The below email was sent by Bryn Mawr President Jane McAuliffe on March 28.
Dear Members of the Bryn Mawr Community,
I am writing with pride and regret to announce that Laurie Koehler, Interim Dean of Enrollment and Dean of Admissions, will assume in July the position of Senior Associate Provost for Enrollment Management at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, she will have oversight for undergraduate, graduate, and international admissions, student financial assistance, registrar functions, and a professional staff of nearly 70.
While Laurie’s departure is a loss to Bryn Mawr, her appointment to this senior administrative position is a significant professional recognition of her and, by extension, of Bryn Mawr. Laurie is a well-known leader in her field, presenting at national conferences and serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Common Application for the past four years, and was actively sought by GW for this newly-created role. In addition to being a tremendous professional opportunity, the move to Washington, D.C. is personally important to Laurie, allowing her and her wife to have full legal recognition of their marriage. The move also brings them to the same city as their son and Laurie’s family of origin and allows them to be closer to their granddaughter.
Laurie received her B.A. and M.Ed. from the University of Virginia in 1989 and 1995 respectively, and entered the field of college admissions at her alma mater in 1998. Since then, she has held progressively more responsible leadership roles in admissions at Cornell University, Miami University, and starting in 2010, at Bryn Mawr College, where she was hired as Dean of Admissions. In the fall of 2012, in addition to her role as Dean of Admissions, Laurie was named Interim Dean of Enrollment, overseeing Admissions, Student Financial Services, Student Administrative Support, and the Registrar’s Office.
During her time at Bryn Mawr, Admissions saw record high application numbers for three consecutive years. Under her leadership, the College became more selective, progressing from an admit rate of 46% in 2011 to an all-time low of 39% this year. In line with Bryn Mawr’s deep institutional commitment to diversity, during Laurie’s tenure there was an increase in the number and diversity of international student applicants and enrolling students, as well as continued high enrollment of students of color. She helped lead the College’s efforts to enroll high-achieving community college students through development and implementation of the C3 program and championed admissions efforts with the addition of a second Posse cohort.
The Enrollment team and the Admissions Office are fortunate to have numerous strong leaders, assuring us a smooth transition while a national search is conducted for a permanent Dean of Enrollment.
On June 1, Chuck Rickard, who served as Interim Dean of Admissions in 2009-10, will assume the responsibilities of Interim Dean of Enrollment. Chuck has several decades of experience in the enrollment management field, having recently held the position of Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services at Kent State.
Beginning April 1, Peaches Valdes, A.B. ’99, M.S.S./M.L.S.P. ’03, is being promoted from Senior Associate Director of Admissions to Director of Admissions. She will oversee the daily operations of a team of 10 admissions officers. Peaches brings 12 years of experience in the Bryn Mawr Office of Admissions, having garnered expertise in every facet of the operation during her tenure here. She is highly regarded beyond the Bryn Mawr campus for her professionalism, knowledge of the field, and commitment to access and diversity.
From now until her resignation on May 31, Laurie will work with the Enrollment team and campus community to ensure that undergraduate and graduate enrollment targets are met and will continue to advance the move to an electronic document management process for the admissions and financial aid functions of the operation.
While all of us can feel institutional pride in Laurie’s appointment to this prestigious position at GW, we also recognize that her departure will be a genuine loss for the College. She has done terrific work for Bryn Mawr and, speaking personally, she has been a wonderful colleague. I will greatly miss the frequent conversations, both formal and informal, that I have enjoyed with Laurie and from which I have learned much about the contemporary admissions and financial aid landscapes.
Please join me in wishing her well as she begins this new adventure in her professional and personal life.