GW Dean of Admissions to Step Down in May

A national search for Karen Stroud Felton’s replacement will begin immediately.

January 25, 2016

George Washington University Dean of Admissions Karen Stroud Felton announced Thursday that she will step down from her position in May at the close of the current admissions cycle.

Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and Retention Laurie Koehler said that a national search for a new dean of admissions will begin immediately. The senior admissions leadership team and Ms. Koehler will lead the office upon Ms. Felton’s departure and until a new dean is selected

“Karen has been instrumental in significant positive changes in GW’s admissions operations and practices,” Ms. Koehler said. “She is a person of tremendous professional and personal integrity, and her student-centered approach has kept us focused on making sure we do what is in the best interest of students.

Thanks to Ms. Felton’s leadership, Ms. Koehler said, the class of 2019 marks the strongest class academically to enroll at GW in recent history. “I’m confident Karen will continue to be completely invested in the success of this year’s admissions process and will lead the office in successfully enrolling another great GW class.”

Ms. Felton joined the university in October 2010, and under her direction, significant procedural changes were implemented, ensuring a more streamlined admissions process for students. These include overseeing the adoption of the exclusive use of the Common Application in 2013 and giving applicants the option to request admission to more than one GW school in 2014.

Ms. Felton also led the implementation of GW’s test-optional policy recommended by GW’s Task Force on Access and Success. Her leadership guided enhancements to the campus visit experience and GW’s programming for admitted students, as well as the successful integration of the Corcoran School of Art and Design.

In prioritizing the strategic plan, Ms. Felton’s guidance was instrumental in significantly increasing the number of enrolled international students. Her commitment to access and success for all students is exemplified in the continuing success of the Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Scholarship program and participation in DC College Application Week. She also played a key role in new access initiatives including  the creation of the District Scholars program and partnerships with the Posse Foundation and Say Yes to Education.

"Under Karen's leadership, admissions has expanded the university's footprint, strengthened our relationships with the counselor community, and made GW a better place,” Interim Provost Forrest Maltzman said. “She has been a great partner and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with her."

Looking ahead, Ms. Felton said that she is solely focused on enrolling an exceptional class of 2020 and feels confident that her successor will have “the necessary foundation for future success.”

“I'm so proud of all that our team has accomplished, and I feel fortunate to have served in my role during a period when so much has changed at GW,” Ms. Felton said. “I hope I have helped to ensure that regardless of the changes, our admissions practices will always keep students at the forefront.”