Saturday, February 12, 2011

Has Admissions Officer's Twitter Use Gone Too Far?

Undergraduate admissions officer Daniel Creasy loves to use Twitter. Since his first post in on Oct. 22, 2008, Creasy has posted 1,312 times. Most of the time it relates to his job as an admissions officer and the application process. Occassionally, he delights his 351 followers with updates about his dog, television, sports, or his lunch. He also uses the microblogging service to communicate with his group of students who serve on the Student Admissions Advisory Board.

Creasy’s use of Twitter was even recognized by The Washington Post where the Post’s college admissions blogger listed Creasy as one of her favorite Twitter users. 

Most his updates are harmless, if not a bit vain from time to time. Like his Twitter feed, Creasy uses his Hopkins Insider blog to update applicants about the process and answer some frequently asked questions. Often he will share pictures of his dog and niece Lilly. Here’s one from last year

However, Creasy’s habit of writing on Twitter what he reads in applications is a bit troubling and unprofessional. They mostly focus on the unique applications – unique in a bad way.

As recently as Jan. 24, Creasy wrote that he had read application typed in all capitol letters and used seventeen exclamation points. In the same update, Creasy joked with a University of Virginia admissions officer that he likes reading applications in size 14 to 18 font.  The UVa staffer asked earlier, “Is there any admission officer out there who like essays written in 14-18 font? I didn’t think so.”

For those who handwrite applications, beware. Officer Creasy will let strangers know of your poor penmanship.

Thinking about being a doctor? I hope you’re not doing it to help people! Write about all the money you’ll get or maybe defraud Medicare.

If you are an applicant trying to scheme and trick the university, beware! All fraudsters will be outed!

He charmingly refers to engineers as “Lego Maniacs.” The label, Creasy wrote, is also used by colleague Sarah Godwin. It helps them get through their long days, he says. 

Because Creasy shares so much in his blog and Twitter posts, some applicants seem to tailor their essays just for him. [Soze is the name of his dog.]

To his credit, the person to whom he is referring does sound like an idiot for bringing up religion. However, to call a possible applicant an idiot in public is a bit questionable.

We could go on for a very long time.

Creasy has shared essay writing tips on his blog before, but he never lampooned applicants or their essays the way he does on Twitter. The admissions office also put up some successful essays for applicants so they can figure out what sort of essays are well received. There are, however, no examples of essays from students who were not admitted. We are not privy to the admissions office's decision making, but we suspect they do not post faulty essays because it is not only uncouth but also hurtful to these young impressionable applicants. Applicants put a lot of work into their applications but also sometimes open up their emotions and life stories.

It is something that deserves some careful reflection. How professional is it for a representative of this university to broadcast to the world the level of competence of Hopkins applicants?

Sadly, Creasy is not alone. An admissions officer at UVa is guilty of the same behavior. His most recent Twitter update “I really don’t like it when people call, toss me a few pieces of info, and then ask me to pick a student’s senior courses.”

In Creasy’s Twitter bio, he mentions nothing about writing in his personal capacity. He uses Twitter as a member of the Hopkins staff and advertises his Twitter on his blog. The Twitter account represents the University as much as his blog on the Hopkins website.

We think if any professor began posting on the internet flawed essays or student shortcomings, there would be some backlash from the student body. Unfortunately, the applicants are not in a position to stand up to Daniel Creasy. He, arguably, has a considerable input on a high school senior’s admission chances.

We could not consume all of Creasy’s Twitter feed, but if any readers find more Twitter gems, do let us know.

It would not hurt to show some discretion. Or better yet, follow the advice you give, @AdmissionDaniel!


  1. some of his tweets aren't terrible but still why be so stupid as an official rep of the school?

  2. I don't think so, he actually helps with his tweets: what prospective students shouldn't do.

  3. I would actually consider the posts to be helpful as well. I don't think he comments on the "competence" of the applicant, as much as the format that the applicant used to apply to the school - an important difference.

    -JHU Alum

  4. the UVa dean is actually a woman, might want to check facts before you assume

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