Chair Gary Love ’76 welcomed the committee and councilors introduced themselves.
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Maria ’84 updated the committee on the Office’s new initiatives launched in the last several months, including:
- New print publications for prospective students.
- New summer and fall campus programming featuring faculty as keynote speakers and a series of specialized campus tours.
- Redesigned websites for both the Admissions and Financial Aid Offices.
- Implementation of best-of-breed software (Slate) to support travel planning, on campus events, recruitment communications, and application processing and review.
The meeting’s primary focus was to brief committee members on the findings of the Office’s yearlong review of the alumni-interviewing program, and to share next steps the Office will be taking as a result of its findings. Dean Laskaris, Director of Admissions Paul Sunde, and Assistant Director of Admissions and Alumni Liaison Will Corbett ’10 co-led the conversation. Key takeaways from the research included:
- A strong correlation between interview ratings and admissions outcomes.
- Alumni primarily volunteer to interview applicants on behalf of the College because they want to give back to the College (53 percent) and enjoy meeting prospective students (41 percent). Only 26 percent noted helping to select the next class as a reason for volunteering.
- Clear alignment exists among all stakeholders in the key role that alumni serve as representatives of the College.
- Desire to increase the proportion of applicants offered an interview and the number of alumni interviewers.
- Opportunity to offer Skype interviews to better serve applicants in areas with few alumni volunteers and to extend the reach of all alumni volunteers.
- The need to improve alumni satisfaction with their volunteer experience.
- Collaboration between Admissions and Alumni Relations to strengthen alumni admissions volunteer support and programming.
The Admissions Office is re-conceptualizing its model of alumni engagement from an interview-based program to an ambassador-based program. To support this expanded concept of alumni involvement, Admissions and Alumni Relations have entered into a new partnership to better recruit, train, and support alumni admissions volunteers. The collaborative effort has proven highly effective to date in the following ways:
- Worked with clubs in 12 major markets to offer yield events in April 2014 for admitted students.
- Reduced the number of “inactive” districts in the U.S. from 30 down to two.
- Developed a contest among the Classes of 2004-2014 with the goal of doubling the number of young alumni interviewers.
- Identified those districts with a low percentage of interviews and identifying ways to support the District Enrollment Directors to increase the number of interviews.
- Increased Dartmouth’s alumni representation at local college fairs.
Paul Sunde reported on the Slate implementation and the Office’s expectation that the new technology will improve the experience of both District Enrollment Directors and interviewers.
The meeting closed with Gary Love encouraging all committee members to sign up to interview for the Class of 2019.