Senior enrollment official departs for Harvard University job

Updated: August 26, 2019 at 11:13 a.m.

A senior enrollment official departed GW at the start of the month for an administrative post at Harvard University.

University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar confirmed in an email that Oliver Street, the executive director of enrollment retention, departed GW on Aug. 1 to “pursue a new opportunity in higher education.” Street is now the assistant dean for enrollment services at Harvard, according to the Harvard University staff directory and Street’s LinkedIn profile.

Csellar said Street’s responsibilities are being “temporarily shared” by existing staff in the Office for Student Success, which is led by Georgette Edmondson-Wright, the associate vice provost for student success. The services provided to students by Street’s office will have “little interruption” as officials search for a replacement, she said.

“This position is critical to strengthening the student experience and the search for Oliver’s replacement is currently in progress,” Csellar said.

Street did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Officials hired Street as GW’s first director of retention in August 2016 as part of then-University President Steven Knapp’s priority to improve student retention.

Shortly after Street’s arrival, officials created the Enrollment Retention Office to streamline enrollment and retention initiatives, which was later combined into the Office of Enrollment and the Student Experience in July 2018.

Street took a holistic approach to retention, holding focus groups and individual meetings with students to hear about their experience in addition to analyzing numerical data. He led efforts to partner with nonprofit organizations like the Posse Foundation – which provides full-tuition scholarships to students – to increase accessibility for low-income and diverse students.

GW’s freshman retention rate, which last year reached the highest level since 2010, grew every year during Street’s tenure at the University. The four-year graduation rate hit an all-time high last year, while the international student graduation rate lagged behind peer schools.

Street’s exit is one of many administrative departures this summer. Laurie Koehler, the former senior vice provost for enrollment and the student experience, and Costas Solomou, the former dean of admissions, both resigned this month to take roles at other schools.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported the name of the associate vice provost for student success as George Edmondson-Wright. Her name is Georgette Edmondson-Wright. We regret this error.

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