When I mention the Admissions Committee in the blog, I’m primarily talking about the one that considers the majority of our applications, which are for the MALD and MA programs. The MALD/MA Committee and the one considering MIB applications, which is modeled after the MA/MALD, are composed of professors, students, and Admissions staff. It’s a good mix that allows many viewpoints to be represented. Students have a sense of who is actually in class at Fletcher, and what those people add to class discussion and the community. Professors provide their view of who makes a successful student in their classes. And the Admissions staff has seen just about every kind of application there is, so we bring the big picture, long-term perspective. (The LLM and PhD programs have their own committees, with a lot of faculty involvement.)
We have a really great Committee this year. I wish I knew why, because I would certainly do everything in the same way next year. The students have provided detailed write-ups and their intuitions are perfect. That makes the work of the staff and the professors easy, and also means that our meetings move along at a rapid pace. Discussions are clear and efficient, as we aim to treat every applicant with respect while making decisions that are logical for the School and (we hope) the applicant, too.
Last Friday’s meeting had an unusual “visitor” in the form of news from Egypt. I suspect that phones were buzzing with incoming text messages. (Since the alerts didn’t disrupt the flow of the meeting, I didn’t bother thinking about how everyone was staying so up-to-the-minute.) By the conclusion of the meeting, we had definite confirmation that Hosni Mubarak had stepped down.
We took only a brief lunch break, leading Laurie to point out that meetings at which we work while eating result in food-soiled file folders. But even the ten-minute break was enough to have a discussion of the sleep patterns of newborns (one of our students has a less than two-month-old baby) and a sleep-measurement gizmo that another of the students had helped develop in a pre-Fletcher life.
We have only three full Committee meetings left, and I know it will be a letdown when they’re over. Review on most cases will be complete by then, but we’ll have a lot of clean-up work to do and will meet in subsets of the Committee to finish the work. Friday Committee meetings remain a highlight of my winter work, and I value the chance to get to know our students and professors. Nonetheless, the time will come for us to wrap up this year’s admissions process.
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