June 9, 2017
Communications Staff
Manuel Carballo, Oberlin’s new vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid. Photo credit: Courtesy of Middlebury College.

A staunch advocate for the value of liberal arts education with significant experience in multicultural and international recruitment, Manuel Carballo comes to Oberlin from Middlebury College.

The Oberlin College Board of Trustees announced today that Manuel Carballo has been appointed vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid.

Carballo, currently director of admissions at Middlebury College, will start his position on August 15. At Oberlin, he will assume broad responsibility for recruiting and enrolling an intellectually driven and diverse student body. Reporting to the president, Carballo will provide leadership in the areas of admissions and financial aid and will work closely with Conservatory admissions to develop a strategic outreach and admissions plan that reflects the college’s core values.

“I have always admired Oberlin as a community of diverse, talented, and engaged individuals who share a commitment to social justice and an appreciation for the arts, and are willing to challenge convention,” Carballo said. “I look forward to collaborating with a team of experienced colleagues in admissions and financial aid as we continue to attract outstanding students from home and abroad.”

President Carmen Ambar welcomed the appointment. “Manuel brings breadth and depth with his experience. I look forward to his creative approaches to admissions in this changing landscape of higher education.”

Outgoing president Marvin Krislov agreed that Carballo is an outstanding choice to lead admissions and financial aid. “He has terrific experience and is a smart, dynamic, and thoughtful leader who is well-positioned to lead us in the coming years.”

Diversity and international work have been a central part of Carballo’s admissions experience. At Middlebury, he developed and implemented a strategic plan for diversity recruitment. Under his leadership, recruitment efforts for underrepresented students resulted in a 350 percent increase in applications and an increase from 19 percent to 26 percent of the incoming class since 2005. He also restructured Middlebury’s multicultural visit program from a regional initiative to a selective national program, and increased its efficacy in enrolling participants.

Carballo was born in Costa Rica and lived in Colombia and the Dominican Republic before coming to the United States to pursue higher education. He has a deep commitment to the liberal arts. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Swarthmore College, where he began his admissions career, and a master’s degree in international education policy from Harvard University. He came to Middlebury in 2005 as associate director of admissions and coordinator of multicultural recruitment.

Carballo was selected through a national search in consultancy with the executive search firm Witt/Kieffer. The search committee included Yumi Ijiri, chair of the committee and professor of physics; Susan Colley, Delaney Professor of Mathematics and chair of the general faculty committee on admissions and financial aid; Mike Frandsen, vice president for finance and administration; Andrea Kalyn, dean of the Conservatory of Music; Ben Jones ’96, vice president for communications; A.G. Miller, associate professor of religion and Africana studies in the religion department; Tim Weiss, professor of conducting; Natalie Winkelfoos, Delta Lodge Director of Athletics and Physical Education; and students Olivia Cosio ’18 and Deron Essex ’18.

Ijiri says she is excited to welcome Carballo to the Oberlin community. “Throughout the search process, I've been impressed by Manuel's dedication to the ideals of higher education, his insightfulness, and his collaborative nature.  He has an excellent combination of ‘heart’ and ‘mind,’ which is an important feature for this position.”

Carballo will be joined in Oberlin by his wife, Brook Escobedo, and their son, Julian.

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