President John Fry announced today that Joan McDonald, senior vice president for enrollment management, will retire at the end of 2013. McDonald has spent 17 years at Drexel and 13 years heading the University’s overall enrollment efforts.
McDonald joined Drexel in 1996 as director of undergraduate admissions and was named dean of enrollment management in 2000, vice president in 2004 and senior vice president in 2009. During that time, enrollment increased by 184 percent, from fewer than 10,000 students in 1996 to more than 26,000 for the 2013-14 academic year. Simultaneously, the average freshman SAT score rose by 118 points, and the proportion of students drawn from outside Drexel’s region grew to one third.
“Few administrators are as closely identified as Joan with Drexel’s complete transformation over the past 15-plus years,” Fry wrote in a message to senior administrators and trustees this morning. “Her leadership has been a constant factor in the longest unbroken period of growth in the University’s history, as measured by both number and quality of students.”
A committee will be appointed to conduct a national search for McDonald’s successor, Fry said. He also announced that Rose Martinelli of Huron Education will provide interim leadership with McDonald this fall and after McDonald leaves. Martinelli is part of the Huron team that has been working with Drexel on transitioning to a student lifecycle management focus, and she will report in to Senior Vice President Helen Bowman, who chairs the student lifecycle management initiative.