The Wall Street Journal has just reported that Wharton admissions director Ankur Kumar has resigned. Kumar, whose official title is Wharton Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, announced her departure to her staff last week. Her final day will be this Friday, October 4th. Stepping into the Director’s role (presumably on a temporary basis) will be Maryellen Lamb, the current Deputy Vice Dean, Admissions, Financial Aid & Career Management.
Ankur Kumar spent more than four years in admissions at Wharton, taking on the Director’s role in 2011. She oversaw an unprecedented increase in the number of women attending the school’s full-time MBA program (women now number more than 40% of the student body) and introduced several innovations in admissions. Most of those innovations were focused around the interviewing process – starting with a behavioral interview (in the 2010-11 cycle) and most recently with a ‘Team Based Discussion’ (launched in the 2012-13 cycle). Despite these innovations, the school had seen recent declines in application volume (down 12% over the last four years), prompting the Wall Street Journal to publish another article last week entitled ‘What’s Wrong at Wharton‘.
One valid point made in today’s WSJ article that rings true with your author is the fact that Wharton has had a substantial amount of change in the admissions office since the departure of Rosemaria Martinelli in 2005 – fielding three different directors in the intervening time period whilst competitors like Harvard Business School and Stanford GSB have experienced a great level of stability in their admissions offices.