Dean of Admission at Franklin & Marshall College

“We have made great strides in our talent strategy, our programs, and our national stature over the last decade. Those gains give us a chance to look ahead to new horizons and new opportunities for our people, programs, and facilities. What we offer is a culture of possibility. An F&M education is worthy of the best students everywhere and the inspired support of everyone who found their voice here.”
Barbara K. Altmann, President of Franklin & Marshall College         


Strongly positioned within the top tier of the nation’s best liberal arts colleges (#38 on the 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges list), Franklin & Marshall College (F&M) has become a force for transformative change not only in the lives of individual students and the College’s student body, but also across the American higher education sector as the national model for the American Talent Initiative.

F&M currently seeks a stellar Dean of Admission to work with the Vice President for Enrollment Management to partner in developing a recruitment and admission strategy that will advance the College on its clear, upward trajectory as a leading national liberal arts college. Founded in 1787 and located in the vibrant city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, today F&M boasts 2,400 undergraduate students, a 9:1 student to faculty ratio, the strongest first-year class in College history, and the momentum created by a decade of exceptional achievement.   In the public phase of the $200 million Now to Next capital campaign and anchored in its commitment to academic excellence, the College is launching a strategic planning process and preparing for its future from a position of strength.


The Opportunity

F&M seeks a dynamic, creative, and innovative Dean of Admission who will report to Jimmie Foster, Vice President for Enrollment Management beginning his tenure at F&M on June 1. The successful candidate will be a crucial member of the division’s senior team, leading the College’s efforts to bring new generations of intellectually gifted, exceptionally talented, and diverse students to the College, sustaining and improving upon successes the college has achieved in areas of selectivity, quality, and diversity of the institution’s student body.

As a member of the Vice President’s senior leadership team, the Dean will work jointly with the Director of Financial Aid in spearheading collaborative partnerships within the enrollment division so that teams serving prospective and continuing students work closely and effectively together.  The Dean will energetically lead and guide a team of twelve full-time and five part-time counseling staff and seven operations staff, blending their talents to annually recruit, select, and enroll a class of first year and transfer students who represent the bold future of F&M.

The Dean of Admission will contribute heavily to imagining, developing, implementing and executing a well-organized strategic plan for a national and international recruitment effort. This plan will mirror the greater goals of F&M and will join other areas of the College where the intersections of enrollment, student learning and experience contribute to the strength and inclusive excellence of F&M and the four-year life cycle of the student. The Dean should bring a strong network of relationships that will benefit F&M.


Responsibilities and Goals

The Dean of Admission will:

  • Report to the Vice President for Enrollment Management and provide leadership for the undergraduate admissions effort.
  • Lead a talented admission and operations staff through open communication, transparency, feedback and goal setting.
  • Hire, train, provide professional development opportunities, and ensure an environment of mutual respect, support and camaraderie with the admissions office.
  • Ensure that admissions staff partners well with the financial aid staff as part of divisional unity and synergy.
  • Manage all aspects of student recruitment and selection; overseeing processes responsible for recruitment, selection, and yield initiatives designed to align with and meet institutional goals.
  • Provide oversight for admission marketing in a variety of media: web, publications, social media, and digital efforts.
  • Lead vendor management and assessment, including identification of new student sources and opportunities.
  • Cultivate relationships with groups and organizations, college counselors, and independent counselors in an effort to foster understanding of F&M’s mission for excellence.
  • Guide a best-in-class campus visit program and model service excellence for the admission team.
  • Optimize budget for efficiency and ROI.
  • Travel for recruitment, key speaking engagements at strategic partner schools and programs, and conference attendance.
  • Use data analytics and technology to develop practices in recruitment and yield activities that are among the best in the profession.
  • Utilize geodemographic market analysis for admission staff travel planning and maximizing efforts to develop and sustain national recruitment strategies.
  • Boost and renew partnership recruitment efforts with F&M alumni through the F&M Alumni Network
  • Serve as a bridge builder across campus, assuring faculty and staff understand their value in student recruitment and importance to the admissions effort while also encouraging and supporting admissions staff to be collaborative partners with faculty and staff.
  • Partner well with the Athletics Department and coaches in the recruitment of scholar-athletes.
  • Shine as a highly visible member of the community and effective spokesperson for the College.


