Author: Soo Jin Kim
Vince Cuseo, Oxy’s former dean of admissions, was formally named vice president of admission and financial aid on Jan. 13, and was confirmed by the Board of Trustees on Jan. 26. He replaced Bill Tingley, who announced his retirement last fall after serving 12 years at Oxy.
Cuseo was hired by Occidental as dean of admissions in 1999, after holding admissions positions at Boston College, Grinnell College, Santa Clara University and Stanford University. Cuseo stated that he was attracted to Oxy because of its liberal arts structure and urban setting.Cuseo’s goal as vice president of admissions and financial aid is to attract and enroll new students to the college.
This includes improving the college’s Web site, financial aid policies and promotion pamphlets.
In addition, Cuseo is looking to increase the efficiency of recruitment trips around the country. Still, the policies and operations of the admissions office are expected to remain much the same. “The goals have been, and will, remain the same: to enroll the most capable, diverse and stimulating new class we can,” Cuseo said.
Cuseo holds that, as part of the admissions team, his primary role will be to convey the college’s values to prospective students and families. Providing a more personal look into Oxy is a large component of this goal. As Occidental’s self-proclaimed facilitator and counselor, Cuseo stated that he wished to convey what he referred to as “the college’s magic” to potential incoming students.
To attract these students, he plans to increase direct contact between current students and alumni. Cuseo hopes to continue to emphasize constituency-building by asking individuals familiar with Occidental to take part in an outreach program to prospective students.
“It will take some time, but you can anticipate our office being more visible in the college community,” Cuseo said.
Cuseo understands that the role of the admissions staff is to frame Occidental in a positive light and that, as a result, it is sometimes viewed as insincere. However, he believes that Oxy speaks for itself and that the Admissions Office does not need to hype the school. “We are not here to twist arms,” he said.
The search for a replacement for Cuseo’s previous position – dean of admissions – has not yet started. The search will likely begin as soon as early spring, Cuseo said. It has currently been put on hold for now, as this is the busiest time of the year for the office.
Cuseo himself is especially busy right now, simultaneously handling the responsibilities of both offices. He has stated that his expectations for the future dean are that the individual be bright, organized, able to work collaboratively and also attuned to Occidental’s environment and character.
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