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Bob Mundy named to Common Application’s board of directors

| Friday, October 2, 2015

Every Notre Dame student used the Common Application to apply to the University, but not many people think about what goes into creating and updating the popular application platform.

According to the Common Application’s website, a board of directors consisting of deans of admission, directors of college counseling, vice presidents of enrollment and high school counselors runs the application and makes changes to it throughout the year.

In August, Notre Dame’s director of admissions Bob Mundy was elected to the board of directors for the Common Application.

Mundy said his election to the board will not affect the Notre Dame admissions process.

“I will be representing a much broader constituency,” Mundy said. “It’s not Notre Dame specific, but it focuses on much broader issues affecting the Common Application. It’s just a different position in that regard.”

Mundy said the election was national, among all schools who use the Common Application. Each university or college that is a member of the Common Application can vote on who they want on the Board of Directors.

In the early stages of the process, Mundy said, he nominated himself. He said after the nomination occurs, there is a vetting process which ultimately leads to the creation of a ballot, which is then distributed by the current board.

After the ballot is produced, all members get a chance to vote.

According to the Common Application’s website, more than 600 colleges and universities use the Common Application, and nearly one million students apply through the Common Application every year.

Mundy said his goal for the Common Application is simply a return to stability, as over the past few years the Common Application has been marked by technical failures and instability.

“What I hope will happen in the next few years is that the Common Application will return to being a stable platform for college applicants, and secondly, once we get that stability, we can then talk about making it a much better experience for students,” Mundy said.

As a member of the board of directors, Mundy will serve on one of three committees — the application committee, the outreach committee or the governance committee. Mundy said he doesn’t yet know on which committee he will sit.

According to a University press release, Mundy has been working in admissions for over 30 years. However, he has only been working with the Common Application for the past seven years.

“[Notre Dame] joined the Common Application in 2008, [and] we began using it for the 2009 class,” he said. “It provided for us a great technology platform that we were not able to duplicate on our own. One big change that was coming after we joined was the electronic transmission of high school forms. We were running our own application at that point, but we were not in a position to duplicate that functionality…

“That was a big reason [Notre Dame switched to the Common Application], because of the functionality it provided to students who were applying.”

According to the press release, this electronic convenience spurred Mundy to implement multiple major software updates, such as a central student information system, a document management product and a client relationship manager.

Mundy said one of perks of the Common Application is its ability to reach students of all different backgrounds, as it provides an accessible platform that is easy to use and encourages students to apply to college by limiting the paperwork they have to fill out.

“What the Common App provides for students in terms of access is great, it makes it easy for students to apply to college,” Mundy said. “There is a mission … of creating great access for students. In many cases there are students who aren’t even thinking about college, and we want to make it accessible for them. That is the goal.”

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