Bryn Mawr College
Dean of Undergraduate Admissions
Bryn Mawr College, located near Philadelphia, PA, is one of the world’s most distinguished and distinctive institutions of higher education. Every year approximately 1,350 undergraduate women and 350 coeducational graduate students from around the world gather on the College’s historic campus to study with leading scholars, conduct advanced research, expand the boundaries of academic inquiry, and prepare for lives of purposeful action.
Bryn Mawr seeks nominations and invites applications for the Dean of Undergraduate Admissions who will lead the College’s efforts to bring new generations of intellectually gifted, exceptionally talented, and diverse students to the College. The Dean provides leadership for the undergraduate admissions effort and reports to the Chief Enrollment Officer, strategically partnering to ensure the College’s tradition of excellence. The successful candidate will have an established record demonstrating both the art and science of selective college admissions and will build upon Bryn Mawr’s enrollment successes. As a visible presence on and off campus and a strong collaborator among faculty and staff, the Dean will be an effective spokesperson for the College.
The Range of Responsibilities
Recruitment Management – The Dean will have a command of data analytics and enrollment trends to inform the recruitment plan. In collaboration with the Chief Enrollment Officer, the Dean’s market analyses and forward-thinking strategies will lead the staff to effective territory management and student recruitment designed to achieve the goals of the institution. The Dean will represent Bryn Mawr at on-campus recruitment and yield programs as well as off-campus events and collaborative recruitment programs with other selective institutions and will lead the staff in a strong appreciation for diversity and access. The Dean will assure the communications plan is well managed by technology and will work closely with the Chief Enrollment Officer and the communications office to assure print, digital content, and social media support the recruitment effort. The Dean will create an atmosphere that welcomes creative and innovative thinking in planning and executing on- and off-campus recruitment events and will assure those programs are well supported. The Dean will oversee the application review and selection process and assure that strategies are in place that align with institutional enrollment goals.
Team Management – The successful Dean will lead a talented admissions and operations staff through open communications, transparency, feedback and goal-setting. An effective leader, the Dean will hire, train, provide professional development opportunities, and ensure an environment of mutual respect, support, and camaraderie within the admissions office.
Data Analytics and Technology – The Dean should be nimble with data analytics and comfortable with the technology to support best practices in recruitment and yield activities. Working closely with the Chief Enrollment Officer, routine reporting and responsive analyses to internal and, as appropriate, external constituencies are expected.
Collaboration Across the Division and Across Campus – The successful candidate will serve as a bridge-builder across campus, assuring faculty and staff understand their value in student recruitment and importance to the admissions effort. The Dean will be a strong partner to the Athletics Department and coaches in the recruitment of scholar-athletes. Under the direction of the Chief Enrollment Officer, the Dean and the Director of Financial Aid will work jointly in spearheading collaborative partnerships within the enrollment division so that the teams serving prospective students work closely and effectively together.
- Minimum of eight years of progressively responsible experience in undergraduate admissions, with a nuanced mastery of the selective admission process.
- Knowledge of and enthusiasm for the College’s mission and niche in higher education, sensitivity to multicultural issues and an appreciation of differences in secondary school backgrounds are essential.
- Demonstrated success and record of achievement in meeting admissions goals.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- Familiarity with demographic trends and best practices in recruitment and selective admissions.
- A deep commitment to the liberal arts and appreciation for the unique place of women’s colleges in American higher education.
- Technologically nimble and clear understanding of data, research, and information systems and how they are best used in an admissions environment.
- Strong interpersonal skills; adept at working with diverse populations.
- Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred.
Personal Qualities and Characteristics
Bryn Mawr seeks a confident, compassionate and collaborative leader of undergraduate admissions who has a passion for the liberal arts and supports the College’s commitment to social justice and inclusion. The successful candidate will provide inspirational leadership to an energetic and engaged team and is skilled at relationship-building across campus and across constituencies.
Bryn Mawr’s History
Bryn Mawr was founded in 1885 with an ambitious vision: to create a college for women offering rigorous academic programs that were then available only to men at a few elite institutions. From the beginning, this new college would include both undergraduate and graduate programs to allow women to pursue doctoral degrees and to become scholars who would in turn expand academic opportunity for other women. The College was founded with a strong commitment to shared governance between the faculty, the Board, students, and senior administration. Decision-making remains highly collaborative and includes representation from all stakeholder constituent groups. Respect for students’ capacity to direct their own lives is an integral part of Bryn Mawr’s history, as it was the first college in the country to approve a student self- government association (1891). Students take a large measure of responsibility for managing residential life and upholding standards of academic integrity through the College’s Honor Code.
Bryn Mawr Today
Bryn Mawr challenges and supports exceptional students to perform at the highest academic levels. Through innovative curricula and programs, students have wide-ranging opportunities to connect academic excellence to purposeful action. Bryn Mawr is distinguished among American liberal arts colleges by its historic commitment to graduate education, currently manifest in its Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, and graduate programs in key humanities and science disciplines. The College promotes faculty excellence in both research and teaching, and has strong consortial relationships with Haverford College, Swarthmore College, and the University of Pennsylvania. The College has a rich and longstanding collaborative relationship with Haverford College that further extends course enrollment, extracurricular, and administrative synergies.
Bryn Mawr remains committed to expanding opportunity for women. The Undergraduate College attracts women from diverse backgrounds who share an intense commitment to intellectual inquiry, an independent and purposeful vision of their lives, and a desire to make a meaningful contribution to their professions and to the world. Critical, creative, and collaborative thinkers, its students and alumnae are members of a tight-knit community that is founded on respect for the individual.
