Lee Coffin, dean of undergraduate admissions and enrollment management for Tufts University, has been appointed to the newly created position of vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid, Provost Carolyn Dever announced today.
“We are thrilled to welcome Lee to Dartmouth,” says Dever. “He brings a track record of success and a deep appreciation for how to build an innovative, highly strategic, and statistically supported enrollment plan that attracts a talented, diverse, and exceptional class of students year after year.”
Coffin has led undergraduate admissions at Tufts since 2003. During his tenure, he has overseen an increase in application volume by 37 percent, the doubling of applications from underrepresented minorities, and the development of two summer bridge programs for students from underresourced high schools. This year, under his leadership, Tufts received a record number of applications, up 6 percent from last year’s record pool.
In addition, Coffin designed a set of predictive yield models for Tufts, increasing yield—the percentage of students who accept their offer of admission—by more than 12 points as well as improving the academic profile of enrolling classes. He also led two comprehensive studies that helped to enhance Tufts’ standing among high-achieving college applicants.
“As the first member of my family to graduate from college, my work as an admissions officer celebrates the transformative power of a liberal arts education and need-based financial aid,” says Coffin.
“My career has been dedicated to shaping a multifaceted undergraduate community from a wide array of backgrounds and perspectives, and I am honored to have the chance to do so at Dartmouth. The College clearly has the reputation, resources, and will to act on its aspirations, and its commitment to intellectual excellence, diversity, access, and inclusion is evident. Those objectives reflect my core values as an admissions officer, and make Dartmouth an especially good fit for me,” he says.
Coffin will begin his new role at Dartmouth on July 1.
“With the accessibility of so much data and new technology to identify and recruit prospective students, there has been a sea change in the admissions profession over the past several years,” says Dean of the College Rebecca Biron, who chaired the search committee that selected Coffin. “Lee has shown a mastery of his craft that I am confident will serve Dartmouth well and position us for success in the years ahead.”
The vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid will provide strategic and operational leadership to undergraduate admissions and financial aid and will partner with the provost, deans, and other academic leaders to bring to the division an increased analytical focus and greater coordination and integration of institutional priorities, says Dever.
The vice provost will also oversee the allocation of College resources of more than $80 million in Dartmouth scholarship funding to advance the mission of enrolling the most talented and promising students regardless of their financial resources.
Coffin’s appointment follows a national search facilitated by the firm Witt/Kieffer in collaboration with the search committee chaired by Biron. On the search committee were Trustee Caroline Kerr ’05; Vice Provost for Student Affairs Inge-Lise Ameer; Associate Provost for Institutional Research Alicia Betsinger; Registrar Meredith Braz; Associate Professor Solomon Diamond, chair of the faculty committee on admissions and financial aid; Chief Operating Officer for Advancement Ann Root Keith; Director of Financial Aid Dino Koff; Director of Athletics Harry Sheehy; Associate Professor of Mathematics Craig Sutton; and Vice President for Finance Mike Wagner.
The search for the vice provost began this past fall after Maria Laskaris ’84 left the post of dean of admissions and financial aid to work as special assistant to the provost for arts and innovation. Paul Sunde, director of admissions, will continue to serve as interim dean of admissions and financial aid until Coffin takes over in July.
Coffin earned a bachelor's degree in history from Trinity College and a master of education in administration planning and social policy from Harvard University. Prior to his work at Tufts, Coffin held the Millet Chair in admissions and served as dean of admission and financial aid at Milton Academy in Milton, Mass. Before joining the staff at Milton Academy, he was vice president for enrollment and public affairs at Connecticut College. Since 2006, he has been an adjunct lecturer on education at Harvard, teaching a graduate course he designed titled "Principles & Policy Issues of College Admissions."
Coffin will be joined in the Upper Valley by his partner, Steve Moore.