Qualifications and Skills 

  • Demonstrated ability to lead and motivate an outstanding staff.
  • An intense interest and ability to collaborate across campus.
  • Creative and generous in spirit, nimble in thought and planning.
  • Passion for the liberal arts.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in admissions.
  • Data savvy, strategically deft, finely tuned skills in predictive modeling and analytics.
  • Personal qualities of transparency, impeccable ethical standards, optimism and confidence.
  • Desire for achieving results that can be sustained long-term and reflect a commitment to F&M both in the present and in the future.
  • Outstanding communication skills, both written and spoken; ability to make a compelling case to students and their families for Franklin & Marshall and the powerful experience available to students.
  • Positioned to influence national organizations and participate in national conversations on admissions.
  • Minimum of eight years in enrollment and/or related fields with progressively increased responsibilities and a record of success in recruitment and enrollment. Advanced degree is strongly preferred.


About Franklin & Marshall College 

Over the past decade, Franklin & Marshall has bolstered its excellent national and international reputation by strengthening its value proposition for today’s students. The College has enhanced its impressive academic program with a vibrant new approach to general education and with new interdisciplinary major and minor programs such as Public Health and Latin American Studies. Building on the success of its student-centered College Houses, F&M has developed innovative approaches to promoting student success in and beyond college. For example, the College turned the traditional model for career services on its head and created the Office of Student and Post-Graduate Development, which works intensively with students from their first weeks on campus through the years immediately after they graduate and beyond. F&M has also invested in state-of-the-art technology classrooms and new facilities including a new Student Wellness Center, the new multi-purpose Shadek Stadium and the interdisciplinary Winter Visual Arts Center designed by renowned architect Steven Holl.


F&M has also achieved significant national visibility by embracing the American imperative to create college opportunity for talented students from all backgrounds. The College’s acclaimed “talent strategy” aims to draw exceptional, high-achieving students from the full American mosaic, while simultaneously enhancing the educational experience for all F&M students. These efforts have helped the College recruit a much deeper pool of academic talent and build partnerships with strong schools, networks and college access programs serving low-income communities across the country.  As a result, F&M in recent years has:

  • Nearly tripled need-based financial aid provided to each first-year class, from $5.8 million for the Class of 2012 to $14.4 million for the Class of 2022. Our efforts have also inspired greater levels of philanthropy in support of financial aid. With this expansion of aid, F&M has held tuition, room and board increases below four percent for nine of the past ten years, and has reduced average student debt on graduation by almost 20 percent.
  • Set new records for applications, with more than 9,500 applications for the Class of 2023, surpassing the 2020-2022 average of roughly 6,700, This trend has enhanced F&M’s selectivity significantly and has strengthened the academic depth of incoming classes, with average SAT scores continuing to rise.
  • Increased the proportion of incoming students who are eligible for Pell Grants (many of whom are also first-generation college students) from 5 percent for the Class of 2012 to between 17 and 21 percent for each of the last eight incoming classes. These students are achieving average GPAs and retention and graduation rates comparable to their cohorts as a whole.
  • Expanded significantly the diversity of the student body; the Class of 2023 includes 23 percent domestic students of color, up from 11 percent in the Class of 2012.

Building on this success, F&M led the creation of the American Talent Initiative (ATI), funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, which aims within a decade to increase by 50,000 the enrollment of lower- and moderate-income students at the country’s 270 colleges and universities that consistently graduate at least 70 percent of their students. Starting with just 30 founding institutions, already the ATI has grown to more than 120 members, including all eight Ivy League institutions and many public flagships and selective national liberal arts colleges.


Mission Statement

Franklin & Marshall College is a residential college dedicated to excellence in undergraduate liberal education. Its aims are to inspire in young people of high promise and diverse backgrounds a genuine and enduring love for learning, to teach them to read, write, and think critically, to instill in them the capacity for both independent and collaborative action, and to educate them to explore and understand the natural, social and cultural worlds in which they live. In so doing, the College seeks to foster in its students’ qualities of intellect, creativity, and character, that they may live fulfilling lives and contribute meaningfully to their occupations, their communities, and their world. 



