Longtime Pomona College Vice President and Dean of Admissions Bruce Poch will resign at the end of December. Poch has worked at Pomona for 23 years, longer than any Dean of Admissions in the school’s history, and is currently on sabbatical.
“At Pomona, I managed to extend the traditional ‘best four years of your life’ to more than twenty-three years,” Poch said. “It is difficult to leave. There are not many, if any, greener academic pastures—but, as is the case for students, ready or not, the moment to graduate eventually arrives.”
Poch cited the July death of President Emeritus David Alexander as a “harbinger” of his resignation.
“I came to the college with his presidency and guidance and now will leave shortly after his passing,” he said.
During his career at Pomona, Poch worked closely with countless faculty members and students.
“I was on the senior staff when Bruce was hired and watched him take over an admissions process that was in disarray and turn it into one that, year after year, recruits an extraordinarily talented, creative, and diverse student body,”said religious studies professor Jerry Irish. “I relish teaching here because of the students Bruce and his staff have identified.”
“I was extremely saddened by the news of Bruce Poch’s resignation,” said Chris McGuire PO ’11, one of Poch’s advisees. “When I had to get my course schedule approved, I wouldn’t just go by Bruce’s office. Instead, he would take me to lunch at The Press. On many occasions, I would come by to talk and catch up, and would frequently find myself in his office for well over an hour, talking about Pomona, admissions, politics, or New Jersey. He always made me feel at home.”
While at Pomona, Poch read more than 96,000 applications and enrolled over 9,000 students.
“The success of an admissions program is perhaps too frequently defined by metrics like GPA and SAT scores in comparison to some peer groups,” Poch said. “In that analysis, Pomona has done enormously well, but it is my hope that those who work and learn here and those who have had that opportunity to do so during my tenure will find we were particularly successful in bringing to the college students who would have great effect on the community and the education offered.”
Poch “is considered a national leader,” Oxtoby said. “I like the fact that he engages with the media and is very outspoken.”
“Let’s celebrate the fact that for a moment in time we had a presence in discussions of higher education at the national level,” chemistry professor Daniel O’Leary added.
Poch said he is still deciding what the future has in store for him.
“While I’m not ready to make a definitive announcement just yet about a post-Pomona life, I am certainly not ready to retire or to leave working in education with and for students,” he said.
The college has not yet begun the search for Poch’s successor.
“I assume we will have someone in place by this coming summer,” Oxtoby said. In the meantime, Senior Associate Dean of Admissions Art Rodriguez will continue to assume Poch’s responsibilities. Art has been the acting Dean during Poch’s sabbatical, which was his first leave of absence during his entire Pomona career.
“My attachment to many faculty, many staff, and both students and alumni will forever bond me to Pomona,” Poch said. “This is a remarkable place. I appreciate and am gratified to have played a part in building Pomona’s legacy.”