Bryn Mawr College enrolls approximately 1,700 students and is a place where teaching is valued, each student is known, and students and faculty members form close bonds. Superb opportunities for independent and faculty-sponsored research, core seminars, interdisciplinary courses, and access to 40 majors and more than 50 minors and concentrations enable each undergraduate student to create her own academic pathway. Undergraduate and graduate students are taught by 218 faculty, of whom 152 are full-time and 66 are part- time; the student–faculty ratio is 8:1. Bryn Mawr undergraduates also take advantage of combined bachelor’s and master’s degree opportunities in several departments, as well as a variety of dual degree programs with the University of Pennsylvania and other institutions.
Bryn Mawr has taken a leadership role in finding constructive ways to incorporate new technology to achieve the goals of a liberal arts education, particularly in its use of blended learning. Bryn Mawr is also leading the way in curricular innovation with the 360° Program, which offers the opportunity for faculty and students to engage in multidisciplinary, multi-course investigation of a common problem or issue. 360° clusters integrate fieldwork with traditional coursework and require students to share their research with the college community by way of a digital exhibit or public symposium, for example.
The Bryn Mawr experience is marked by enduring traditions and fresh possibilities that balance intellectual curiosity with meaningful social engagement and fun. Bryn Mawr’s reach extends far beyond the classroom. Each year, the community comes together to celebrate distinctive traditions such as Lantern Night and May Day that make the Bryn Mawr student experience unique and memorable. Twelve Division III intercollegiate teams participate in the highly competitive Centennial Conference, performing and studio art programs are offered collaboratively by Bryn Mawr and Haverford, and a majority of students are active in community service. Bryn Mawr’s location also offers students access to the cultural resources of the Philadelphia metropolitan area and the broad diversity of Bryn Mawr students, faculty, and alumnae/i creates a global community that fosters international experiences, friendships, and networks.
Bryn Mawr prides itself on connecting graduates to promising career and civic engagement opportunities through LILAC, the Leadership, Innovation, and Liberal Arts Center. Some 22,000 alumnae/i, leaders in fields too numerous to mention, form a powerful, lifelong network for Bryn Mawr graduates. The College is known for its outstanding record in placing students in graduate and professional schools. Within five years of graduation, over sixty percent of alumnae/i plan to attend graduate or professional school. The majority of Bryn Mawr alumnae/i in graduate or professional school study arts and sciences, law, medicine, education, and business.
As it always has, Bryn Mawr builds both independence of mind and respect for the power of collective endeavors. The College attracts smart, independent, spirited students who seek the challenge and satisfaction of working with peers who share a passion for learning and for making a difference in the world. They come to Bryn Mawr from a remarkable array of national, socioeconomic, ethnic/racial, and personal backgrounds and have high expectations for achievement, friendship, and meaningful engagement.
Well-managed and financially sound, Bryn Mawr’s FY16 operating budget was $112 million, with tuition comprising 46 percent and endowment earnings 40 percent of net operation revenue. The College has enjoyed robust student enrollments and steadily increasing net assets, and has consistently achieved balanced operating budgets. In recent years, the College has made significant gains in its financial management. The College’s endowment market value as of May 31, 2016 was $804 million.
Kimberly Wright Cassidy became the College’s ninth President in February 2014. A faculty member at Bryn Mawr since 1993, Cassidy served as the College’s Provost from 2007-2013. During her tenure as Provost, Cassidy was instrumental in leading a number of important initiatives, including facilitating curricular renewal in collaboration with faculty leaders, the development of the College’s interdisciplinary 360° courses, the introduction of new academic programs, including an International Studies major, and the advancement of digital initiatives within the classroom. Central to all these initiatives has been Cassidy’s unwavering support of the scholar/teacher model in which faculty research and the instruction of students are inextricably bound.
As President she has developed a strategic vision for the Undergraduate College, Excellence in Action, which aims to secure and make visible Bryn Mawr’s position as the leading college for women by connecting academic excellence with preparation for lives of purposeful action. To support this vision, the College launched the public phase of a comprehensive $250 million fundraising campaign in fall 2016.
The successful candidate will report to Cheryl Lynn Horsey, a distinguished leader in enrollment management, has been recently named Bryn Mawr’s Chief Enrollment Officer and will begin her work at the College mid-summer, directing the strategic vision for enrollment and supervising the offices of undergraduate and graduate admissions, financial aid, and the registrar.
There is a sense of optimism and possibility at Bryn Mawr College, which calls for a Dean of Undergraduate Admission who is equally optimistic and forward-thinking.
How To Apply
Napier Executive Search is assisting Bryn Mawr College with this search. For more information or to nominate someone for the position, contact Mary Napier (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nancy Benedict (email@example.com) for a confidential conversation. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. For full consideration, application materials should be submitted electronically to BrynMawr@napiersearch.com by July 6, 2017. Applications should consist of three documents in PDF format: (1) an in-depth cover letter that addresses the candidate’s qualifications and accomplishments in the areas identified in the position announcement, (2) a detailed résumé, and (3) a list of three professional references with titles, contact information and a sentence describing the nature of each professional relationship. References will not be contacted without the candidate’s knowledge and permission. For more information about Bryn Mawr College, please visit www.brynmawr.edu.
Bryn Mawr College is an equal opportunity employer – male/female. Applications are considered without regard to race, religion, national origin, color, sex, age, marital or veteran status or the presence of any non-job related medical conditions or disabilities