BY DRAKE RHONE
The Vice President of Admission and Student Financial Planning of the University has decided to step down, but his role in admissions will be replaced by a new Deputy Provost.
Tom Delahunt, who has held the vice president position for 11 years, will officially leave his position in May to become the VP for Enrollment Services at La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“I am from the East Coast originally, I moved here from NYC,” said Delahunt. “The pull of our family — my wife is also from New York — proved to be very strong and the timing seemed right. I have two daughters in college and one son in middle school. If we waited any longer our son would be in high school and I wouldn’t want to move him then.”
To fill the position left by Delahunt, Keith Summerville, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will now become deputy provost, and “take on the responsibility of providing strategic leadership and oversight for all of our enrollment management activities, including the Office of Admission and our goals of improving retention, persistence, and graduation performance,” said President Martin in a letter to the student body.
Deputy provost is a position that has been funded but unfilled since Raylene Rospond left the position to become vice president of Manchester University’s College of Pharmacy in 2014. With the appointment of Summerville to the position, the Provost’s Office will now be responsible for the Office of Admission.
“Prior deputy provosts really focused on academic operations and budget,” said Summerville. “My role is to focus on enrollment management and strategy, with an eye towards recruitment and retention of undergraduates and transfer students, and then coordinate with the various dean’s offices to recruit into graduate programs as appropriate.“
Summerville said he gained experience working on admission issues when he was Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, a position he held for almost 10 years, but he also said that he needs to understand the current issues a little better.
“Most importantly, I think I need to run some analytics,” said Summerville. “Where do we have market share? Where should we have market share, but we don’t? If students choose not to come here, are there statistical explanations as for why? I’m going to be asking a lot of questions about what we currently do and trying to find out if there are initiatives we should deploy in order to do things more efficiently.”
To start with, Summerville said he would be taking a look at the capacity of individual programs to better place students.
“It doesn’t make sense to bring 100 people here to study something if we can only service the needs of 60 of them,” said Summerville. “Because what that’s gonna mean is that we’re gonna lose the other 40. So we have to be pretty smart about where we put students in different programs based on an enrollment capacity.”
In addition to enrollment capacity, Summerville said he would be exploring whether advising culture is meeting the needs of students and “talking more about dominating the landscape with signature programs like data analytics or computer science.”