In July, Art D. Rodriguez ’96 returned to Carleton as new Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Services.
A committee was formed by President Steve Poskanzer in 2018 in order to fill the position Rodriguez has taken. Professor Timothy Raylor, who was on the search committee, explained that his goal was to find someone sympathetic to Carleton’s approach to admissions, which has been remarkably successful for many years.
“We wanted someone with the vision, experience, and authority to build on that success, making changes where these might better help us reach our institutional goals—(e.g., recruiting talented, diverse classes while keeping us accessible and affordable)—in an increasingly competitive market,” said Raylor.
The committee worked with an external search firm which knew of Rodriguez as a national leader in the field of admissions and therefore a strong candidate for Carleton.
Rodriguez was previously the dean of admission and student financial services at Vassar College starting in 2014. He also has served on several Vassar committees related to admissions, student affairs, and planning, including the Board of Trustees committee on admission and financial aid.
Rodriguez serves as the chief admissions officer and has full responsibility for the Admissions and Financial Aid offices, working to make the cost of Carleton affordable. He is currently adjusting to the Carleton of 2019 that has changed dramatically with new buildings, faculty and staff, academic programs, and student experiences since his time as an undergrad here. Understanding these changes will help him be in the best position to recruit for the college.
“I am also doing a lot of listening and thinking about the work in admissions and financial aid, and how the college can continue to enroll the most talented and diverse group of students,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez opened this year’s New Student Week orientation alongside the President, Dean of Students, Dean of the College, and CSA President with a welcoming speech that was based on his own first-year orientation.
“It was such an amazing experience and honor,” Rodriguez said. “I never would have thought in a million years when I was a first-year student at Carleton, that I could someday be on the dais… I wanted to relay the message that it was okay to be nervous. I also wanted to reinforce to anyone having doubts about being at Carleton, that they do belong. ”
As a former Carleton TRIO student and Multicultural Peer Leader (MPL), now OIIL Peer Leaders, Rodriguez looks forward to connecting with these student groups because of their shared experiences, but he also wants to meet as many students as possible. He enjoyed his time as a Carleton student being part of a residential community and understanding how many varying experiences his classmates represented.
Raylor, Senior Associate Dean of Admissions Jaime K. Anthony, and Assistant to Vice President and Dean of Admissions Linda Mueller all underscored the value of having a mixture of alumni and non-alumni in the admissions office because of their understanding of the Carleton experience.
Rodriguez encourages current students to be open-minded, explore new academic areas and resources, and meet new people while at Carleton. He also advises soon-to-be alumni to reflect on their time and activities at Carleton to provide direction on their future possibilities.
“Four years happen fast, and rather than having regrets, I hope every student graduates from Carleton feeling as though they immersed themselves in every opportunity that they can,” said Rodriguez.