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A focus on growth and diversity

John Marfield joins the U as the new executive director of admissions.

The University of Utah has a new executive director of admissions.

Senior Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Steve Robinson announced this week that John Marfield will direct the U’s Office of Admissions and build on the university’s enrollment initiatives, which include growing the size and diversity of the incoming class. With more than 12 years of experience in college admissions, Marfield joins the U after eight years as an associate director of admission at the University of Southern California.

“John is a proven leader in the field of new student recruitment,” Robinson said. “His work and approach have already made him instrumental in achieving enrollment goals. I am thrilled he will be joining us.”

While at USC, Marfield managed domestic recruitment efforts for that university’s Office of Admission and conducted international recruitment in Asia. He gained extensive experience strengthening the university’s presence and popularity in new markets, which led to significant gains in applications and enrolled students.

Marfield believes one of the University of Utah’s strengths is its location in the foothills of Salt Lake City—an urban center in the midst of natural beauty. “The U is a beautiful, spirited and academically curious campus,” Marfield said. “I am eager to promote the university’s stellar programs widely and strategically so that prospective students throughout the state, the country and around the world can fully grasp the unique educational opportunities that are available to them.”

Marfield said he will focus on bringing the “most diverse and talented” class to the university every year. Currently, the university’s student body is just under 33,000, with three-fourths of those undergraduates. Nearly 80% are Utah residents.

He acknowledged the COVID-19 pandemic has made college recruitment and enrollment efforts more complex. “We will certainly need to adjust our recruitment efforts in new and creative ways. Virtual outreach has become the new normal, out of necessity,” Marfield said. “But I think there are many opportunities to continue utilizing technology when our way of life returns to normal. Although there’s no replacement for touring the U’s spectacular campus in person, I believe our newly developed virtual efforts are here to stay as a dynamic supplement.”

Marfield earned his bachelor’s degree in communication from Boston University, a master’s degree in education from the University of Southern California, a master’s degree in social anthropology from Oxford University and a doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Marfield will relocate to Salt Lake City from Los Angeles with his husband (and dog) this summer, and his first day at the U will be July 31, 2020.