Vice President for Enrollment at Susquehanna University

Susquehanna University seeks a dynamic and bold Vice President for Enrollment to lead an innovative, sound, and comprehensive enrollment program and provide enrollment leadership strategy guided by the mission and vision of the University.

Reporting to President Jonathan Green, the Vice President for Enrollment serves as the chief enrollment officer and as a member of the President’s Senior Leadership Team. Overseeing 20 professionals in the offices of admission and student financial services, the vice president serves as the University’s strategy and policy leader on all matters relating to enrollment.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The primary duties and responsibilities of the Vice President for Enrollment are as follows:

  • Develop, articulate, implement, and evaluate a dynamic, forward-looking, and comprehensive strategic enrollment management plan that aligns with the University’s strategic initiatives, ensuring a strong link between student demand, University-wide priorities, and financial planning.
  • Ensure the delivery of quality, student-oriented financial aid and enrollment services by developing and implementing efficient, effective, and integrated policies, procedures, and systems for prospective and continuing students.
  • Manage the overall marketing communications plan for enrollment with ongoing review to ensure optimal results, understanding of the power of the web and social media recruitment.
  • Build and maintain strong, collaborative relationships with leadership across the University, partnering collegially with the Academic Deans, the Board of Trustees, faculty, university marketing and communications, athletics and others to develop and implement short- and long-term enrollment plans.
  • Focus on maintaining or increasing net tuition revenue each year within the context of academic ability and Susquehanna’s broad commitment to serving diverse populations.
  • Establish strategic direction, priorities, and goals for the talented enrollment management team by making data-informed decisions and linking budgets and expenditures to measurable outcomes while seeking both standard and creative ways to achieve enrollment goals.
  • Develop and effectively administer departmental budgets, including budget forecasting, planning, and monitoring of expenditures.
  • Engage the entire campus community in discussions about enrollment management vision and strategy, fostering a culture of openness and inclusion.
  • Offer an appreciation of the liberal arts and sciences as a whole, but able to seek out and recruit students on behalf of specific academic departments and programs who will benefit from and add to the student population.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of policies/practices, management systems, programs, and services through quality improvement benchmarks.
  • Continue to build on signature benefits and distinctive features of Susquehanna University such as our top rankings for Study Abroad fueled by 100% of our students’ participation in the Global Opportunities (GO) program; the fact that SU graduates rank in the top 10% nationally for earnings; 100 majors and minors including robust 3+2 programs and an AACSB accredited business program by highlighting the unique nature and qualities of the institution.
  • Strategize new ways to reach students from many cross-sections of population within the U.S. and abroad, identifying students who will enroll and persist to graduation.
  • Utilize technology and innovation to enhance enrollment and admissions/recruitment processes and enroll students who will succeed and be retained to graduation.
  • Provide effective leadership of staff by fostering a trusting and transparent environment that encourages ideas and values opinions; possess a willingness to motivate and empower a strong and highly motivated team and lead with creativity, integrity, inclusiveness, sound judgment, wisdom, passion, and energy.
  • Analyze business intelligence and analytics results and modeling to direct positive/negative performance trends and develop action plans to increase/correct those trends.

Experience, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The successful candidate should have significant proven experience in higher education ideally in enrollment management. Experience working with members of an institution’s senior leadership team as well as with a board of trustees is desired. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required; and an advanced degree is strongly preferred with at least ten years relevant experience in admissions, financial aid and/or recruitment or related fields. In addition, candidates for this position should demonstrate the following experience, knowledge, skills and abilities.

  • Knowledge of competitive advantages and challenges, technology opportunities, and highly effective enrollment management practices in the rapidly evolving higher education landscape.
  • Demonstrated success in recruiting and enrolling students from diverse populations; ability to recruit students of color and international students.
  • Possession of outstanding oral, written, and interpersonal skills with the ability to listen and collaborate with diverse audiences as a team player in support of the University.
  • Skilled in decision making, data usage, effective planning, problem solving, creativity, and innovation in strategy formulation, including state-of-the-art enrollment strategies that support the entire University.
  • Ability to mentor, coach, and direct the professional staff and to meet high expectations of colleagues and co-workers who understand that enrollment is a top priority.
  • Appreciation for the characteristics of honesty, pragmatism, transparency and the highest integrity as well as an innovative, creative and flexible spirit with personal warmth and approachability.
  • Knowledge of best practices in admissions and financial aid in order to consistently and reliably achieve annual new-student enrollment and net revenue.
  • Commitment to an organizational culture of trust, integrity, ethics, professionalism, inclusiveness, and respect for diversity in all its forms.
  • Experience in using enrollment databases and a strong understanding of current and emerging technologies, techniques, and strategies including optimization of the Slate CRM, performance marketing, research optimization, lead acquisition, social media etc.
  • Demonstration of an understanding and commitment to promote Susquehanna’s mission to educate global leaders prepared to achieve, lead, and serve.
  • Deep appreciation for a transformative liberal arts education and an ability to communicate this effectively to prospective students and their families.
  • Knowledge of NCAA regulations and a keen interest and demonstrated ability to partner with our Division III athletics department in the recruitment of student-athletes.
  • Experience in directing efforts to ensure state and federal financial aid compliance as well as a track record of leveraging best practices and technology to create an effective one-stop shop for student financial services.
  • Experience in using predictive modeling, financial aid leveraging, and the effective use of enrollment software.

The University

History

Founded in 1858, Susquehanna offered a classical liberal-arts curriculum from its inception. Later, it became a pioneer in coeducation with the admission of women in 1873 and was renamed as a university in 1895. It has offered degree programs in the liberal arts, business, and music since 1900. Well known for its scenic 325-acre campus and Georgian architecture, two of the more than 80 campus buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.

For most of its history, Susquehanna’s academic program was modest in size and scope, with a total student body of around 500. In the early 1960s, the University grew to around 1,200 students and significantly expanded its liberal-arts component. Today, Susquehanna University is nationally known as a comprehensive, selective, private residential university enrolling 2,300 primarily traditional-aged students.

Academics

Boasting a strong liberal-arts curriculum enhanced by equally robust professional programs, the University enrolls students in the School of Arts and Sciences and the Sigmund Weis School of Business. Susquehanna is a national leader in independent undergraduate research and student creative work and has a 161-year history of providing a transformative education to a more economically diverse student body than any other higher-education institution in the nation based on financial resources.

Degrees offered include the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Science. