Susan Darlington Named President of the Formerly All-Male Deep Springs College in California

Susan M. Darlington was selected to be the next president of Deep Springs College in a secluded valley in the eastern California desert. She will take office in August.

The college admitted women in 2018 for the first time since its founding in 1917. The two-year college has a total of only about 30 students. This year women make up 54 percent of the student body. The college does not grant bachelor’s degrees but after two years at Deep Springs, a large percentage of the student body transfers to highly selective undergraduate institutions. Tuition at the two-year school is free. But all students are required to work 20 hours a week at the college’s cattle ranch and alfalfa farm. The nearest town is 40 miles from campus. Students agree to stay on campus during the full academic term. Drugs and alcohol are strictly prohibited.

David Neidorf, the current president of Deep Springs College, stated that the search committee was not seeking out a woman president. “It was not a criteria for the job – she’s just the best person. It’s a great thing for the future of the college and the spirit of the college as it enters a coed second century.”

Dr. Darlington is currently a professor of anthropology and Asian studies and dean of the School of Critical Social Inquiry at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her research, based on extensive fieldwork in Thailand, examines the work of Buddhist monks engaged in rural development, environmental conservation and other forms of social activism.

Professor Darlington holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and history from Wellesley College in Massachusetts and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Michigan.

Filed Under: MilestonesNews


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