Board Chairman Ron Gastelum On Interim Presidency Extension

October 20, 2023

Dear Poet Community,

I’ve had the privilege to spend the past two weekends on our beautiful campus, and I walked away energized by the conversations I had with students, alumni, faculty and staff about the future of this great institution.

I want to take this opportunity to provide an update on the status of our interim presidency and share our plans for the search for a new leader. Since Dr. Dillon stepped into the role this summer, she has worked tirelessly to ensure the stability of our institution by introducing a short-range strategic plan to fortify our fiscal position by focusing on enrollment and fundraising.

Acknowledging the tremendous progress being made under her leadership, the Board voted to ask Dr. Dillon to extend her term for one year beyond the initially agreed-upon end date. I am pleased to report that she has accepted this request and will remain in her role through June 2025. Her dedication to the college has been invaluable, and we are grateful for her continued service.

An ideal interim leader, she is a uniter with a vision for our future success, bringing the common threads of our community together. We are fortunate to benefit from an additional 12 months with Dr. Dillon leading us.

This extension will also provide the Board with the necessary time to prepare for a search for Whittier College’s next President. We anticipate extensive discussions with faculty and staff this spring before the Board begins a process that will be recommended by our presidential pre-search committee. The formal Search Committee will include members representing faculty, students, alumni, and staff.

Our goal is to ensure an inclusive and thoughtful search, and now, with Dr. Dillon’s extended timeline, we have the opportunity to do so, and to attract top candidates. We are committed to regular communication with the Poet Community, ensuring your voices are heard and valued.

Thank you for your continued commitment to Whittier College. I am excited about the next steps to support the future of this great community.


Ron Gastelum ’68
Chair of the Board of Trustees Whittier College