By: Jonathan Levin  | 

Director of Undergraduate Admissions Leaves YU

Geri Mansdorf stepped down from her post as Yeshiva University’s director of undergraduate admissions this September, The Commentator has learned. Marc Zharnest, an associate director of undergraduate admissions, was named acting director in her stead.

A graduate of Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, Mansdorf worked as an associate director from 2005 through 2014, when she was promoted to director. Zharnest, a 2010 graduate of the Sy Syms School of Business (SSSB), has been an associate director since Sept. 2019 and has served as head coach for the women’s soccer team since 2017. 

Mansdorf, Zharnest and several other administrators did not respond to The Commentator’s inquiries. A YU spokesperson declined to comment, citing the university’s policy to refrain from commenting on personnel matters. 

As director, Mansdorf steered the undergraduate admissions office in a new direction and increased its footprint, making greater use of technology and social media to attract new students. 

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is responsible for handling recruitment and the advertising of YU’s undergraduate programs: SSSB, the Katz School of Science and Health, Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women. The office also handles events and programs such as the Yeshiva University National Model United Nations (YUNMUN) conference, the Red Sarachek Basketball Tournament and the S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program. 

This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, the admissions office canceled the Sarachek tournament, and YUNMUN is set to take place virtually in the spring. 

In 2018, the admissions office made a controversial move by rejecting a YUNMUN topic paper that discussed global state-sponsored persecution of sexual minorities, ostensibly to avoid situations where students would be made uncomfortable by other students representing countries hostile to such minorities.

Michael Kranzler preceded Mansdorf as director, holding that position for nearly 25 years before moving to YU’s Department of Institutional Advancement. It is currently unclear if Zharnest will officially be named director of undergraduate admissions, or if YU will seek to fill that position with someone else. 

Photo Caption: Geri Mansdorf has been the director of undergraduate admission for six years.
Photo Credit: Yeshiva University