In Brief

Karen Richardson Named Dean of Undergraduate Admissions

Under her leadership as founding director of Tufts graduate admissions, doctoral and master’s degree applications rose
Karen Richardson
Karen Richardson on the Academic Quad at Tufts. Photo: Alonso Nichols
June 6, 2016


After a national search, Karen Richardson has been named dean of undergraduate admissions and enrollment management for the School of Arts and Science and the School of Engineering, effective July 1. Richardson, currently director of graduate admissions, has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University—she is the first generation in her family to attend college—and a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Her career in education has focused on college admissions and K-12 public school administration, including work as Princeton’s assistant dean for undergraduate admissions and deputy superintendent of the Boston Public Schools for family and community engagement.

“Karen is a well-respected member of the Tufts community and a tireless ambassador for our schools,” wrote James Glaser, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and Jianmin Qu, dean of the School of Engineering, in an announcement to the community.

Richardson joined Tufts in 2008 as director of diversity recruitment. She helped develop and expand the Voices of Tufts Diversity Experiences recruitment program, which is designed to expose high school seniors to Tufts. The Voices program led to a steady increase in the number of applications from students of color and first-generation college students.

In 2014 she was tapped to serve as founding director of graduate admissions, the first time that the Office of Admissions took a lead role in admissions for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and the graduate program at the School of Engineering. In that role, Richardson has expanded graduate student recruitment and increased efficiency in application processing and on-campus information sessions. Doctoral applications to GSAS rose 5 percent over the previous year, and both GSAS and the School of Engineering saw a record number of master’s degree applications. Until her replacement is named, Richardson will continue to direct the graduate admissions team.

“Karen has been an influential voice on my senior team for many years, and her new leadership role will showcase her savvy professionalism, integrity, wit and deep commitment to access and inclusion,” said Lee Coffin, former dean of admissions.