Jonathan Burdick, UR’s admissions and financial aid dean and vice provost for enrollment initiatives, is leaving for a position at Cornell University.
According to a Wednesday release from Cornell, Burdick will begin working as their vice provost for enrollment on August 19, overseeing their registrar and — like at UR — financial aid and admissions.
Response to the announcement included bittersweet posts from students. Suman Kumar, who graduated this year, said that Burdick “hand picked” him from Nepal and that he is “entirely responsible for my existence in the United States.”
A 2012 Campus Times feature on UR’s admissions office described the process of evaluating applications. The profile said that two different admissions staffers would read each application, and — if they made the same decision — would then pass it to Burdick, who would get the final say.
“This year, the admissions staff recommended 7,000 offers of admission to Burdick,” the profile said. “His job is then to shape the class and estimate which ones will enroll if admitted.”
Burdick told CT what he looks for in applicants.
“I have a soft spot for those iconoclastic, rule-breaking students because they are the ones who make better researchers, artists and activists,” he said. “I take ‘ever better’ to mean never satisfied. The goody two-shoes all go to Ivies.”
Burdick’s financial aid work meant that he also interacted with enrolled students. In response to a 2015 formation of a student organization called the Peaceful Protest of the Financial Aid System, Burdick hosted a workshop where he explained the process of financial aid decisions.
Burdick has been a dean at UR since 2003. Back then, he told the CT he looked forward to working where “all the people I’ve met seem so invested in learning.”
When asked for comment, Burdick reflected on his time at UR.
“I’ve had the honor to welcome four generations of College undergraduates and watch them excel,” he said. “They’ve inspired me to seek a new challenge. Rochester has been not just employer but also family for me, and I’ll keep Meliora in my heart whether I’m two hours away or twenty.”