Vice Provost of Admissions and Financial Aid J. Leon Washington will leave Lehigh to accept a position at Villanova University, according to a letter from Pat Farrell, the provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Washington, who has worked at Lehigh for nine years, will be appointed as Villanova’s dean of enrollment management, effective Sept. 1. After he leaves Lehigh on August 19, Bruce Bunnick, the director of admissions, will serve as interim vice provost of admissions and financial aid while the university conducts a national search to fill that position.
“Leon has been an exceptionally dedicated and effective leader of our admissions team,” Farrell wrote, “which has attracted stellar undergraduate candidates from across the world throughout his tenure.”
Washington, who has more than 35 years of enrollment management experience, helped to improve Lehigh’s admission rate from 38 percent to 27 percent, and to increase international student enrollment from 2 percent to 10 percent. Additionally, he prioritized financial aid and worked to address students’ need and reduce the loan burden.
Washington also embraced efforts to cultivate a supportive climate for all members of the Lehigh campus community, Farrell wrote.
“We appreciate all he has done to nurture and grow the Lehigh community with so many years of thoughtfully recruited students,” he wrote.
At Villanova, Washington will oversee the Offices of University Admission, Financial Aid, University Outreach and the Registrar.
“Washington comes to Villanova with an impressive track record that includes both depth and breadth of experience and knowledge of enrollment management practices in higher education,” said the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, Villanova’s president, in a press release on the university’s website. “I know that Villanova will continue to attract and enroll an increasingly impressive student body under (Washington’s) leadership.”
A farewell reception for Washington will be announced shortly, according to Farrell’s letter.