With the start of a new academic year, California Lutheran University welcomes a new president to campus. Lori Varlotta is the school’s eighth president and the first woman in the school’s 61-year history. She previously worked at Hiram College in Ohio, where she had been president since 2014. She succeeds Chris Kimball, who announced in October he would step down after 12 years as Cal Lutheran’s president. “For three-and-a-half decades, working at mission-driven colleges and universities has been a calling, not a career. And the mission at Cal Lutheran to educate leaders for a global society speaks volumes to me,” Varlotta said in a statement. Varlotta previously held leadership positions at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the University of San Francisco and California State University – Sacramento. She has published on diversity and inclusion in academia, a factor emphasized in her previous management roles. Kimball announced his departure in October, saying he planned to use his time to teach history on campus and focus on novel writing. He plans to take a year sabbatical and tentatively teach next year, a representative for the university told the Business Journal.