Dean of admissions will leave for Stanford

Yale Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Richard Shaw has accepted a position at the helm of Stanford’s admissions office, Yale and Stanford officials announced.

In the wake of Shaw’s decision — which comes after a tenure of 13 years directing admissions and financial aid at Yale — University President Richard Levin wrote in an e-mail to faculty and staff that Margit Dahl ’75, a long-time director of undergraduate admissions, will assume the post of acting dean. Dahl, who has worked in the Admissions Office for three decades, also served as acting dean during the search that led to Shaw’s appointment.

Levin said Shaw’s decision to leave for Palo Alto was motivated in part by a desire to move closer to Arizona, where his wife is studying for a graduate degree and his daughters are enrolling in school. In a Stanford press release, Shaw said he was also excited to join a community he has come to know in a career that has included positions at the University of Michigan, the University of Colorado-Boulder and the University of California-Berkeley.

“I have been respectfully aware of Stanford’s exceptional educational opportunities for my entire career,” Shaw said in the Stanford press release. “Identifying and selecting the Stanford incoming class is one of the best opportunities in the country, and I look forward to the challenge.”

Shaw could not be reached for comment.

During Shaw’s tenure at Yale, the University expanded its need-blind admissions policy to international students, switched from early decision to single-choice early action and made several changes to its financial aid policy. Last spring under his watch, the University eliminated the parent contribution portion of financial aid for students from families earning under $45,000 and reduced it for parents earning between $45,000 and $60,000.

Shaw was selected in June by a Stanford committee composed of administrators and faculty, Stanford Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Education John Bravman said. Bravman said that Shaw surfaced as a prospective candidate last February.

“He emerged as the strongest candidate in our pool,” Bravman said. “We liked him because of his long experience at some of the finest institutions in the country, his commitment to building a great team, and his obvious success at Yale.”

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