Allie Duffney Named Dean of Graduate Admission

ELON, N.C.- Allie Duffney, a creative and solutions-oriented enrollment professional, has been selected as Elon University’s new dean of graduate admission. Duffney brings to Elon extensive experience working with graduate student audiences from a range of disciplines and joins the university with an eye on growth. Duffney begins at Elon on Aug 1.

Duffney comes to Elon after six years at the University of Rochester School of Nursing, where for the past three years she has been serving as director of admissions and enrollment management. In that role, she has significantly increased student applications and enrollment while leading her team through the pandemic.

“Allie has a track record of growth and innovation when it comes to attracting top student applicants that will be a great benefit to Elon as we look to advance our graduate degree programs,” said Greg Zaiser, vice president for enrollment. “She has proven herself to be a curious and inspired leader while focusing on ways to support and develop the team around her.”

During the past 14 years in enrollment management, Duffney has held roles of progressively greater responsibility. Following two years as an admissions counselor at Wells College in Aurora, New York, Duffney joined Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in 2010 as assistant director of admissions, rising to the role of associate director of admissions before her departure for Rochester in 2016.

At the University of Rochester School of Nursing Duffney led a transformation of their enrollment management process that included a shift from a predominantly paper-based application process to full utilization of an online application and inquiry management database. Her first major initiative as director was the implementation and build-out of a comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) system that changed the school’s entire business enterprise and significantly improved the experience for prospective students. In the four years since that implementation, applications and enrollment have grown more than 40 percent.

“I am grateful for the strength of community and mentorship I have experienced throughout my career which has facilitated my growth and expertise in admissions and enrollment management leadership, and brought me to this role at Elon,” Duffney said. “The opportunity to join the dynamic and engaging Phoenix community in this impactful leadership role brings me a great sense of pride and enthusiasm. Elon is a recognized leader in not only educational excellence but also innovation. I look forward to growing in this environment, while leading and contributing meaningfully to thoughtful, and holistic graduate admissions strategy at Elon.”

As an enrollment professional, Duffney values strong team dynamics, efficiency, transparency and innovation. She is able to see both the interconnected nature of data systems as well as the student experience across all stages of the enrollment lifecycle.

As dean, Duffney will lead the Office of Graduate Admissions and will be responsible for enhancing enrollment for all campus-based graduate programs. She will develop and manage comprehensive marketing, promotion and recruitment plans and coordinate a strategic flow of communications with prospective students. In her role, she will analyze market trends, key factors and competitors of graduate program markets and assess the effectiveness of Elon’s recruitment and enrollment efforts.

Duffney holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Wells College and a master’s of education in instructional media from Wilkes University.

Members of the Dean of Graduate Admissions Search Committee:

  • Haya Ajjan, Associate Dean of the Martha & Spencer Love School of Business, Associate Professor MIS, Gordon Professor of Entrepreneurship (co-chair)
  • Phillip Motley, Associate Professor of Communication Design (co-chair)
  • Brandon Booker, Lecturer in Cinema and Television Arts
  • Brooke Buffington, Director of the Student Professional Development Center
  • Rozana Carducci, Associate Professor of Education and Graduate Director of the Master of Higher Education
  • Paula DiBiasio, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy Education
  • John Gardner, Senior Director of Development
  • Alyssa Martina, Director of the Doherty Center for Creativity, Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Lecturer
  • Alexis Moore, Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies
  • Joan Ruelle, Dean of the Carol Grotnes Belk Library and Associate Professor
  • Jennifer Strange, Coordinator of Graduate Programs, Teacher Education Admission, and Digital Communications
  • James Thurnes, Director of Transfer and Special Admissions