Following a rigorous nationwide search, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has appointed Andrew B. Palumbo dean of admissions and financial aid. Palumbo will join the university Dec. 7 from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, where he was assistant vice president of enrollment management and director of admissions.
"Our challenge was to find someone who brought more than just professional competence to the role," said WPI Vice President Kristin Tichenor. "We wanted someone with a track record of enrollment success who also demonstrated creative thinking, leadership, insight into higher education trends, and significant skill in using data to drive strategy. We also looked for someone who truly understands and values the distinctive qualities of a WPI education. Andy Palumbo embodies all of that and more, and we are delighted to welcome him to the university."
At Plymouth State, Palumbo led a successful strategic enrollment initiative, working with several academic departments to craft a multilayered recruitment program that led the university out of a three-year trend of sharp enrollment decline and broadened the school’s geographic reach. The efforts surpassed regional and national enrollment norms in a highly competitive market. Prior to Plymouth State, Palumbo was the director of undergraduate admissions at The Sage Colleges of Albany, N.Y., where he streamlined admissions processes for both schools (Russell Sage College and its sister school, Sage College of Albany). He began his admissions career as assistant dean at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y.
At WPI, Palumbo will provide leadership and strategic direction for the university's undergraduate admissions and financial aid functions. He will be tasked with identifying and pursuing new strategies for marketing, outreach, recruitment, and stewardship to attract and enroll qualified students out of an increasingly competitive pool of applicants. Palumbo is also expected to devise and implement specific strategies to increase the diversity of the WPI student body.
"Looking at this opportunity, I was greatly impressed by the fact that, despite a prolonged period of declining numbers of high school graduates nationwide, WPI actually managed to grow enrollments, increase diversity on campus, and become a top destination for outstanding students from around the nation and the globe," said Palumbo. "This university's success in such a challenging recruitment environment is, I think, testimony to the fact that WPI is a university on the rise. I am excited to lead such a talented and dedicated team of admissions and student aid professionals in developing a new vision and new strategies to help further position WPI as a leader in enrolling top-tier students."
Palumbo, a native of Sutton, Mass., holds a bachelor of arts in history from Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., and a master of science in organization management. A member of numerous professional organizations, including the National Association of College Admissions Counseling and the New England Association of College Admissions Counseling, he recently completed a term as chair of the Admissions Committee of the New Hampshire College and University Council.