Jonathan Veitch

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Jonathan Veitch

Jonathan Veitch (born 1959) is the president of Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. He became president in July 2009, succeeding interim president Robert Skotheim.[1] Vietch previously served as a professor at the University of Wisconsin and dean of The New School's Eugene Lang College.[2] He has authored American Superrealism: Nathanael West and the Politics of Representation in the 1930s.[3]


Veitch attended Loyola High School in southern California before he received his bachelors degree from Stanford University. He later received his doctoral degree in the History of American Civilization from Harvard University.[4]

At Occidental College[edit]

Veitch succeeded Robert Skotheim as president of the College on June 30, 2009.[5] He has worked to improve relations between the College and the surrounding community, limiting expansion of the campus into the community in response to neighborhood concerns.[6] In April, 2013 Veitch unveiled a 1 megawatt solar array on the Occidental campus, to generate a portion of the campus's energy supply.[7]

Veitch is the first president of Occidental College to be a native Angeleno, having been born in Los Angeles. He currently lives in the Wallis Annenberg President's House on the Occidental campus with his wife, Sarah, and their three children.[8]

Sexual Assault Controversy[edit]

In April 2013, Occidental College was one of the first in a series of US higher education institutions to be accused of failing to take campus sex crimes seriously by improperly reporting and adjudicating sexual assaults and covering up rapes. Occidental students and faculty filed two federal complaints against the College, alleging violations of Title IX of the US Education Amendments of 1972 and the Clery Act.[9] Veitch in particular came under fire for claiming in a campus-wide email that activists "actively sought to embarrass the College" by speaking against Occidental's sexual assault policy with local media. [10] The email prompted severe outcry from students and faculty. Veitch and the College took a number of actions, such as adopting a new sexual misconduct policy and increasing staffing in areas related to sexual assault[11][12][13][14]

However, many have labeled these changes cosmetic and called their effectiveness into question.[15] Additional allegations against Veitch's administration and their handling of sexual assault have surfaced since implementing the above listed changes. In September 2013, administrators seized laptops and personal property from faculty who have challenged the college's sexual assault policies, claiming that they were necessary for the Department of Education's investigation (the DOE denied these claims). [16] Similar allegations of phone hackings and office break-ins have been reported.[17] Sustained criticism against Veitch has led a number of students, faculty, and alumni to call for his resignation; despite this, Veitch's contract as President of the College was unanimously extended by the Board of Trustees in 2014; his current contract runs through 2020.[18]


  1. ^ "President's Bio". Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Gordon, Larry (31 January 2009). "Jonathan Veitch named president of Occidental College". Los Angeles Times. 
  3. ^ Veitch, Jonathan (20 February 2000). "Married With Children". Los Angeles Times. 
  4. ^ "President's Bio". Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Kraege, Lisa (February 5, 2009). "Jonathan Veitch Named 15th President of Occidental". The Occidental Weekly. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  6. ^ Tokita, Mary. "An Interview With Occidental College President Jonathan Veitch". Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "President's Bio". Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  9. ^ Kingkade, Tyler (19 April 2013). "Occidental College Sexual Assault Response Subject Of Federal Complaints". Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Previous Letters from President Veitch". Occidental College. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Occidental College Accused Of Secretly Tracking 'Anonymous' Sexual Assault Reports". 
  16. ^ "Occidental College Seizes Faculty Laptops As Feds Investigate Sexual Assault Cases". 
  17. ^ "Inside The Sexual Assault Civil War At Occidental College". BuzzFeed. 
  18. ^ "Six More Years". Occidental College. August 21, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2014.