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Inside the Enrollment Management leader search

The University seeks candidates who can balance internal collaboration and consulting with external relationship-building.

By Lindsey Coulter

October 7, 2019

Open House in Jordan Student Success Building.The search is on for Metropolitan State University of Denver’s next associate vice president for Enrollment Management. The newly posted job description reflects the University’s internal focus on collaboration and student success and reinforces the value of external partnerships and pathways.

“There are interesting perspective shifts,” noted Will Simpkins, Ed.D., vice president for Student Affairs. “The job description talks about lateral leadership and the AVP of Enrollment Management as an internal consultant and coach on what role each University unit, school and division plays in the successful recruitment, retention and graduation of students.”

The AVP will oversee Admissions, Registrar and Financial Aid activities as well as the Testing, Orientation and Transfer Success units that have migrated from the former Roadways program. However, the position will also have significant external responsibilities such as navigating relationships with Colorado school districts and creating holistic partnerships with the Denver Educational Attainment Network, community-college systems and other feeder institutions.

Additionally, the University seeks a leader who will guide transparent and inclusive efforts around demographic shifts, increased competition for students, strategic planning, enrollment growth vs. scale and data-informed best practices. Ideally, the final candidate will also be equally at ease partnering with a department chair as with a school-district superintendent.

It’s an ambitious job description, but Simpkins is confident that recent leaders have positioned a new AVP well.

“Former AVP for Enrollment Management Lori Kester made sure our Enrollment Management shop was embodying a spirit of student-centered customer service, and Interim AVP Thad Spaulding has done an incredible job working with our entire community on the enrollment calling campaign, advising the strategic-plan group and leading the strategic-enrollment management process,” Simpkins said. “Now, the challenge is to build on that foundation to create and manage a thriving enrollment ecosystem.”

The recent Roadways realignment with Enrollment Management and the Classroom to Career Hub will help support this goal, spreading retention and recruitment responsibility across a broader swath of Student Affairs — and completing the classroom-to-career link.

“We all need to understand that it’s our responsibility to create the programs and environment that students are attracted to and that that will support them in achieving their goals,” Simpkins added.

In considering the simultaneous work of the Strategic Enrollment Management Team and the President’s Council on Academic Effectiveness and Student Success, as well as the value the next leader will bring to the table, Simpkins is confident enrollment and retention progress will be visible as early as spring.

“I think we’re going to see a more uniform and strategic enrollment-and-registration campaign,” he said, “and I hope we continue to refine and create pathways to our long-term vision for the University.”

The AVP for Enrollment Management search committee, chaired by Matt Griswold, Ed.D., associate vice president, Online Learning, includes:

  • Devika Banerji, Ph.D., assistant professor, Communication Studies
  • Layton Curl, Ph.D., professor and chair, Psychology
  • Nahum Kisner, director, Student Support and Retention
  • Adrienne Martinez, executive director, Classroom to Career Initiatives
  • Cory Phare, staff writer, Strategy, Marketing and Communications
  • Thad Spaulding, interim associate vice president of Enrollment Management
  • Becky Trammell, Ph.D., associate dean, College of Professional Studies
  • Emily Willan, director of operations and planning, Student Affairs

Stay tuned for more details on the search and opportunities to participate and submit feedback.

Topics: Enrollment, Hiring

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