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Tufts Taps New Dean of Undergrad Admissions

Tufts Taps New Dean of Undergrad AdmissionsLee Coffin -- who has a 20 year career in admissions -- brings experience, perspective from both applicants and enrolling college studentsto Tufts. Medford/Somerville, Mass.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [08.26.03] Tufts University officials today announced the appointment of Lee Coffin, 40, as dean of undergraduate admissions and enrollment management. He is currently dean of admission and financial aid at Milton Academy. For nearly 20 years, Coffin has held numerous leadership positions in admissions, financial aid and related undergraduate programs at highly selective schools, including Harvard, Trinity College and Connecticut College.

Tufts' undergraduate admissions' selectivity for its arts, sciences and engineering programs is at a record high--just over one-fourth of the 14,527 applicants for 1,280 openings were offered admission. The University has undertaken an extensive national search to fill the post previously held by its highly successful 17-year Dean of Admissions David Cuttino, who retired at the end of the school year.

"Lee is a terrific person to build on David Cuttino's record of accomplishment," said Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow. "He understands how to compete for the very best students with the very best institutions in the country. He will bring great energy and enthusiasm to admissions at Tufts."

Susan Ernst, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, added that she anticipates he will bring a strategic focus to attracting outstanding undergraduates because he understands the admissions and financial aid processes "from both sides."

"During the past couple years he's led Milton Academy's most selective high school review process--with a 20 percent acceptance rate," she said. "He knows what extraordinary high school students are looking for when they begin the college application process, and he also knows what top colleges and universities are seeking for their incoming freshmen classes."

Prior to Milton Academy, Coffin spent more than a decade at Connecticut College, where he served as vice president for enrollment and acting vice president for public affairs, following six years as dean of admissions. He also served as freshman proctor and advisor at Harvard, and as assistant director of annual giving, and alumni and undergraduate relations at Trinity College. He holds a master's degree in education from Harvard and a bachelor's degree with honors in history and American government from Trinity College.

Ernst added that Coffin also has a particularly keen interest in creating financial aid programs to attract the best students, without regard to financial needs--which is one Tufts' major objectives.

Coffin, who will assume his post on Oct. 1, said he's looking forward to the challenge of increasing Tufts' student selectivity even higher.

"I've watched Tufts become one of the country's most selective, inter-nationally focused universities, and I'm looking forward to making sure that Tufts is even better positioned to attract the most interesting, engaged community of bright, capable students," said Coffin.


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