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Admissions Dean: Eric Furda
January 22, 2008, Volume 54, No. 18



Eric J. Furda, vice president for alumni relations and former executive director of undergraduate admissions at Columbia University, has been named dean of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Furda, a 1987 Penn graduate, will assume his position as dean on July 1, 2008.

 “After almost two decades, it is most fitting that Eric Furda will be returning to Penn as our Dean of Admissions since, to put it simply, Eric has become a natural for this position,” said President Amy Gutmann. “His depth of experience and track record of success in highly selective undergraduate admissions, along with his keen understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing higher education today, make him our ideal choice. In addition to his broad expertise in admissions, Eric is also known to be a wonderfully caring, knowledgeable, and accessible university colleague.”

As executive director of undergraduate admissions at Columbia University, from 1995 to 2004, Mr. Furda is widely credited with guiding a historic rise in their undergraduate admissions. He led and managed the successful merger of the admission processes of Columbia College and the School of Engineering & Applied Science. During his tenure, applications to Columbia College increased more than 70% and SEAS more than 67%, while yield increased more than 20%.  SAT-I scores increased, as did international and minority enrollments.

“Eric has a deep appreciation of the importance of inclusion and diversity in admission programs, and shares the University’s commitment to increasing access to Penn for talented students from diverse backgrounds, both in this country and around the world,” said Provost Ronald Daniels.

As vice president for alumni relations at Columbia since 2004, Mr. Furda worked with Trustee leadership to create a new alumni association, increase annual alumni engagement, and implement online resources to connect alumni with Columbia and with each other.

“I am delighted and honored to be returning to my alma mater and the place where I began my career,” Mr. Furda said.  “I am most grateful to President Gutmann and Provost Daniels for the opportunity to serve as the dean of admissions at such an exciting time in Penn’s history.”

Mr. Furda began his career in admissions at Penn, as regional director from 1987 to 1991. He joined Columbia’s admissions office in 1991, holding increasingly responsible positions. He has a BA in international relations from Penn, and an MA in education from Teachers College at Columbia. While an undergraduate, he was a four-year letter winner in lightweight football and currently serves on Penn’s Sprint Football Advisory Committee.

Almanac - January 22, 2008, Volume 54, No. 18