Christine Van Gieson assumed responsibility as UCSB’s director of admissions on March 1. Her new position is similar to her previous job as acting director of admissions, but she can now fully endorse and name a new associate director, a position she held from 1995 to 2000.
“Before now, I essentially had my foot in both courts,” Van Gieson said.
Van Gieson’s goals are to hit the enrollment targets set by the campus and continually improve the quality and diversity of students attending UCSB through research, analysis and discussion with the faculty advisory committee.
UCSB’s recent surge in popularity has created an immense workload for the Admissions Dept. – 35,000 freshmen applied to UCSB this year and only 12,000 were admitted. Reviewing every application cover to cover is labor intensive, and the Admissions Dept. employs volunteers to help with the process.
“It always comes down to a lack of money,” Van Gieson said. “Hiring more people is the most important solution, even though we do get a lot of help from the Division of Student Affairs.”
Van Gieson said she believes the Dual Admissions Program, which would guarantee ineligible freshmen a spot at UCSB as transfers from community college, cannot be implemented due to expenses. Although the program encourages students who are not eligible to try harder, it is too expensive and labor intensive at this time, Van Gieson said.
“The program requires a great deal of tracking and counseling of these students, which is something that we can’t afford right now,” she said.
UCSB has been accepting all eligible students at the junior level for many years. Letters of rejection tell freshman applicants that the university is willing to work with them in junior college if they so desire. The university then stays in contact with the student to monitor the completion of specified requirements for entrance into the University of California.
Van Gieson said she hopes to fill her position to the best of her ability.
“I just want to do a good job and continually serve the campus to the best of my ability.”