Get to Know Interim Dean of Admissions Chuck Rickard

Posted October 9th, 2009 at 1:58 pm.

rickardchuckAs part of a reorganization of student administrative services at Bryn Mawr (see earlier story in Bryn Mawr Now), former Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Jenny Rickard has become the College’s chief enrollment and communications officer. While the College conducts a national search for a new dean of admissions, seasoned college-admissions professional Chuck Rickard (the two Rickards are not related) has agreed to serve as interim dean of admissions.

Chuck Rickard has more than 30 years of senior-level admissions experience, starting with his appointment as director of admissions at the University of Michigan-Flint in 1976. He retired in 2007 from Kent State, where he served as Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services for 14 years.

We recently sat down with Dean Chuck Rickard and asked him to tell us a little bit about himself.

How did you end up at Bryn Mawr?
I had retired from Kent State as the associate vice president for enrollment services in 2007. I was retired for about a year when I started to get calls from a search firm in Boston. They contacted me a couple of times about interim positions, but I just wasn’t interested until they asked me about this wonderful opportunity at Bryn Mawr.

What was it about Bryn Mawr that was appealing?
I’ve worked only in large public institutions and have always wanted to experience working in a selective liberal-arts college. Bryn Mawr has such a tremendous academic reputation and history that I couldn’t turn down this opportunity. Doing admissions work at Bryn Mawr is exciting because you get to know the students involved. They’re really outstanding young women.

What are your initial impressions now that you’ve been here for just over a month?
We’ve got a great staff here in the admissions office and I think there’s just a tremendous amount of energy throughout the college.

What will you be focused on over the next year?
Recruiting a great class for 2014! I’m also chairing the group that’s looking at how we bring together the graduate and undergraduate admissions functions to create an even more robust admissions program for the entire college [for more about the administrative reorganization that includes coordinating admissions procedures and records across the schools, see this story]. We’ve had two good meetings now and we’ve got a lot of work to do. It’s exciting because each group—undergrad, the Graduate College of Arts and Sciences, postbac, and the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research—brings a lot of knowledge to the table and we’re learning from each other.

What are the challenges Bryn Mawr and other liberal-arts colleges face in recruiting undergraduates this year?
The economy is going to continue to be an issue for all schools as they recruit students. We have to maintain selectivity and manage affordability. Bryn Mawr is trying to recruit the very best students from all over the world, and there’s an awful lot of competition going on to attract those students to other highly regarded institutions.

Why should a student choose Bryn Mawr?
There are lots of reasons—world-class academics, its international reputation for developing women as leaders, its history and tradition, its beautiful campus, its diverse and distinctive community—but the most important thing is that it be the right school for that individual student. Bryn Mawr is not a place where you go for four years, get a degree and that’s it. The Bryn Mawr experience is transformative, and the community you join is one that remains a part of your life forever.

Tell me a little about yourself.
I’m from Michigan, I’m an old University of Michigan guy – worked there, went to school there, all that stuff. But my wife and I fell in love with North Carolina when I was working at The University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and our children settled down in that area, so that’s where my wife Jan and I live and have decided to retire.

Comments are closed.