Under pressure from alumni groups angry about her leadership, Whittier College president Linda Oubré announced her resignation, effective at the end of June, in an email to campus Friday.
Oubré had faced criticism from alumni and employees alike over a litany of issues at the small, private liberal arts college in California that counts Richard Nixon among its graduates. Those concerns included plunging enrollment, athletic program cuts and allegations that Oubré and Whittier’s Board of Trustees had attempted to silence critics via legal threats. Some alumni even spearheaded an effort to get donors to withhold gifts to the institution until she resigned.
Oubré, who has served as president since 2018, did not address the criticism in her email.
“At the close of another academic year, I reflect on everything we have accomplished together. As we begin to plan for another year, I think that it is time to embark on a new journey. I believe that now is the right time for me to step down as President of Whittier College. I recently informed the Board of Trustees of my resignation effective June 30, 2023,” Oubré wrote.
In her email, Oubré described the college as “well positioned for the future.”
A board statement also sidestepped the controversy around Oubré and focused largely on her accomplishments. The statement noted that sal johnston, the vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty, who uses only lower-case letters in his name, would serve as interim president while a national search is conducted to find Whittier’s next leader.