[Please note the UPDATE at the end of this post.]
Late Friday afternoon, we got multiple tips that a major law school had axed its admissions director and turned over the whole department to a 3L.
Why would the school fire a long-time admissions director while still chasing down prospective students? Why did the school tap a student to run the program? Does this represent a philosophical shift to bring the admissions process closer to the live student experience? Is this a completely Mickey Mouse operation?
But after some poking around, the whole thing got crazier. The school claimed it hadn’t made any personnel changes, but tipsters kept forwarding us emails sent from the school to prospective students that identified the 3L as the “Interim Director of Admissions.”
Now we had something. Either a law school cover-up (or screw-up), or a rogue 3L with delusions of grandeur (if you define “grandeur” as “director of admissions at a law school”)…
It all started when a couple of tipsters pointed to a LinkedIn profile indicating that a Maurer student, William R. LaFleur II, had assumed the role of Interim Director of Admissions. Here’s the header of his LinkedIn profile:
Opening his full profile confirmed that LaFleur is a 3L at Maurer, expected to graduate any day now, assuming his new job as head of admissions isn’t too taxing on his finals prep. Maybe it’s a good thing for him admissions are down. So I reached out to Kenneth Turchi of the IU Office of Communications and Marketing. Here’s what he said:
?? Our admissions office is directed by Frank Motley, the school’s longtime assistant dean of admissions. There is no interim director in that office.
OKay. So this 3L’s promotion seemed to be news to the school. Spokespeople don’t respond to media inquiries with “??” very often.
A superstar tipster did a lot of digging and got hold of some emails to prospective students like this one:
I am, of course, disappointed by your decision and saddened that my efforts to get you an increased award did not make as huge a difference as I had hoped they would.
Nonetheless, thank you for your continued correspondence and on behalf of the Maurer Admissions Office we wish you the best of luck as you begin your legal career.
William R. LaFleur II
Interim Director of Admissions
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
That certainly sounds authoritative. I asked what the school was doing to ensure that prospective students were not confused by someone impersonating the director of admissions. Since, you know, that would kind of suck when you showed up on the first day of classes and learned that you weren’t really admitted.
Mr. LaFleur is a recent graduate who served as an admissions fellow while he was in school here. He kindly offered to assist with recruiting over the summer. The title he had been using resulted from an internal misunderstanding and has been corrected.
Let the diplomacy gently wash over you.
I’ve had “misunderstandings” before, and none of them ended with an intern running the department. His profile (and the email above) also note that LaFleur is a Lt. Commander in the Navy Reserve. I mean, unless he was a Lieutenant and just decided to promote himself because of an internal misunderstanding.
Let’s look at LaFleur’s full LinkedIn job description…