August 8, 2012 — The University of Virginia is reshaping its international admissions efforts, appointing three admissions deans to connect with potential students and their families around the globe.
Gregory W. Roberts, dean of admission, said the move is in response to what he termed the "explosion" of applications arriving at schools across the country over the past several years. U.Va. saw a 60 percent increase in applications over the last three years, from 2,175 in 2009 to 3,476 in the most recent cycle, fueled largely by an increase in applications from Chinese students.
International students make up about about 6 percent of U.Va.'s student population. U.Va. is not planning to increase the number of admitted international students, Roberts said.
To address the growth in applications, the admissions office has moved to a regional model, with new deans working in targeted regions of the world, supervised by a senior coordinating dean. Previously, U.Va. employed a single person to manage international admissions.
"We've moved to a more targeted, strategic approach," Roberts said. "The key is to engage and mobilize and motivate alumni and U.Va. constituents abroad and at the University."
In a recent email to deans and staff, Roberts wrote that the new deans "will manage three separate international territories, with responsibility for recruitment travel and application review for each specific area."
Those areas are:
• Central and South America and Canada
• Europe, Africa and the Middle East
Roberts wrote each international dean will "develop a customized strategic plan for the countries within her territory, teaming with alumni leaders and clubs to strengthen recruitment and yield efforts.
"These deans will serve as regional experts for their countries and will serve as the primary point of contact for their region, allowing for a closer relationship with constituents abroad. Our international process will be thoughtful, thorough and personal."
Merav Frazier will manage the international operation for Asia. She joined the admission staff in 2008 after working in international admission at the University of South Florida. She was born in Haifa, Israel, and interned at the United States-Israel Education Foundation in Tel-Aviv. Frazier was responsible for evaluating applications from Asia last year and will travel to southern Asia this fall.
Jane Henningsen will be responsible for Central and South America and Canada. A 2011 U.Va. graduate with a B.A. in Spanish, she is fluent in Spanish, studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain, and lived in Chile and Argentina for a semester. Henningsen plans to visit Central America this fall.
Senem Ward will oversee operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. She was an international student at U.Va. (she graduated in 1998) and has a master's degree from the London School of Economics. She has lived in the United Kingdom, Kenya, Austria, Turkey and Croatia, is fluent in Spanish and Turkish and proficient in German and French. Ward has been involved with international admission at the University in the past and has taken recruitment trips to Europe and Africa. She will visit Europe in October.
– by Jane Kelly