The University of Mississippi seeks nominations and applications for an engaging leader who is skilled in change management and strategic enrollment practices to serve as the inaugural Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management (VCEM). The vice chancellor will invigorate university-wide enrollment efforts for domestic first year and transfer students and lead efforts for financial aid awards for all prospective and continuing students. Reporting to the Chancellor and serving on the senior administrative team, the Vice Chancellor will oversee the Office of Admissions and the Office of Financial Aid with a total team of 70 professionals.
With more than 22,000 students, Ole Miss is the state’s largest university and has a long history of producing leaders in public service, academics and business. Its 15 academic divisions include a major medical school, nationally recognized schools of accountancy, law and pharmacy, and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, renowned for a blend of academic rigor, experiential learning and opportunities for community action. The beautiful pedestrian campus in Oxford is among the most iconic in the nation with historic landmarks, natural beauty, Georgian architecture, and impeccably maintained facilities that serve the university and the surrounding community.
Reporting to the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management (VCEM) serves as a member of the University of Mississippi’s Senior Leadership Team and campus leader for enrollment strategy. The transformative VCEM will be responsible for designing and implementing the master enrollment strategy in consultation and collaboration with university stakeholders, and in alignment with the institution’s mission and strategic plan. The VCEM will develop and monitor enrollment metrics and recruitment objectives aided by a team of functional enrollment leaders and staff, as well as ensure effective tactical plans and strategies are in place to advance and achieve the institution’s strategic enrollment management goals. Through direct collaboration with the Chancellor, Provost, academic deans, faculty, and departmental leadership, the Vice Chancellor will develop and, in some cases, build consensus and incorporate recruitment plans and strategic enrollment initiatives that attract and retain domestic undergraduate first year and transfer students. Though the purview of the VCEM will be the enrollment of domestic undergraduate first year and transfer students, the VCEM may also bring an understanding of other enrollment at the university, from online to graduate, from professional students to international students.
The VCEM will facilitate enrollment and retention initiatives using data analysis, enrollment forecasting, and industry best practices and ensure effective campus enrollment, diversity of applicants, the balance of in-state and out-of-state matriculates, financial aid optimization, and other critical priorities in compliance with all federal and state regulations related to aid funding and enrollment.
As a public institution, UM is a member of Mississippi’s Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL), a constitutional governing body responsible for policy and financial oversight of the states’ eight public institutions of higher learning. As a member of the IHL system, Ole Miss is characterized by, and nationally recognized for, its emphasis on student achievement and on preparing responsible citizens; its adherence to high academic standards and to quality in instruction, research, service and facilities, and; its commitment to affordability, accessibility, and accountability.
The VCEM will have a seat on the Chancellor’s leadership team but will also have direct managerial responsibility for all undergraduate and transfer enrollment as well as financial aid. While not directly responsible, the VCEM will have ongoing and substantial influence over enrollment marketing and communications. In addition, the VCEM will partner effectively with colleagues in academic affairs, student affairs, athletics, alumni affairs, and others throughout the university intricately involved in student welfare and success.
Responsibilities and Priorities:
The new Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management will hold the chief and significant responsibility for guiding the undergraduate enrollment efforts for the University of Mississippi. To accomplish this, it will be necessary for the VCEM to:
Provide clarity, transparency, leadership, supervision, and guidance to the leadership of the Offices of Admissions and Financial Aid.
Create and develop strategic enrollment goals and execute plans to achieve those goals.
Collaborate with departments across campus to initiate and/or finetune marketing activities for enrollment ensuring the university’s brand is applied consistently with internal and external constituents.
Advocate for an understanding of the tenets of enrollment management by staff and all internal partners, creating a holistic approach to recruitment and enrollment of undergraduate students.
Lead and manage staff in the execution of goals by creating a collective and supportive environment for success.
Analyze patterns and data to create predictive models of enrollment trends and results.
Identify opportunities for improvements to current processes and systems.
Evaluate strategic enrollment needs and demographic targets to create successful execution of recruitment, admission, and financial assistance plans.
Ensure recruitment goals, policies, practices and actions produce successful student recruitment results, consistent with the University’s mission and strategic plan.
Provide emphasis on strengthening external relationships with secondary schools, community-based organizations, and community colleges, enhancing in person recruiting efforts that extend to the state of Mississippi and beyond.
Interact with university partners to develop and enhance relationships with external constituents.
Create professional development opportunities to enhance organizational knowledge of enrollment programs.
Develop and manage annual operating budgets.
Serve actively as a member of the Chancellor’s executive leadership team.
