Whitney Soule began her tenure as Vice Provost and Dean of Admissions on July 1, 2021.
Vice Provost Soule is the first female Dean of Admissions in Penn’s history, with more than three decades of experience in higher education admissions. Prior to Penn, she served as Senior Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Student Aid at Bowdoin College. Her leadership at Bowdoin College advanced both diversity and selectivity, with an increasing number of students of color, first-generation students, and students on financial aid. She was also the first woman in her role at Bowdoin College.
A national leader in envisioning the future of college admissions and the role of higher education in driving societal progress, Soule is a member of the Board of Directors for Common App as well as the Chair of the Common App Finance Committee. She also serves on the College Board Enrollment Leaders Group and the Advisory Core for the College Board Admissions Research Consortium. Additionally, she is a member of the Advisory Council of the NACAC Character Focus Initiative and co-chair of the American Talent Initiative’s Advisory for MPOC leaders.
Since joining Penn, Soule has been laser-focused on building greater equity in admissions. She worked closely with Heights Philadelphia to launch a free online course available to all students and families titled “Applying to College 101.” The course, which had more than 6,000 learners in the first six months, combines Penn’s admissions expertise with Heights’ college and career experience and includes five modules that will guide students and families through the college admissions process. This multi-channel approach prepares students for the college process.
Soule received the NEACAC Professional of the Year Award Recipient and was named one of the “Top Women Leaders for 2023” by Women We Admire. She is also a regular presenter at national conferences, speaking about the role of testing and test-optional policies in admissions, change management, and advancing women in higher education leadership.
She is frequently quoted in national media outlets such as Bloomberg, Forbes, USA Today and Wall Street Journal, and has had opinion pieces featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dallas Morning News and Grown & Flown.
Soule began her career in college admissions at Bates College. Positions at Connecticut College and Bowdoin College preceded her tenure at the University of Pennsylvania.
In addition to a bachelor’s degree from Bates College, Soule holds a master’s degree from Harvard University.