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Edward Gillis, who for nearly 20 years has helped lead a division directly responsible for improving the academic quality of the University of Miami, has been promoted to dean of enrollment management.
Gillis was previously assistant vice president of enrollment management and executive director of admission.
In his new role, he will supervise a number of offices that fall under the Division of Enrollment Management, including the Offices of Admission, International Admission, Financial Assistance Services, Student Employment, E-Communication and Market Research, and Technical Operations.
“Ed Gillis is recognized widely as a national leader in college admissions and an experienced professional with a long track record of success,” said Thomas J. LeBlanc, executive vice president and provost. “We are fortunate to have someone with his dedication, institutional knowledge, and commitment to improvement leading the undergraduate enrollment efforts for the University.”
Gillis began working at UM some 19 years ago when the University had not yet cracked the upper echelon of the prestigious U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” ranking. Since that time, UM has been one of the fastest-rising institutions on the list, rising to No. 38 in the 2012 rankings and maintaining its position as the top-ranked school in Florida. Rising SAT scores of its incoming freshman classes are among the key factors that prompted the meteoric rise.
“We’re always trying to improve the quality of the incoming students who arrive each year,” Gillis said. “The quality, especially as measured by SAT and ACT scores, has improved substantially. It’s been improving for a number of years, but we had a pretty good jump this year.”
From 2001 to 2011, the average SAT score of UM’s incoming freshmen rose from 1190 to 1315, and along with that increase, “we’ve become more geographically diverse,” Gillis said.
Also during his tenure, the University has become more selective in the students it admits. About 28,000 students applied for 2,150 slots for fall 2011.
To attract more academically gifted applicants, Gillis’s office reaches out to high school guidance counselors; students; and parents who, he said, are “much more involved in their children’s college searches than they were 20 and even 10 years ago.”
“We create opportunities to interact with gifted students, including traveling around the country and the world to meet with them,” Gillis said.