July 19, 2005
To Members of the Bowdoin Community,
With tremendous regret, I am writing to let you know that our exceptionally talented dean of admissions, Jim Miller, will be leaving Bowdoin in August to become dean of admissions at Brown University. It is always difficult to lose respected and well-liked colleagues, but this is clearly a wonderful opportunity for Jim to lead the admissions program at his alma mater and to be closer geographically to friends and family.
We will soon embark on a national search for Jim’s replacement. I will chair a search committee to be named in the near future. Our goal will be to find a talented and knowledgeable professional who will advance all the admissions programs and policies that exist at Bowdoin today – programs and policies that have made our student recruitment efforts so successful. In the interim, I am very pleased to announce that our former dean of admissions, Dick Steele, will return to Bowdoin to lead the program he knows so well.
Jim Miller came to Bowdoin in the summer of 2001, following a brief period at the College Board and nearly two decades at Harvard, where he served as a senior admissions officer and director of financial aid. During his time here, our student recruitment efforts have continued to flourish. This year, the College received a record 5,026 applications for 480 spaces. Meanwhile, under Jim’s leadership, our student body has continued to better reflect American society, with the percentage of students of color at Bowdoin growing from 17 percent in the Class of 2005 to nearly 30 percent for the Class of 2009. Jim has also done a great deal to raise the visibility of the College, with six wonderfully entertaining and insightful appearances on the Today show and contributions to national publications like Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report. We will all miss Jim’s terrific sense of humor and his many contributions to Bowdoin.
The silver lining in all of this is that our very talented and respected former dean, Dick Steele, has agreed to lead our admissions program for the next year as we conduct a search for Jim’s permanent successor. He will begin his interim duties on August 15. Dick Steele is a highly respected student recruitment professional, having led the admissions efforts at Bowdoin for ten years during Bob Edwards’s administration, and previously at Duke, Carleton, and the University of Vermont. During his so-called “retirement,” Dick has remained very active in his field, serving as a consultant to the College Board, and most recently teaching at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dick knows Bowdoin and our admissions and financial aid programs very well and will be able to step in immediately to provide continuity and leadership to these vital programs. I am delighted to have him back at Bowdoin.
It should be very clear that Bowdoin will continue during this period to advance the successful student recruitment policies and programs in place today. This means we will actively recruit – with the same high level of energy and vigor – superior students from a variety of socio-economic, religious, racial, geographic, and cultural backgrounds, and with a wide array of talents. These efforts remain critically important to me and to the College.
We hope to be able to say goodbye to Jim in person – a time and place for a farewell celebration will be circulated in the coming days. In the meantime, I know each of you joins me in wishing Jim the very best as he embarks on this next chapter in his impressive career.