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Dean of Admissions at Union College

Union College - Schenectady, NY
Job Location:
Schenectady, 12308
Other Deans

Union College, a nationally recognized, distinguished liberal arts college, seeks an exceptional Dean of Admissions to oversee Union's admission strategy. In partnership with the Director of Admissions, the new Dean will manage all aspects of recruitment and selection, and improve upon efforts to attract a high quality and diverse group of students to the College. Reporting to the Vice President for Admissions, Financial Aid, and Enrollment and serving on his senior enrollment leadership team along with the Director of Enrollment & Operations and the Director of Financial Aid, the selected candidate will offer leadership in undergraduate admissions by guiding a team of eleven, managing all functions and daily operations.


As a position of importance on Union’s campus, the Dean of Admissions will perform the following essential responsibilities in these areas:


  • Recruit, develop, supervise, and engender a sense of camaraderie among an admissions team composed of a director, two senior deans and eight team members; motivate, inspire, and retain a high functioning and talented team through excellent training, professional development, internal coaching and mentorship.
  • Identify ways to manage and optimize the Admission Office budget through resourcefulness and maximization of staff’s individual and collective strengths.
  • Represent Union to internal and external audiences through panels, conferences, and professional organizations, as well as engagement with campus-wide committees.
  • Demonstrate a strong commitment to access, equity, and inclusion in enrollment and management practices; ensure the admission office has a continually updated diversity recruitment plan that values multiple forms of diversity, and manages key relationships and programs.
  • Support, contribute to, and strengthen a vibrant, culturally diverse, and inclusive learning community of students, alumni, faculty, and fellow professionals.

Strategic Enrollment and Marketing

  • Demonstrate experience in strategic recruitment and enrollment practices, including the management of all admission recruitment, selection, and yield initiatives, market analysis efforts, and sophisticated travel and outreach approaches.
  • Assist the Vice President with vendor management and assessment, including identification of new student sources and opportunities.
  • Possess an innovative mindset and the ability to evaluate admission market and enrollment trends.
  • Collaborate with key partners in marketing, including but not limited to the Senior Associate Dean of Admissions/Coordinator of Admissions Communications, Director of Enrollment & Operations, the Marketing Specialist for Enrollment, and the Chief Marketing Officer, to conceptualize and execute a recruitment and communications plan informed with analysis and designed to meet the College’s objectives.
  • Serve a critical role in ensuring a segmented and integrated strategy for all recruitment, applicant, and yield communications is successfully executed (including the admissions website, print materials, email campaigns, social media, and digital content).

Partnership, Collaboration and Communication

  • Play a pivotal role in fostering collaboration and building partnerships both on and off campus.
  • Represent Union’s Admissions Office to the guidance community; strengthen relationships and ensure effective communication with college counselors; engage through forums, panels, and other outreach initiatives; enhance the counselor advisory program.
  • Lead and support the Athletic Recruitment Liaison team; work closely with the Athletic Director as a strategic partner to ensure that athletic recruitment aligns with Union’s broader admission goals.
  • Manage relationships with Albany Medical College and Albany Law School related to the relevant combined degree programs.
  • Work closely with the Vice President and Director of Financial Aid to responsibly and effectively allocate the College’s resources, and evaluate their effectiveness to shape enrollment. The Dean will be mentored in all aspects of financial aid to grow into that responsibility area in time.
  • Through on-campus committee work and willingness to build relationships, reach out as a partner to faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

Operations, Analytics and Data

  • In partnership with the Vice President and the Director of Enrollment & Operations, ensure resources and prioritization are given to data reporting, analysis, and evaluation of all admission initiatives.
  • Strategically analyze enrollment data and trends to ensure the Admission Office’s outreach efforts are responsive to changing demographics and are designed to meet the goals of the institution.
  • Appreciate and utilize technology to ensure systems and processes are aligned to effectively communicate with constituencies and to evaluate appropriate decision points.

Education and Experience

  • Possess at least eight years of increasingly responsible related experience along with a bachelor’s degree (advanced degree is preferred).
  • Lead and mentor the admissions team with outstanding communication skills, innovative thinking, positive energy, and a commitment to inclusive and equitable practices.
  • Demonstrate a successful record of achievement in admissions, a belief in Union’s mission, and significant experience in effectively using technology and data to impact both student recruitment and selection.


Founded in 1795, and located in the Capital Region of New York State in Schenectady, Union College is a highly selective residential and undergraduate college that offers over 60 majors and minors. Union is one of the oldest colleges in the nation and the first to redefine traditional liberal arts education with modern languages, science, and engineering early in its history. Today, Union integrates these disciplines—along with the arts, humanities, and social sciences—in new and exciting ways. A Union education is rigorous, and innovative, and encourages its more than 2,000 students to work beyond the limits of disciplinary boundaries, allowing them to think globally and lead creatively in a world where problem-solving requires breadth across humanities, arts, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering without sacrificing depth of preparation.