Academics at F&M

The Franklin & Marshall curriculum provides a framework for their students’ intellectual development over their four years at F&M and helps them become the creative, innovative, responsible and ambitious participants in learning they need to be to best prepare for life and work beyond their years in college.

F&M offers 60 fields of study spanning the breadth of traditional liberal arts disciplines and including many distinctive interdisciplinary programs, including biochemistry and molecular biology, scientific and philosophical studies of mind, Africana studies, international studies, and business, organizations and society.  In recent years, the College has created new major programs in computer science, film & media studies, Italian, public health, and women’s, gender & sexuality studies. More than 20 percent of F&M students build a unique educational experience tailored to their interests by declaring more than one major or designing a Special Studies or joint major.

Called “Connections,” the general education curriculum encourages students to strive beyond traditional boundaries and limits and to make connections: connections across what might be considered typical structures of study; connections between theory and practice; connections between other students and faculty; and connections between their liberal arts education and the world. Examples of the synergies inspired by the Connections curriculum include a group of students studying government, anthropology, economics and public health coming together to explore how to prevent a disease from crossing national borders, and another group of students studying sociology, computer science and world history working side by side to investigate the origins of issues of terrorism and national security to try to inform solutions.

F&M seeks to build in students the ability to discover, to understand the limits of knowledge and the value of evidence, to debate respectfully with others, to refine in themselves a sense of judgment, and to analyze critically, speak persuasively and listen attentively. Establishing this foundation in early seminars prepares students to do in-depth exploration in whatever major they choose.



To prepare for global citizenship, students acquire intercultural knowledge and, in some cases, intensive language immersion through more than 200 approved off-campus study programs. The number of students participating in summer, semester or year-long programs prior to graduation is approximately 50 percent. Most benefit from off-campus study advisers who provide one-on-one mentoring to guide students towards meaningful integration of the abroad experience into the overall education experience at F&M.

The College owns the Advanced Studies in England (ASE) program based in Bath, England, and faculty regularly teach in Bath with ASE. F&M also boasts a vibrant Summer Travel Course program, offering faculty the opportunity to teach abroad, and providing students and faculty with an intensive, high-impact teaching and learning experience. Previous Summer Travel Courses have taken place in Russia, Italy, South Africa, China, Denmark and Cuba. Financial aid is available for these opportunities.

With a view that competency in a foreign language helps students develop an informed and thoughtful awareness of language as a system and facilitates their exploration of other cultural worlds, the faculty has determined that language study should be at the core of the College’s expanding international focus. Evidence of this attention is the addition of Arabic and Chinese language instruction. The College now offers 11 languages, and all students are required to demonstrate third-semester proficiency in a foreign language.

The goal of internationalization is aided by the recruitment of a healthy percentage of international students. International students now make up roughly 18 percent of the total student population. The College offers support to international students as well as faculty interested in exploring new pedagogical strategies to best serve an internationalized student body.


Student Life at Franklin and Marshall

With a distinctive approach to college housing, more than 100 active student clubs and organizations, dozens of club and intramural sports teams, its own art museum, and abundant opportunities to engage in volunteer service, Franklin & Marshall provides students with a vibrant campus life experience to complement their academic pursuits. Activity in student groups, the arts, civic engagement, and athletics and recreation all enhance the culture of teaching and learning at F&M by allowing students to form new friendships, create meaningful and memorable community experiences, discover important life lessons outside of the classroom, and make the most of their years on campus.


College House System
Residential life at Franklin & Marshall is not separated from the academic life of the college.  Unique to F&M is the faculty-led College House system.  All first-year students are assigned to one of five residential houses, each led by a senior member of the faculty, the Dons, and by their colleagues, the House Deans, who are experienced student life professionals.  This allows for deeper programming, conversations and events that extend easily from the classroom to the residence hall and stretch the boundaries between and among academic disciplines and intellectual interests.



