Eric Maguire, currently chief enrollment and communications officer at New York's Ithaca College, has been named the next vice president and dean of admission and financial aid at Franklin & Marshall College.
The appointment — announced May 7 by Franklin & Marshall President Daniel R. Porterfield — reunites Maguire with an institution he knows well. He worked in F&M's Office of Admission from 2000 through 2009 before joining Ithaca.
In his nine years at F&M, Maguire was promoted to increasingly critical positions, culminating with his May 2008 appointment to associate vice president for enrollment management, responsible for financial aid strategy, class modeling, enrollment research and analysis, and admission operations.
"F&M's record number of applications this year indicates clearly that the College's quality academic program, strong financial aid, and unique residential life experience are attractive to a growing number of the country's most talented students," Maguire said. "It is important that we seize this momentum in order to bring to campus more students of extraordinary promise, and who can contribute to F&M's ongoing rise among the nation's top liberal arts institutions even as they gain the knowledge and skills for lives of success and meaning beyond college."
As vice president of Ithaca's Office of Enrollment and Communication, Maguire led an integrated team comprising approximately 110 staff members from the offices of admission, career services, enrollment planning, institutional research, marketing communications, and student financial services.
In his new role at Franklin & Marshall, he will work with the entire campus community to continue building the College's national profile and reputation for academic excellence, as well as expanding its student aid budget.
"I am confident that with Eric's addition to our already strong team of professionals in Admission and Financial Aid, F&M can look forward to many more successes in strengthening the entire College by attracting talented students from across the country and around the world," Porterfield said.
Among Maguire's many accomplishments at Ithaca was implementing and overseeing a successful recruitment strategy that increased applications by 43 percent in the past five years, despite a declining number of college-going students in the Northeast, the region from which Ithaca recruits the majority of its students. That five-year effort also strategically diversified the college's student body, boosting enrollment of under-represented groups by 48 percent.
"A big part of the excitement for me is that this is a homecoming," Maguire said. "I get to work with some highly respected former colleagues and pick up those relationships while being introduced to a whole new group of folks about whom I have heard nothing but great things."
Maguire's successful recruitment strategy at Ithaca dovetails with Franklin & Marshall's emergence as a national leader in the area of college access. When Porterfield joined F&M in 2011, the College launched an innovative recruiting strategy to deepen F&M's pool of highly talented applicants, in the process doubling the College's financial aid budget to more than $45 million annually and raising the average of Pell Grant recipients in the last three entering classes to 18 percent, up from a three-year average of 7 percent just five years ago.
At the same time, the College has reduced significantly the average student debt at graduation — from $33,200 for the Class of 2012 to roughly $25,500 for the Class of 2015 — through its three-year-old Student Loan Relief Program and other strategies to strengthen the aid packages that students receive. And this year, the College surpassed 7,100 applications, shattering its 2008 application record of 5,632.
Maguire said he is eager to get started July 1, noting that he and Porterfield have a shared philosophy on the future of the institution and its student body.
"I'm excited about President Porterfield's leadership," he said. "He brings a tremendous energy and vision to the institution. Some of the College's new directions mirror efforts explored late in my tenure at F&M — increased access for students across all socioeconomic bands, for example. That is a passion of mine, and it is something he and I really connect on."
Maguire holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Muhlenberg College and a master's degree in higher education administration from Indiana University, where for two years he served as assistant director of admission.
Maguire, a native of suburban Philadelphia, said he, his wife and their two children are looking forward to relocating to Lancaster this summer.
In his note to the campus community regarding Maguire's appointment, Porterfield also thanked Julie Kerich '81 for her service as interim vice president and dean of admission and financial aid since March 2015.
The search was led by Sam Houser, Ph.D., '89, vice president of strategic initiatives and chief of staff, in a process that included both a search committee of faculty and professional staff and a group of students who interviewed finalists. The search was facilitated by Robin Mamlet, senior partner with Witt/Kiefer executive recruitment consultants.