Ventre ’79 to Succeed Fried as Dean of Admission

Building on his 30 years of experience in Andover admissions, Jim Ventre ’79, Interim Dean of Admission and Director of Financial Aid, was appointed as Andover’s new permanent Dean of Admission last Thursday. Ventre will also retain the position of Director of Financial Aid.

Ventre will succeed Jane Fried, former Dean of Admission, after serving as Interim Dean of Admission during the 2012-2013 school year. Fried left Andover last spring to become Head of the Brearley School in New York City, according to a previous article in The Phillipian.

“I applied for this position because of my loyalty to the school. As an alum and longtime member of the faculty, I feel a deep connection to the Andover experience which motivates me daily,” said Ventre.

“I had spent a number of years traveling on Andover’s behalf to recruit talented ‘youth from every quarter,’ and I was excited to step into this important leadership role at the school,” added Ventre.

Though Ventre’s positions of Dean of Admission and Director of Financial Aid shared a focus on communication with prospective families, they differ slightly in the way he engages with prospective students and their families.

“My role in financial aid has been highly relationship oriented. I enjoy connecting with current and prospective families on a personal level to ensure that their experience here at Andover is a great one,” said Ventre.

“When I meet with families [as Director of Financial Aid], I focus the conversation on the strength of the Andover experience and how their student will contribute to the community,” said Ventre.

“In my role as Dean [of Admission], I engage newcomers and embrace cultural differences while endorsing the excitement that traditional boarding school families bring to our community,” he added.

Ventre hopes to continue Andover’s legacy of innovation and research-driven enrollment strategies.

“I am always interested in looking at new ways to collect, analyze and use data to improve our processes and decisions. Shifting demographics and budget pressures demand that we continuously review and evaluate our systems and performance,” said Ventre.

According to Ventre, the Admissions office’s greatest strength is its drive to improve its admissions processes to benefit prospective students and their families.Ventre also believes that collaboration has been crucial to the success the Admission office has experienced.

“The success of Admissions at Andover requires the commitment of the entire community, and I am pleased to recognize my colleagues in the community for their unwavering support throughout our admission season,” Ventre said.

With these ideas in mind, Ventre is constantly concerned with the prospective Andover student’s experience.

“[Team Shuman] must meet our enrollment targets without compromise and at the same time support the faculty and the program by admitting students who have the most to offer and the most to gain from the Andover experience,” said Ventre.

As Director of Financial Aid, Ventre oversaw Andover’s transition to become need-blind in 2008, in the midst of the financial crisis.

“I am quite pleased to report that during the economic crisis, no returning student who qualified for financial aid departed from Phillips Academy because of financial reasons…It was an honor and a privilege to serve Andover as Director of Financial Aid during these challenging times,” Ventre said.

Ventre is also an academic advisor and a member of the Senior Administrative Council, as well as other committees. Additionally, he frequently speaks at national conferences on Andover’s approach to research-based enrollment and financial aid management, according to Ventre.

The search for a new Dean of Admission commenced in October 2012, according to a previous article in The Phillipian.

The search committee, created by Head of School John Palfrey, comprised of faculty members representing an array of different departments around campus, which included Palfrey, Stephanie Curci, Instructor in English, Linda Griffith, Dean of Community and Multicultural Development (CAMD), Victor Henningsen ’69, Instructor in History, Nancy Jeton, Special Assistant to the Head of School, and Tracy Sweet, Director of Communications, according to the previous article.

The process consisted of an initial interview with the search committee, in which three finalists were selected for a full day of interviews with faculty members and administrators, according to the past article.