Qualifications and desired characteristics:
The successful candidate will have a Master’s Degree from an accredited college or university and at least five (5) years of experience related to the above described duties. In addition, they will possess:
- Progressive experience, including supervision, in the higher education sector.
- Experience in enrollment management within a higher education setting.
- Demonstrate strong analytical, problem-solving, decision-making, administrative, and leadership skills.
- Experience making strategic decisions based on data, best practices, and policy implications.
- Ability to analyze, understand, and communicate data trends that inform enrollment decisions and strategy.
- Able to lead, hire, motivate, and mentor staff as well as manage change.
- Experience in building relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders, including college leadership, faculty, and critical front-line student services.
- Knowledge of emerging trends and a deep and nuanced understanding of the current competitive enrollment environment and promising practices in integrated marketing, admissions, recruitment, financial aid, and retention.
- Comprehensive understanding of prospect development practices and market trends across all student populations.
- Detailed understanding of U.S. Department of Education regulations, specifically as they pertain to Title IV Financial Aid.
- A track record of successfully developing, managing, mentoring, and retaining staff, and proven skills in building strong constituent relationships.
- Demonstrated commitment to diversity and multiculturalism in one’s work experience.
- Ability to work on a senior team as a listener, contributor, collaborator, mediator, and change agent.
- Effective and compelling communicator.
The University of Mississippi
Founded in 1848, the University of Mississippi is the flagship university for the state of Mississippi. With more than 22,000 students on its several campuses (including the main campus in Oxford, as well as Booneville, Grenada, Jackson, Southaven, Rankin, and Tupelo), the University of Mississippi is the state’s largest university, with a major medical school, nationally recognized law, pharmacy, and accountancy schools, and 15 academic divisions. The university’s Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College has been named one of America’s finest.
The University of Mississippi is in an exciting phase of institutional growth and is located in the city of Oxford, a vibrant community known for its small-town southern charm and outstanding educational and cultural opportunities. The University has been ranked as one of America’s best college values by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and one of the best places to work by the Chronicle of Higher Education for eight consecutive years. The University of Mississippi, which has aggressively implemented many health and wellness initiatives for its more than 2,900 employees, has consistently been named one of Mississippi’s Healthiest Workplaces.
The University’s Strategic Plan, Flagship Forward, concentrates its action steps on the main campus in Oxford and its regional campuses in Tupelo, Southaven, Grenada and Booneville, collectively referred to as UM Oxford. Other university-wide transformative initiatives for UM as a whole are leveraged in this plan as well. The commitments of the Strategic Plan are the pillars signified by the words “Inspire. Discover. Inform.” The vision for the plan is:
“The University of Mississippi aspires to be a preeminent public international research university and a leading force for innovation and opportunity in Mississippi, the United States, and the world.”
Included in the elite group of R-1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification, UM’s research enterprise — including programs in acoustics, physics, chemistry, social science, health care and pharmaceutical sciences — is renowned internationally. The work provides research opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students and takes place across the university which is home to more than 20 major research centers. Also, the university is a center for William Faulkner studies, offering one of the finest collections of the Nobel Prize winner’s work and maintaining his Rowan Oak home as a literary shrine.
Recognizing that research and innovation drive economic growth, UM also is committed to economic development through its role in developing and increasing expertise, innovation, technology commercialization, entrepreneurship and partnerships with the public and private sector. UM’s robust commercialization office is dedicated to moving discoveries to existing industry and startups. UM products already on the market include sensors, dietary supplements and flood modeling software.
At UM, undergraduate programs are offered in a wide range of academic areas. They are included in the College of Liberal Arts, School of Applied Sciences, School of Business Administration, School of Education, School of Engineering, School of Journalism and New Media, School of Pharmacy, and Patterson School of Accountancy. Students undecided on a major enroll in Freshmen Studies. In addition, there are a variety of institutes and programs that offer premier academic offerings to include Center for Manufacturing Excellence, the Croft Institute for International Studies, the Lott Leadership Institute, the McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement, and the Chinese Language Flagship Program, as well as the Arabic Language Flagship Program.
The University of Mississippi offers a variety of master’s, specialist and doctoral degree programs. The Office of the Graduate School provides leadership, coordination, and administrative structure to support all graduate programs at the University. The Graduate School, which administers all graduate study at the university, holds membership in the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States. Its faculty consists of about 400 members who are qualified to offer graduate work.
School of Law
As an outstanding public law school, the University of Mississippi School of Law leads, excels, and inspires by preparing students for the practice of law in a changing global marketplace, expanding the horizons of legal knowledge through scholarly research, and serving diverse communities in the state, region, nation, and world. As it pursues its mission, the Law School also has a special responsibility to the State of Mississippi as the State’s only public law school and a central component of its flagship university.
