Kurt Thiede to leave University

By Olesya Minina


After celebrating his ninth anniversary at the University this past February, beloved Vice President for Enrollment Management, Kurt Thiede, is leaving the University to help establish a non-profit foundation.

The foundation that will become a program is designed to encourage, facilitate and support the enrollment of community college students at private four-year colleges, which will be based in Boston.

“[This program] is based on many of the lessons learned through Bucknell’s Community College Scholars Program and the partnership the University has with the Posse Scholars Program; it has long been my passion to identify and support avenues through which underrepresented cohorts of students can gain access to outstanding higher education opportunities,” Thiede said.

Along with his long-desired goal, the move will allow Thiede and his wife to be closer to their grandson, Jack.

“Through Posse I’ve had the opportunity to meet and connect with so many great people and it has helped me be a better student and become a leader on campus. I have such a great support system from everyone involved with Posse and feel that it’s a wonderful part of the Bucknell community,” said Michel Ajjan ’14, a member of the Posse Scholars program who has been impacted by Thiede.

A typical day for Thiede revolves around responsibilities in the enrollment management area such as admissions, financial aid, registrar and retention. He also works closely with the departmental offices which report directly to President John Bravman as part of the administrative team. He is also a member of the Operations Management Group.

For the three years, Thiede served as the Dean of Admissions along with vice president responsibilities, but with the appointment of Rob Springall as Dean of Admissions two years ago, Thiede has focused spending more time on the “long-range strategic issues of enrollment,” he said.

“Kurt has contributed a lot to Bucknell and his impact will be felt for many, many years to come. Our involvement with the Posse Foundation and the establishment of the Bucknell Community College Scholars Program have made significant changes to the University,” Dean of Admissions Rob Springall said. “These are cornerstones of our admissions processes now and we continue to build on them.”

Thiede said that one of his favorite things about his job “is that I get to know a number of students on a personal basis, yet have responsibility for gathering, analyzing and utilizing a lot of data that inform decisions that will impact the institution many years into the future and I have had the opportunity to see the Bucknell experience have a transformational impact on many students; individuals whose lives were changed forever because of this learning community they joined and to which they contributed.”

Thiede also has great pride in the Univeristy. “During these past nine years we have become more intentional about the work necessary to enroll a student body that better reflects the demographics of the 21st century and will assist all our students to become better prepared to be contributing members of the world they will enter as Bucknellians,” he said.

Thiede’s family is also full of University alumni, including his wife Laura ’78, and their son Brian ’08. They also have a daughter named Sara.

Prior to arriving at the University in February 2002, Thiede worked as an independent consultant focusing on strategic planning and operational issues related to higher education enrollment management and marketing. Thiede received his Master of Education degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Vermont in 1979 and his undergraduate degree is in Interdisciplinary Philosophy from Barrington College in Rhode Island.

The University wishes him the best of luck in the future and will greatly miss him.

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