Vice President for Enrollment Management
Washington College, a selective national liberal arts college located in Chestertown, Maryland, seeks an enterprising and creative Vice President for Enrollment Management to join a transformational leadership team with bold ambitions for the College. The Vice President for Enrollment Management will report to the President. Sheila C. Bair, the former chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and a renowned advocate for financial reform, serves as President of the College. Under her leadership, the College has made major advances in increasing access and affordability. As the nation’s tenth oldest college and the first to be chartered in the newly independent United States, Washington College holds a significant place in the history of American higher education. The College remains defined by its close connection to America’s history, its location and environmental focus on the Chesapeake Bay, and a culture that fosters the values of a liberal arts education. Over the past two decades, Washington College has enjoyed increasing student enrollments, rising donor support and steadily increasing net assets, and has consistently achieved balanced operating budgets.
Washington College has witnessed a remarkable transformation over the past fifteen years—virtually all academic buildings are newly constructed or recently renovated and fourteen new student residences and two new stadiums have been built. Chestertown, Maryland is a picturesque and historic town with numerous art galleries, great restaurants, farmer and artisan markets, and countless waterfront activities including sailing, fishing and kayaking. Annapolis, Maryland and Newark, Delaware are 45-minutes away and the cities of Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia are less than a 90-minutes away.
The College has made a substantial investment in expanding the operating budget of the Admissions and Financial Aid Offices to include five new staff lines (an Executive Assistant to support the Vice President, an additional Assistant Director of Financial Aid, two new Admissions Counselors who are located remotely in California and southeast Georgia, and a Director of Visual Arts for Admissions) and relocated one existing Admissions Counselor to work full-time out of Baltimore, and invested $1.25 million in capital resources to create a new Admissions Visitors Center and to transform the visit experience for prospective students and their families. The result is a highly effective admissions and financial aid team that the new Vice President will be expected to support and build upon in the years to come.
At her inauguration in September 2015, President Bair laid out her plans to help high-ability, high-need students succeed in college and beyond. George’s Brigade is a new initiative designed to meet the full financial need of first-generation college students who have a demonstrated record of high academic achievement. These students are permitted to apply in small groups, with the decision on admission made for the entire group. The first cohort joined the College in Fall 2016, and the second George’s Brigade cohort will enter in Fall 2017. The full incremental funding for these students four years, beyond the College’s traditional merit award for students of high ability, has been secured through new donations.
President Bair has also led efforts to explore fresh approaches to controlling the cost of higher education and reducing the toll student debt takes on borrowers and their families. She instituted a one-year tuition freeze for students during the 2016-17 academic year. The freeze was just the beginning of the College’s exploration of new strategies and alternative funding models that will give certainty to families and protect them against unaffordable tuition hikes. Dam the Debt, funded through private donations, followed in May 2016, reducing the federally subsidized loan debt of 119 qualifying seniors by an average of $2,630. In December, when another eight seniors completed their graduation requirements early, we were able to provide additional scholarship money to pay down their federal loans by an average of $2,750.
The President’s newest endeavor in affordability is FixedFor4. By keeping tuition constant throughout all four years that students attend Washington College, we are protecting families against inflation-driven tuition hikes and helping them know exactly how much their student’s college education will cost. Beginning next fall, tuition will increase 2 percent—to $43,702—to help cover the transitional cost of the program. That will be the fixed rate for freshmen who graduate in four years (the Class of 2021), as well as for students already enrolled. Beginning in the fall of 2018, tuition increases for freshman classes will be evaluated annually, but the rate, once set, will remain fixed for the students’ four years. The new Vice President will be an integral partner in the continued discussion, evaluation, and execution of these new approaches to tuition pricing and financing.
Responsibilities of the Position
The Vice President for Enrollment Management is responsible for all aspects of new student recruitment and enrollment, including the strategic awarding of financial aid. The Vice President is responsible for developing and implementing all aspects of a comprehensive, multi-year enrollment plan and for identifying and meeting annual enrollment and net tuition goals. By providing leadership and strategic direction to the admissions, financial aid and college relations and marketing offices, the Vice President is responsible for implementing and directing best practices and strategies that meet enrollment goals, reflect institutional values, and ensure a culture of continuous improvement throughout the Enrollment Management division. It is also vital that the Vice President be knowledgeable about international recruitment and prepared to expand and diversify our global recruitment efforts. The Vice President for Enrollment Management reports directly to the President and is a close partner in achieving the President’s goals for access, affordability, and selectivity. The Vice President also collaborates closely with colleagues across the institution including the Provost and Dean of the College and the Vice President for Finance and Administration. Reporting to the President, the Vice President for Enrollment Management will be an active member of the College’s senior leadership team and a key player in developing policies and tactics that support the College’s strategic priorities. This Vice Presidency offers an excellent opportunity for a strategic, forward-thinking enrollment professional to propel the College to higher levels of recognition and distinction.
A Bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred) and a minimum of eight years of progressive experience in enrollment management are required. The Vice President must be a highly efficient, effective, and results-oriented individual with strong business acumen, proven ability to lead and knowledge of best practices and current trends in the enrollment field. The position requires experience in management, strategic planning, admissions, financial aid, customer relations, and retention. The successful candidate will be a visionary leader and a strategic thinker. The position requires strong connotative skills and the ability to analyze issues critically. The Vice President must be a data-driven decision maker, an effective presenter and a negotiator who can build synergy and rapport among departments of the College. The successful candidate must understand and believe in the value of a liberal arts education and the mission of Washington College.
Napier Executive Search is assisting Washington College in their search for Vice President for Enrollment Management. For more information, or to nominate someone for this position, contact Mary Napier (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Laura Robinson (email@example.com). All conversations will remain confidential unless otherwise stated and agreed.
Interested candidates should submit a résumé along with a letter of interest describing his/her unique qualifications for this position. Candidates should also provide the names and contact information of at least three professional references. For confidentiality, references will not be contacted without permission. All application materials should be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 5, 2017. The preferred start date is Summer 2017.
Please visit the College’s website at: www.washcoll.edu
Washington College is an equal opportunity employer and, as such, takes affirmative action to insure that applicants for employment are considered, and employees are treated, in compliance with applicable laws and regulations governing equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, handicap, or other factors prohibited by law.