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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Admission chat tonight!

The last round of chats were so successful that we've scheduled some more for tonight. Deans (myself included) and current students will be logging in to answer your questions about UVa and the admission process. There will be multiple rooms, so when you are presented with your options, don't just go to the first room.

Hope to see some of you there!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Rumor Mill

As deans have come back to the office from their recruitment trips, we've gotten reports about the latest round of rumors that are floating around about UVa's admission process. I'm sure there are more out there than the ones we're hearing, so feel free to post some in the comments and I'll give you my thoughts about them.

The main rumor I want to address is one about the ratio of in-state to out-of-state (OOS) students. That number is set by the state legislature. Neither UVa nor the Office of Admission have any control over the ratio. The radio has not changed for the coming year. I checked proposed bills for the 2009 legislative season* and none deal with our admission ratio (though it is very, very early and many more bills will be introduced).

What other rumors are floating around out there?

*If you'd like to keep up with that is happening in the state legislature, you might enjoy Richmond Sunlight, a website that makes tracking bills very easy. I use it myself.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Letters! We get letters!


The daily mail bin count has been steadily increasing and we just took a day off from reading to help open mail. This ritual usually occurs in January, but we all decided to pitch in a little early.

I'm happy to see the number of applications coming in the mail is way down (97% of students apply online...I hope that number increases this year). We are seeing more "supplemental" mailings and this isn't ideal.

As I've mentioned before, we've gone paperless. If you send knick knacks and literary magazines with post-it notes throughout, you should know that those probably won't be seen by the admission officers reading your file. Obviously, art supplements are reviewed by faculty and should be sent by those who plan on majoring/minoring in the arts and those are very important to us. Please, please keep your supplements reasonable. We ask for what we need to make a decision.

New Office of Admission website launches today!

I should be getting ready to head into the office, but I keep stopping at the computer to hi refresh on the Office of Admission website. The web communications office is supposed to be launching a new design for the site today. I think they're going to try to use my submission chart on the application instructions page, which should be much more streamlined than before.

I realize that you aren't as excited about this as I am, but I hope you'll let me know what you think of the new design.

Monday, November 10, 2008

These kids are good: Black Voices

I sometimes have trouble making it to early morning programs on time, especially when those programs are on the weekends. There's one program, however, for which I can't be late: Fall Fling. There's one very awesome reason: Black Voices.

Black Voices opens up Fall Fling each year. My first year at UVa, I was sitting in the front row of the theater in Old Cabell Hall, a gorgeous room in and of itself, as the Fall Fling program began. I assumed it would be the same, standard admission program: remarks from a Dean, remarks from a guest speaker, review of the schedule, and a send off. Fall Fling starts off with the most joyful, unexpected alarm clock: a collegiate gospel choir.

If you have roughly 40 seconds to spare, check out this video:



In all likelihood, your interest has piqued and you'll enjoy this substantially longer performance from a Black Voices concert a few years back. Parts of that second video seem like choral acrobatics and judging from the students' reactions when they finish one of the songs (check out the boy in the top row on the far right pumping his fist), they know they were amazing.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The glamorous life of the road warrior

When admission officers talk about the travel that comes with this job, people are often a little envious. Oh, the great cities we must visit! The wonderful food we must eat! The fancy hotels we must frequent!

I love travel season, but not because it's glamorous. After all, state school budgets don't really allow for days spent sight seeing or nights in trendy hotels (though I was once given a room for $100 at the Ritz Carlton in Clayton, MO when I was stranded in St. Louis). I love travel season because I get to interact with students on their turf, get a better understanding of the schools that send us applicants, and get to catch up with counselors and career center specialists with whom I've become friendly over the years.

To give you a glimpse into life on the road, I thought I'd share a picture taken last week while Dean Parke Muth was on a luxurious trip to Asia.

En route to the airport in Shanghai...in 94 degree heat

Aren't you impressed?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

UVa Chats this Wednesday and Thursday

Tomorrow and Thursday night, the UVa Chat rooms will be open from 7 PM to 9 PM. We'll have students, faculty, and admission officers on hand to answer questions in a few different chat rooms. You'll have to register a username to participate and you can do that now or just before entering the chat.

Hope to see some of you there!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Practice voting today

This is pretty neat...the engineering school had a student video contest and are letting the public vote for the winner of the contest. You can see the finalists' videos and vote for your favorite on the video contest website.

What do you think of them? I have a definite favorite.