Union takes great pride in its history with a vision of “Developing every student to lead with wisdom, empathy, and courage, in ways large and small, now and across multiple tomorrows.” On February 25, 1795, Union was the first college to receive a charter from the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, and it has continuously operated as one of the 30 oldest institutions of higher education in the United States. Union was the first non-denominational institution of higher education in the United States. The commitment to building a community characterized by mutual respect is part of the Union’s institutional composition.

Since the start of President David Harris’s tenure in 2018, Union has strengthened and innovated as a liberal arts college building on its academic excellence. Union’s strategic plan, The Power of Union, launched in 2020. Simultaneously, Union publicly launched the $300 million Powering Union: The Campaign for Multiple Tomorrows with the announcement of a $51 million gift, the largest in the college’s history. The campaign concluded in June 2023 and raised over $316 million. Recently, the donors of the record-breaking $51 million gift contributed another $40 million to the College.


Union’s early history played a seminal role in the development of the modern American college curriculum. Though Union’s earliest students received a classical education, in the 1820s Union became one of several Hudson Valley colleges to adopt parallel courses of study. In this way, students continued to pursue the liberal arts while also studying natural sciences. Union was among the first colleges to allow modern languages to satisfy graduation requirements, and Union’s engineering curriculum, which continues as a robust component of the campus to this day, began in 1845. What once were parallel courses of study have blossomed into an integrative approach to the liberal arts and applied sciences.

The College has done important experimental work in interdepartmental studies, which is reflected in a number of programs that cut across the lines of academic disciplines. Organized interdepartmental majors are offered in numerous areas, and the College has also developed law and pre-med programs that enable students to work toward both a bachelor’s degree and an advanced degree simultaneously. The Common Curriculum (Complex Questions & Social Justice) has received national recognition, and the College has an innovative program of Writing Across the Curriculum. Efforts to renew and enhance the College’s academic programs and curricula continue to be supported by major foundations

Union’s students' personalized experiences encourage them to explore what piques their curiosity and engage with local and global communities. This prepares them to thrive while at Union and throughout their careers. Within six months of graduating, 97% of alumni are employed full time, in graduate or professional school, or pursuing a post-graduate fellowship or public service opportunity. Union’s signature programs help students define their vision and access all that the Union community has to offer.

Student Life

Union believes that a student’s life outside the classroom is an important part of their total education. In 2004, the Minerva Houses were inaugurated to broaden the educational experience for students, faculty and staff and to give all students an opportunity to make rewarding connections and to blend the campus social, academic, and cultural life. Every student is assigned to a house, which can be a focus for social activities, dinners and discussion, making new friends, or simply a welcoming place.

In addition, there are over 130 clubs and organizations and students lead a rich array of programs and activities including but not exclusive to cultural programs, academic programs, concerts, lectures, service opportunities, and much more.

Union offers an extensive program of intercollegiate, intramural, club, and recreational sports, along with a wellness program that provides students, faculty and staff the opportunity to learn the skills of lifetime sports while promoting healthy lifestyles. The College ensures that athletics are kept in harmony with the essential educational purpose of Union. Intercollegiate competition is offered in 26 sports; Union is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the Eastern College Athletic Conference Hockey League (ECAC Hockey), and the Liberty League. Men’s and women’s ice hockey compete at the NCAA Division I level; all other sports compete at the NCAA Division III level.

Campus Diversity and Inclusion

Union is committed to building an inclusive and equitable environment for all community members at Union College. The mission of Union College is enhanced by promoting purposeful engagement across differences through constructive conversations, holistic education, as well as inclusive pedagogy and reflective social justice retreats. As a community, Union identifies and alleviates barriers to ensure equitable practices across campus by working diligently with faculty, staff, and students towards inclusive excellence.

Committed to integrating inclusive excellence in every facet of the institution, Union collaborates with community partners to foster a welcoming and respectful learning environment for all. The College provides innovative opportunities to engage students, faculty and staff in developing cultural empathy and proficiency. Members of Union’s community are inspired to engage and connect with other students, staff, and faculty members from a variety of backgrounds. Ethnic and cultural diversity enriches our student life, academic programs and campus activities.

As Union College President Harris puts it, "At Union, you'll learn about yourself as you walk with people whose paths are familiar to you as well as with people who have walked very different paths." At Union, there is appreciation and value for the richness of diversity that their students, faculty and staff bring to the community. Each person’s respective cultures, worldviews, experiences and identities can enrich the campus community as a whole, and Union learns from each other through both differences and similarities.


