May 12, 2023
Dear Poet Community,
On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Whittier College, we would like to thank Dr. Linda Oubré for her service as President over the past five years. We are very appreciative of her hard work and have complete confidence that Linda’s leadership and vision have built a strong foundation for Whittier’s future.
When we asked Linda to join us in 2018, we were looking for a change agent who could bring innovation, diversity, and new thinking to the college. Linda has proven to be accomplished and adept in all aspects of her role.
In her five years, Linda has worked diligently to transform the College and build a sustainable foundation for the future. With an unending focus on our mission of student success, Linda has accomplished many things. In fundraising, she attracted the largest gift in the history of the College, a $12 million unrestricted gift from philanthropist Mac Kenzie Scott.
We are grateful to Linda for her leadership and steadfast decision-making during the three years of the pandemic, for her guiding the College through its 8-year re-accreditation, her efforts to realign our resources to our academic mission, developing strategies to invest in the growing local markets for students, and developing strategies that will put the College on strong financial footing. She also worked hard to build on our efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion to ensure that Whittier College will continue to be a welcoming place for all.
While Linda will be leaving as President, she will join her predecessor, Dr. Sharon Herzberger, as President Emeritus.
We wish to congratulate Linda and wish her the best in her future endeavors. We know that she will continue to be a force for change and transformation in support of educational access and affordability.
While Linda’s last day will be June 30, we are fortunate that Dr. sal johnston has agreed to serve as interim president of the college in the immediate as the board identifies next steps. Dr. johnston has been a fixture in the Whittier College community for nearly 30 years. He deeply understands the needs of our students, faculty, staff and alumni. He will provide critical ongoing leadership to the college as the board begins engaging students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community in developing the leadership profile to support a national search for Whittier College’s next president. Additionally, in the next week we will be making important announcements of new board leadership and members of the board. I look forward to sharing those updates with you.
In the coming weeks, the board will announce next steps in the process of beginning a national search for Whittier College’s next president. As part of that work, the board will be engaging directly with critical stakeholders to better understand the needs of the community now and in the future. Working together, we are confident that we will chart the right path forward for Whittier College.
Kenya L. Williams, Esq. JD’10
Whittier College Board of Trustees