Admissions Explains Resignation to Prospective Students

Lizzy Hardison ’16, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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The announcement of President Nancy Roseman’s resignation on Monday, April 11 comes at one of the busiest times of the year for the Office of Admissions, since admitted students must decide by May 1 whether or not to enroll at Dickinson. In the wake of her resignation, Roseman has cut back her appearances at events for accepted students, while employees in the Office of Admissions face the job of explaining the leadership transition to prospective students and their families.

Roseman cancelled her appearances at five Presidential Receptions for Admitted Students, which are taking place throughout the Northeast this week. According to Stephanie Niles, director of Enrollment, Marketing and Communications, Roseman’s cancellations came late last week after she decided to resign her presidency.

“The president travels very little for admission events; this series of receptions this week is the only admission travel that she was scheduled to do this year,” Niles said. She added that Roseman will continue to participate in admissions events “as she is able,” and confirmed that she will still address admitted students at an on-campus event this Saturday, April 16.

Despite Roseman’s cancelled travel, all of the Presidential Receptions will continue as planned in Boston, New York City, Northern New Jersey, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Niles will attend all of the receptions, along with trustees, alumni and several parents of current students.

The first Presidential Reception was scheduled for Sunday, April 10, the day before Roseman’s resignation was announced to the Dickinson community.

“We told attendees [at the Boston reception] that President Roseman had an unavoidable conflict and sent her regrets,” Niles said. “On Monday afternoon, after the announcement was made, I sent an email to all… attendees of that reception that she had resigned for personal and professional reasons as of June 30, and that Provost Weissman would be our interim president.”

Niles said that attendees for all five Presidential Receptions have now been notified of Roseman’s resignation and of Provost Neil Weissman’s interim appointment. The Office of Admissions has not notified all accepted students of Roseman’s resignation, though the announcement is now displayed on the homepage of Dickinson’s website.

Niles said that Weissman, who was appointed interim president effective July 1, will continue to participate in on-campus recruiting events.

“Provost Weissman’s involvement in recruiting events will be determined as he transitions into his interim role, though as provost he has been quite involved in on-campus admission events, and I imagine that will continue,” Niles said.

Maddie Bremer ’16, a student worker in admissions, says that Admissions officers addressed their student office and volunteer staff in a meeting on Tuesday, April 12 to discuss strategies for discussing Roseman’s resignation with prospective students.

“Admissions officers do not want tour guides to express too much of their individual opinions on [Roseman’s resignation],” Bremer said after the meeting. “They would prefer the ‘blanket statement’ that President Roseman did a great job, that this is a natural time for her to pursue other goals and that Neil Weissman will be an effective interim president.”

Admissions intern Alexa Bell ’16 confirmed that “our tour guides are focused on Dean Weissman’s future role in leading our student body next year.”

Bremer, who fields phone calls from prospective students and families, says that she has not yet had to respond to inquiries about Roseman’s resignation. She says that most questions directed towards the Admissions employees are about upcoming accepted students events on campus.

Despite Roseman’s unexpected resignation, Niles is adamant that prospective students and their families ought not perceive her short presidency as a sign of unstable leadership.

“A transition in leadership is not uncommon at colleges and universities, and we are more fortunate than many to have a very strong and capable leader in Provost Weissman as the interim president,” Niles said. “Given that Provost Weissman has been with the college for more than 40 years, this transition provides continuing stability… we can confidently ensure students and parents that our dedicated faculty and staff will continue to support students in their educational journeys.”