A new Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Jon Burdick, started June 1 at UR and will be helping to guide the school through the fall 2004 admissions cycle.

Burdick’s roles include overseeing the admissions process and the financial aid department, acting as spokesman for the Admissions Department within UR, speaking to prospective students on the university’s behalf, and encouraging new ideas within his departments.

When Burdick started in his current position, admissions was just starting its 2004 recruiting cycle. Director of Admissions Greg MacDonald said that Burdick immediately started helping with the process by contributing to plan fall receptions and train alumni to conduct student interviews.

One of the projects that Burdick is most interested in is increasing the number of student interviews. This project has been going on for two years, but Burdick hopes to see it extend to a point where every student who wants an interview can take part in one. He has been working closely with the Alumni Office to achieve this goal.

“He’s very eager to have our input and involve the alumni in a number of ways,” Director of Alumni and Parent Relations Becky Wehle said.

Much of this ties in with Burdick’s larger goal of making sure UR continues to have a “wide-open door” to those interested in the school.

MacDonald said that Burdick has helped people “realize that to get the best students here, we needed to get to know our applicants better.”

Burdick also personally attended many of the summer send-offs held for incoming freshmen in cities across the country.

MacDonald pointed to the fact that Burdick’s nephew would be attending UR as a sign of his faith in the university.

Any problems with UR admission policies, according to Burdick, are not very serious and are mostly just questions of strategy. He looks forward to helping solve them.

“I like that there’s a lot of thoughtful work to be done,” Burdick said.

So far, Burdick is impressed by the culture at UR.

“All the people I’ve met seem so invested in learning,” Burdick said.

Burdick said that one of the things that attracted him to the school was the importance that students had in decision-making processes. Several students helped with his hiring process, and to Burdick this was a sign that UR fit his ideal of a student-centered school.

According to other admissions staff, this also fits Burdick’s personal style.

“He’s clearly student-oriented,” MacDonald said.”It shows in his approach.”

Burdick came to UR from the University of Southern California, where his last position was assistant dean of the college. He has worked for most of his career in college admissions, with some work in financial aid departments. Burdick was at USC for 18 years before arriving at UR.

“I don’t miss L.A. I will miss Trojan football,” Burdick said

Brown can be reached at cbrown@campustimes.org.

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