, Johnson announced the Center for Community Action and Prevention to centralize existing efforts to prevent sexual violence. After the announcement, however, several faculty expressed concern with the center, criticizing its timing and administrators’ lack of transparency. Johnson met with a faculty group later that month to talk about coordinating resources, DBI training and the allocation of funds.
In 2012, Johnson helped introduce a series of harm reduction policies, including random Safety and Security walkthroughs, harsher punishments on Greek houses caught serving pre-made batch drinks and re-envisioned penalties for hazing violations.
Some of these policies were immediately met with ambivalence and criticism from the student body. At the time, Johnson said she thought a "silent majority" of students supported the spirit of the reforms but did not express that support publicly.
Since Johnson arrived at Dartmouth, the College has experienced a three-year decline in high blood alcohol level emergency cases.
Recently, Johnson also played a key role in responding to campus life concerns voiced through the “Freedom Budget,” a student-authored list of more than 70 suggestions for College policy changes. In conjunction with Hanlon, she spoke with demonstrators during the Parkhurst Hall sit-in, a protest prompted by Hanlon’s choice not to respond point-by-point to the document’s demands, and reiterated both her dedication and the College’s commitment toward fighting social injustice.
Former College President Jim Yong Kim appointed Johnson as Dean of the College in July 2011, following a national search led by Dean of the Faculty Michael Mastanduno. In a previous press release, Mastanduno highlighted Johnson’s skill at “bridging the gap between student and academic affairs” and experience working in higher education as reasons for her selection.
Prior to her time at Dartmouth, Johnson served for five years as dean of Colgate University, where she led a student affairs division consisting of 114 staff members. Johnson has also worked as the University of Michigan Law School’s director of academic service and as its assistant dean for student affairs.
At Scripps, Johnson will collaborate with the existing leadership team to serve a student body of just under 1,000 students. As part of the Claremont University Consortium, Scripps is linked to six other independent colleges with a total of 6,300 full-time students.