Timmons Takes New Lead in Admissions

BRENT BREESE ’19 | COPY EDITOR •In the wake of Heidi Carl’s recent departure from Wabash, the Admissions Department is facing a new, but exciting, change. Having worked at the College for 22 years, Chip Timmons ’96 was recently promoted
to the position of Dean for Enrollment and Director of Admissions. He has worked as Associate Dean for around 18 months. His official promotion, after approval from the Board of Trustees, was made official last Monday, and officially stepped into his new role last Friday. Timmons is moving forward with three main motivators: unity, momentum, and growth.

“I wouldn’t say that this was a surprise,” Timmons said. “This new position is two-fold. After serving as Associate Dean for so long, I’ve proven that I can lead this department.” Timmons notes that there were some benefits to having two Associate Deans, (those being himself and Carl) but having a more unified department under his leadership will be of great benefit. “The other part of this was wanting to keep our recent success and momentum going.” Timmons said.

As we all have most likely heard, the College has set an enrollment goal of 1,000. “We’ve got a lot of work to do to get to that point,” Timmons said. “It’s not just on the admissions staff, we have to continue selecting the

best applicants, continue our policy of ‘aggressive enrollment’, and focus a lot on retention.” Wabash does not want to bring in massive amounts of students, only for a large number of them to leave the College.

The Class of 2019, thanks to its high retention rate, could be considered one of the largest graduating classes in Wabash history. This is contemplated by the Class of 2022, which was among the largest incoming freshman classes in Wabash history. The challenge comes in replacing the two classes in between, which are notably smaller.

Based on these recent successes, this goal of 1,000 students is more attainable than ever. “I would love to do my part in reaching that goal,” Timmons said. “It would be a nice achievement to say that we’ve done something Wabash has never done before.”

Timmons notes this momentum as being a powerful tool. “The staff here knows we can do it,” Timmons said. “The people across campus that we lean on and that support our efforts know how to get this done.”

Though many aspects of his role will stay the same, there are certainly some changes that will require some adjustment. “Moving into this new role means I can’t really spend time on the road interacting with potential students anymore,” Timmons said. “I still enjoy that challenge of showing a student what Wabash can do for them. Seeing that spark in a student when they realize that Wabash is right for them and seeing them excel over four years is extremely satisfying.” Timmons’ new goal is to motivate and inspire his staff, and to be certain that they have every tool they need at their disposal.

Of course, a promotion such as this cannot come without plenty of well- wishing and encouragement. “It’s exciting to know that all of the hard work you’ve put in has been recognized and that people here at the College believe in you,” Timmons said. “I got a lot of congratulatory messages from various colleagues, which was uplifting.” This new challenges comes with certain sense of pressure. Timmons recognizes the heavy expectations that are put before him but is determined that his vision and the skills of his staff will rise to the occasion.

“Everything about the recruitment process is constantly changing,” Timmons said. “The methods, the role of parents, the type of student being recruited, etc. 5 years from now the type of student we will be looking at will be different. In this job, you can prove that you can do it, but there will always be room for improvement.”

Timmons definitely enjoys this cycle of growth and evolution in his line of work. Every student brings a different story and it gives him endless joy to see a student come to Wabash and make it his home. But failure is occasionally an obstacle. “It’s disheartening to see a student that you’ve invested lots of time into decide not to come
to Wabash,” Timmons said. “You start to question all of your decisions that might have lead to that.” This is definitely not a theme exclusive to Wabash.

Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts has recently decided to drastically limit their next academic class. Only students that deferred enrollment or applied early-decision will attend. “They’re one of the schools featured in the book Colleges That Change Lives which we travel with,” Timons said. “It isn’t a given that a college will be able to enroll large classes and keep their doors open.” The challenge remains for all staff

at Wabash to constantly improve our school so that we can maintain our standards of excellence.

Our famous sense of community is an extremely potent weapon in improving our College, according to Timmons. “Everyone that’s involved in recruitment, whether it be a counselor, a financial aid person, a coach, etc.,” Timmons said. “High School students see that and how it’s replicated on campus.” Wabash must always “find ways to win.” Timmons said.

The admissions office is unified, holding on to their impressive momentum from last year, growing in new and exciting ways, and is determined to continue this success under the leadership of Dean Timmons. We wish him the best of luck and congratulate him once more on this new endeavor.