January 16, 2003
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After overseeing a number of changes in his office, Michael Murphy, the dean of admissions and financial aid at Antioch College, is leaving in March to take a position with a university in Dublin, Ireland. .

Admissions dean at Antioch College to leave in March

After announcing that applications to the college have increased more than 70 percent over the last three years, Antioch Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Michael Murphy confirmed in an interview Monday that he has accepted a position at Dublin City University in Dublin, Ireland.

Murphy will depart for his new position as CEO of the university’s Educational Trust Fund in mid-March. A search for his replacement will start next week.

Murphy said that his reasons for leaving have nothing to do with Antioch; he simply wishes to pursue a new professional challenge. He also said that he and his wife, Karen Gundersen, have had a desire to live abroad for some time, and this job provides them with that opportunity.

“I started at Antioch as the college’s annual fund director in development,” Murphy said. “And this new position allows me to return to that field.”

“It is a fascinating time to be involved with philanthropy, especially in Europe,” Murphy added. “I’m very interested in the changes taking place in philanthropy across the globe, and the idea of being involved in philanthropy in Ireland is particularly exciting.”

Murphy’s announcement comes near the end of a period of change in the Admissions Office. Four of Antioch’s five admissions counsellors have begun their tenure at Antioch within the last 18 months, and Murphy’s stint with admissions has seen drastic changes in printed and electronic recruitment tools, recruitment strategies and merit-based financial aid offerings.

Despite these changes, Murphy seems confident that he will leave the Admissions Office in a position to continue its recent success. “Our staff has over 40 years combined experience, and with the new recruitment software, view book and a new Web site rolling out soon, I think we will be able to reach more and more students,” he said.

Murphy believes that reaching more students is key to the college’s success. With a small endowment, the college depends upon revenues from tuition and fees to stay afloat.

“I think Antioch is at the minimum size it would like to be,” Murphy said. “I would like to see 1,000 students here, and I think admissions can set realistic goals of bringing in 300 students per year in the near future.”

Three hundred students per year would be a 30 percent increase over the average number of entering students for the last five years, he said. Still, he’s optimistic.

“We are just beginning to recruit a national market from a national, liberal arts platform. Alumni and current community members are becoming more involved in the recruitment of new students. We are reaching more people, and our applications are up because of these efforts,” Murphy said.

—Brian Loudon