Scripps anticipates Johnson arrival
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson, set to depart Dartmouth at the end of the academic year, will begin work at Scripps College, a 1,000-student women’s college in Claremont, California, on August 1. Her selection as dean of students and vice president of student at Scripps follows the unexpected death of the former dean last November and recent calls from students for greater administrative transparency.

Bekki Lee, former vice president of student affairs and dean of students at Scripps, died suddenly of a stroke in October 2013. Since her death, the position has been temporarily divided into two, with French professor Nathalie Rachlin acting as interim vice president of student affairs and Samuel Haynes filling in as acting dean of students. The position’s vacancy has contributed to an escalating disconnect between students and the Scripps administration, said Scripps freshman Rebecca Millberg, a member of the search committee that selected Johnson. “One of the things I’m most excited about for Charlotte to get here is to rebuild that communication,” Millberg said. Johnson’s work will involve developing a support center for survivors of sexual assault, overseeing a disability services center across the five-school consortium and further other issues of diversity and inclusivity. In her role, Johnson will lead a staff of about 20 and a range of offices, including student activities and residential life, academic services, a field house athletic facility and an office dedicated to issues of student diversity, according to the position prospectus, published in March. Rachlin said she hopes Johnson will provide strong leadership. “We have a very new young team of professionals, and I think she will be a great mentor to them,” she said. Tori Sepand, a Scripps junior and selection committee member, said the committee sought a candidate who could relate to students. “We’re working on trying to, as an institution, be a better support system for underrepresented groups and students that might feel minimized or not listened to,” Millberg said. “We just felt that she would get the job done.” According to the position prospectus, Scripps emphasized that its ideal candidate would have extensive experience in student affairs, value liberal arts education for women and be able to respond to and collaborate effectively with faculty and students. Sepand said that Johnson’s emphasis on fostering personal relationships with students was something that had been lacking at Scripps. After a national search, Johnson visited Scripps for an on-campus interview earlier this spring and met with staff, faculty and over 35 students.
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