School of Medicine
The University of Mississippi School of Medicine trains physicians to deliver skilled, equitable health care to all citizens of Mississippi, the region and nation. The program is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. Students who complete the four-year course of study leading to the Doctor of Medicine absorb the school’s core values, including respect for the range of diversity reflected in all people.
With more than 300 registered student organizations, UM provides a wide range of opportunities for students to get involved on campus. Organizations include academic, cultural, religious, special interest, professional and social to elected office in student government. In addition, the Department of Campus Recreation offers facilities where students can participate in sport clubs, intramural sports, swimming, group fitness as well as personal training. In addition to the department’s current facilities, a new state-of-the-art South Campus Recreation Center was recently built; the 98,000-square-foot facility includes one of the nation’s only collegiate indoor high-ropes courses, as well as a climbing wall, lots of fitness space, two basketball courts, a walking/jogging track, classroom with a demonstration kitchen and a convenience store. Campus Rec’s Ole Miss Outdoors offers off-campus adventures that include rock climbing, hiking and white-water rafting. And for adventure right on campus, students can attempt the high- and low- ropes courses and zip line at the Rebel Challenge Course. Finally, as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), students have the ability to play one of 11 sports or participate in a game day experience that is second to none.
Commitment to Diversity and Community
The University of Mississippi is committed to embracing the broadest definition of diversity, including race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religious choice, ethnicity, economic status, age and geographic affiliation. This commitment stems from their mission as a flagship institution in the state’s higher education system, with the obligation to serve a diverse population through teaching, research and service. Moreover, as an institution with a marked history of struggle with racial diversity, the University of Mississippi today realizes its unique obligation to educate and lead the state with unquestionable and unwavering commitment toward the goal of embracing all aspects of diversity. The presence of a diverse mix of students, faculty and staff, with their individual intellectual perspectives and contributions, enriches the university community. Therefore, UM is an institution that seeks to instill in its students and employees a lifelong appreciation for the value of diversity and community engagement.
The University of Mississippi is engaging in an institutional planning process centered on diversity, equity, and inclusion. This plan, currently titled Pathways to Equity will serve as UM’s guidance for advancing our institutional mission through centering diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic initiatives. Each administrative division and academic college/school is charged with developing connected goals in their specific area and accessing progress annually to ensure the advancement of equity within all areas of the university.
For additional information on University of Mississippi, please visit https://olemiss.edu/.
Oxford, a town of approximately 20,000 population is in central Lafayette County in northern Mississippi, a one-hour drive southeast of Memphis, Tennessee. Touted as the “Cultural Mecca of the South”, by Lucky Magazine, and ranked one of the “Top 10 Best College Towns”, by Livability.com, creativity abounds in Oxford as musicians, artists and writers alike find inspiration in Oxford’s rich history, small town charm and creative community.
Since Oxford, Mississippi was incorporated in 1837, the Historic Downtown Square has remained the cultural and economic hub of the city. The square is home to a variety of shops and elegant boutiques including the South’s oldest department store. Around the bend, you will find one of the nation’s most renowned independent bookstores and an art gallery featuring a variety of art forms and monthly showings. Extraordinary cuisine and comfortable inns are also abundant in downtown Oxford.
Known as the home of Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner, Oxford has been featured as a literary destination in publications such as Conde Nast Traveler, Southern Living and Garden and Gun. Many writers have followed in Faulkner’s footsteps, making Oxford their home over the years adding to the literary reputation Oxford has become renowned for including: Larry Brown, Barry Hannah, Willie Morris, and John Grisham to name a few.
Annual events include the Oxford Film Festival and Square Jam; and Oxford has a diverse music scene with blues label Fat Possum Records and Sweet Tea Recording Studio both in town. Much of the culture, sports and entertainment of the town revolves around the vitality of the University of Mississippi from the Ford Center for the Performing Arts to the Vaught Hemingway Football Stadium.
Napier Executive Search is assisting University of Mississippi with the search for the Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management. To nominate candidates for consideration or to arrange for a confidential conversation about this opportunity, please contact Laura Robinson (Laura.Robinson@napiersearch.com) or Mary Napier (firstname.lastname@example.org). Candidates who plan to apply should send the following: 1) a current resume; 2) a detailed letter outlining interest in the opportunity at University of Mississippi; 3) contact information for at least three professional references by email to email@example.com by November 16, 2020 for best consideration. All applications and nominations will be considered confidential and notice will be given before references are contacted.
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