David R. Harris, Ph.D., a sociologist with a distinguished record as an innovative teacher, scholar, and administrator, became the 19th president of Union College on July 1, 2018. At his inauguration, Harris set the tone for his presidency by launching the Union College Challenge, which encourages all members of the Union community to “become comfortable being uncomfortable” by committing to at least one thing that is new in their studies, personal lives, or jobs. Under his leadership, Union has developed a strategic plan that aims to fully blend the liberal arts and engineering, transcend disciplinary boundaries, bridge classroom and immersive experiences, and engage and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion have been the cornerstone of the Harris presidency. In his first term at Union, he created the Making U Possible initiative to raise funds to ensure that all students can participate in the co-curricular and extra-curricular activities that comprise a full Union experience. He formed the Presidential Initiative on Race, Power, and Privilege, a 40-member working group of students, faculty, staff, and alumni that made recommendations to create and maintain an environment that values and respects all members. Harris also moderates the College's Forum on Constructive Engagement, a series of events aimed at enhancing our appreciation of other perspectives

Active in the local community, President Harris is a board member of the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce, the chair of the Board of Trustees of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), and has served on the Schenectady Downtown Reinvestment Initiative Local Planning Committee. Before joining Union, President Harris served as provost and Senior Vice President at Tufts University. Prior to his time at Tufts, he served in multiple roles at Cornell University. In 2010 and 2011, he served in the Obama administration as a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He attended Northwestern University, where he earned a B.S. in Human Development and Social Policy, and a Ph.D. in Sociology.

For more information about Union College, please visit


Located in Schenectady, N.Y. and spread across 130 scenic acres, Union College's historic campus showcases American collegiate architecture at its finest. In 1813, shortly after the College decided to move to its current location, the French architect and landscape planner Joseph Ramée laid out the new campus - the first unified campus plan in America. He designed a great central courtyard, flanked on three sides by buildings and open to the west, with a round pantheon as the focus of the courtyard. The distinctive Ramée style, with its arches and pilasters in white, remains the dominant motif in Union College architecture.

At the heart of campus is Nott Memorial, a National Historic Landmark and striking presence. Dating to 1875, it is the perfect symbol of Union’s community, a joining of eclectic architectural styles that create something remarkable. One of our nation’s most distinctive examples of High Victorian Gothic architecture, the Nott Memorial is the only 16-sided building in North America.

Schenectady, NY

Downtown Schenectady is part of upstate New York's Capital Region and just a short walk away from campus. The city offers arts, culture, shopping and recreation and has many restaurants with a range of casual, ethnic and gourmet cuisines. From its culturally diverse neighborhoods to its beautiful waterfront, Schenectady is the center of industry and innovation and continues to evolve and transform. In 2017, the downtown revitalization was led by the creation of Mohawk Harbor, a vibrant waterfront destination that is now one of the most visited places in the Capitol Region. It offers a vibrant arts scene, historic venues, and inviting museums. From festivals to exciting attractions to scenic hikes, Schenectady is full of fun for enthusiasts of all ages. Schenectady is a 20-minute drive from Albany International Airport, and it is also within an easy three hour reach of New York City and Boston.


Compensation for the position is expected to be between $150,000 - $170,000 depending on experience; consult with the NES search team for insights.

Except for roles with a set rate of pay, the wage/salary of the finalist selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to departmental budgets, qualifications, experience, education, licenses, specialty, and training. The stated hiring rate/range represents the College’s good faith and reasonable estimate of the rate/range of possible compensation at the time of posting.

To learn about Union College’s outstanding benefits ranging from generous vacation policies to tuition assistance programs, visit:


NES, a higher education search firm specializing in enrollment management searches, is partnering with Union College to identify the College’s next Dean of Admissions. For more information, or to nominate someone for this position, contact Laura Robinson (, Suzi Nam ( or Mary Napier ( All conversations will remain confidential unless otherwise stated and agreed.

Interested candidates should submit a résumé and a letter of interest describing their unique qualifications for the Dean of Admissions position at Union College. Candidates should also provide the names and contact information of at least five professional references. For confidentiality, references will not be contacted without permission. For best consideration, all application materials should be submitted electronically to by July 22, 2024. The position is campus-based and the preferred start date is the early fall of 2024.

Union College is an equal opportunity employer and strongly committed to student and workforce diversity. Union College is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its application process for individuals with disabilities and encourages applicants with disabilities to request any needed accommodation(s). Union College’s Strategic Plan highlights the role of diversity in providing an effective education for the 21st century at the heart of our mission and vision for the College. Diversifying the student body, the faculty, the administration, the staff, and the curriculum requires a commitment to honor our mission and advance our goals. Union provides a blend of intellectual, social, and cultural opportunities to facilitate the integrated academic, social, and personal development of a diverse community. We value and are committed to a host of diverse populations and cultures including, but not limited to, those based on race, religion, ability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and national origin.

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