Penn’s director of admissions is leaving the university at the end of the year | Tech US News



John. T. McLaughlin, Associate Dean and Director of Admissions

Penn’s associate dean and director of admissions will leave the university at the end of the year to become dean of admissions and assistant vice president at Hamilton College starting next January.

Hamilton College announced Nov. 4 that John McLaughlin, who has served as associate dean and director of admissions at Penn since 2018, will join the liberal arts college as dean of admissions and associate vice president effective Jan. 3. Vice Chancellor and Dean of Admissions Whitney Soule wrote to The Daily Pennsylvanian that she is working with Penn Admissions associate deans to plan when to fill McLaughlin’s vacancy.

“It is hard to imagine Penn and Penn Admissions without John McLaughlin, who is known for his deep love of Penn and his thoughtful, professional approach to the work of admissions,” Soule wrote.

A 2005 graduate of the college, McLaughlin oversaw some of Penn’s largest application groups during his eight years at Penn Admissions. He served as interim dean of admissions during the Class of 2025 cycle, the largest application drive in Penn history. The 56,000 applications received was a 34% increase over the previous year’s group of applicants.

He first became involved with the admissions office during his undergraduate studies at Penn.

“I have worked with so many talented people at Penn and have some relationships that go back to my time as a tour guide and student worker in the admissions office,” McLaughlin wrote to DP.

McLaughlin assumed the role of interim dean of admissions beginning in January 2021 following the departure of previous dean of admissions Eric Furda. He held this position until Soule was named Dean of Admissions in July 2021.

McLaughlin wrote that his goals as interim dean were “first, to do no harm, and second, to try to leave things a little better than I found them.”

This past year, McLaughlin oversaw the Class of 2026 admissions cycle, which received 55,000 applications and was the first cycle in recent memory that Penn Admissions declined to immediately share its normal acceptance rate.

“I’m proud of the work we’ve done to lower barriers to access,” McLaughlin wrote. “Penn is much more diverse now, in many dimensions, than it was when I was a student in the early 2000s.”

In his position as associate dean and director of admissions, McLaughlin helped create a group at Penn Admissions that used experimentation and data analytics to understand and improve the admissions process at Penn, according to a 2020 statement from former president Amy Gutmann and former provost Wendell Pritchett. announces McLaughlin’s appointment as interim dean.

When asked what he will miss most about Penn, McLaughlin noted that he will miss his colleagues: “It is a uniquely dedicated and diverse group of people, and I have enjoyed working with and learning from all of them. I feel that I am leaving Penn Admissions in a strong position, and I owe that in large part to the guidance and support of my colleagues.”

“Penn will always be a special place for me. My connection to this city remains outside of my professional relationship,” McLaughlin wrote. “Wherever life takes me, I’ll still toast dear old Penn.”


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