Jack P. Carroll ‘24
Mathew S. Hyde has been appointed the College’s next Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, according to an email from President of the College Joanne Berger-Sweeney to the community Monday, Apr. 4. Hyde, who is currently the Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management at Lafayette College, will begin his new role in July. Hyde will succeed Terry Cowdrey who was named Trinity’s Interim Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid following Adrienne Oddi’s departure last summer.
“Matt’s appointment comes after a nationwide search for a strategic leader with the demonstrated experience and skills to carry forward the college’s vision for recruitment, enrollment, and financial aid,” said Berger-Sweeney. “Matt stood out in a highly competitive pool of candidates for his wealth of experience, knowledge, warmth, and strategic thinking.”
Hyde has served in his current position since 2011. Berger-Sweeney reported that Lafayette’s applicant pool has grown by 82 percent under his leadership. Hyde has also increased other recruitment benchmarks including selectivity, student diversity, secondary and tertiary market growth, and yield rates.
In 2016, Lafayette College’s student newspaper The Lafayette reported that Hyde, along with Senior Associate Director of Admissions Eugene Gabay, denied ethics violations after accepting financial benefits in exchange for leading two workshops regarding the college admissions system in the United States.
The news came weeks after Reuters reported that six colleges, including Lafayette, confirmed that admissions officers accepted honoria for attending workshops hosted by the Shanghai-based education company DiPont Education. The workshops took place over the course of three summers, and the American admissions counselors were presented with a choice of perks: business-class airfare or economy travel plus a cash honorarium of $4,500 per attendee. At one point in time, admissions officers were paid in cash with $100 bills.
The Lafayette reported that Hyde, who taught at a DiPont workshop in 2015, confirmed that he accepted and kept the $4,500 honorarium. Lafayette College’s Code of Ethics for Finance and Administration states that any gifts accepted by a college employee must “always be occasional, reasonable and appropriate and can never have an aggregate value in excess of $100 per fiscal year from a given service provider, vendor, or supplier.” The policy indicates that other potential business items “such as trips to resorts, free airfare, tickets to non-local sporting events, or similar activities, should not be accepted, even if the vendor is in attendance, since the activity is not local nor modest.”
According to The Lafayette, Hyde and Gaby were confident that the definition of “gifts” did not apply to their exchanges with DiPont. They reportedly believed that the “spirit” of the College’s ethics code was not breached. Hyde told The Lafayette that in hindsight he would not have gone without the offer, and that he knew the trip was covered beforehand.
“If an honoraria is offered, it tends to be commensurate with the effort that is required to take part,” wrote Hyde in an email to The Lafayette. “Given the demands of my commitment and the weeks of my summer invested in the experience, I felt fine accepting the honorarium.”
Then-President Alison Byerly, who now serves in the same position at Carleton College, stated that no ethical guidelines were breached by accepting the money and airfare, according to The Lafayette. “An honorarium is a payment for something you’ve actually done,” said Byerly when shown the ethics policy. “A gift raises the question of conflict of interest, because if someone gives you a gift for no reason, then it’s implied that they’re buying some kind of influence.”
The DiPont workshops have also come under scrutiny for allegations of fraud. Former DiPont employees told Reuters they wrote college application essays for students, and altered recommendation letters that teachers had written for students. DiPont previously denied these allegations and boasted its relationships with 20 U.S. colleges and universities including Vanderbilt, Wellesley, Tulane, and the University of Virginia.
Before his time at Lafayette, Hyde was an Associate Director of Admissions at Tufts University from 2004-11. During this time period, Hyde directed the Tufts Alumni Admissions Program and connected more than 3,400 alumni volunteers with prospective students. He also worked with the Athletics Department to support the recruitment of student athletes across 28 NCAA III programs.
Hyde earned a B.A. in History and Environmental Studies from Bowdoin College. He also obtained an Ed.M. from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.
The search committee that helped recruit and appoint Hyde included the following members: Joe DiChristina (chair), Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management; Alison Draper, Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Science; Kim Eckhart, Special Projects Manager and Analyst for Finance; Kevin Huang ‘12, Assistant Professor of Engineering; Jody Goodman, Dean of Student Life and Director of the Bantam Network; Antonio Guirola ‘22; and Vidhi Vasa ‘22.