Common Hour
The Common Hour – every Thursday at 11:30 am – is a time that allows the entire community to come together for special events, campus-wide conversations and meaningful exchange of ideas.  No classes are scheduled at this time and all members of the community are involved.  Proposals for topics are welcome from faculty, staff and students alike, and are selected by a committee that also includes representatives of all three groups.


Student Clubs & Organizations
The College recognizes 108 student clubs and organizations, including departmental and professional organizations; ethnic and lifestyle clubs; literary clubs; educational organizations; honorary societies; performing arts clubs; music and vocal groups; political advocacy groups; publications and media clubs; religious organizations; service groups; and other special-interest groups. Students are encouraged to form new organizations to meet emerging needs.


Fraternity & Sorority Life
The College hosts five fraternities and seven sororities that are all affiliated with national organizations. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, within the Office of the Dean of the College, oversees these chapters. Roughly 30 percent of the College’s men and 40 percent of F&M’s women choose to join a chapter. The chapters host social events, volunteer in the Lancaster community, participate in leadership development programs on and off campus, and actively engage in philanthropic activities. In fall 2017, F&M welcomed its first historically black sorority, creating a joint chapter of Delta Sigma Theta with nearby Millersville University.


Franklin & Marshall competes athletically in Division III of the NCAA, sponsoring 27 varsity teams as well as five intramural sports and numerous club sports.  F&M plays in the Centennial Conference distinguished by “excellence on and off the field.”  The Centennial Conference includes 11 elite mid-Atlantic colleges and universities who share the same academic values and commitment to the spirit of competition, excellence and camaraderie.


Admission and Financial Aid

Franklin & Marshall offers three application plans:  Early Decision I, Early Decision II and Regular Decision.  The average SAT score is 1375 and the middle 50% range for the ACT is 29-32.  Over 9,500 applications were reviewed for the class entering in Fall 2019; the acceptance rate was 30% and yield was 23%.

Franklin & Marshall is one of only a small number of colleges and universities that offers need-based aid exclusively and meets full demonstrated need for all admitted students.  Interest in F&M continues to grow among high school students in the U.S. and overseas, and the College has set new records for applications in recent years. F&M has formed strong relationships with schools and college access organizations across the country, such as the POSSE Foundation, KIPP, Achievement First, and College Match, to recruit and enroll a talented and increasingly diverse student body. The College has also contributed to efforts to promote college enrollment among rural students via the Pennsylvania College Advising Corps. Franklin & Marshall takes pride in the degree to which students of all backgrounds are integrated fully in the life of the campus.

By sharpening its focus on demographic challenges (first generation/first to college, middle class, and broader geographic reach), as well as boosting the yield rate and making financial aid packages more competitive, F&M continues to enhance the quality of its student body and its competitiveness with aspirant colleges.


Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster is an ideal college town of 60,000 (and more than 500,000 in the surrounding region), located within steps of the campus.  Both city-sophisticated and small-town comfortable, Lancaster has a booming arts scene, an array of restaurant options, specialty foods like Hammond’s Pretzels, and is filled with historic buildings and the country’s oldest continuously operating indoor farmer’s market.   Journalist Thomas Friedman recently lauded Lancaster for its civic innovation, and the New York Times also featured its extraordinary offerings in global dining, as well as its success as a refugee resettlement area.  The city was dubbed the “new Brooklyn” by the New York Post in 2016, and consistently rates high on lists of great places to live. Lancaster is easily accessible from Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore and Washington, DC.



To Apply


Napier Executive Search is assisting Franklin & Marshall College with the search for the Dean of Admission.  To arrange for a confidential conversation, please contact Laura Robinson ( or Mary Napier (  For best consideration, candidates who plan to apply should send a resume, a detailed letter of interest, and contact information for three professional references by email to no later than March 5, 2020.  Review will begin immediately thereafter and the expected start date will be June 2020.  All applications and nominations will be considered confidential and notice will be given before references are contacted.


Franklin & Marshall College is committed to having an inclusive campus community where all members are treated with dignity and respect. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, the College does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices on the basis of gender/gender-identity, sex, race or ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, veteran’s status, genetic information, family or marital status, sexual orientation, or any other protected class.  Furthermore, the College does not discriminate on the basis of the protected classes listed above in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other College-administered programs.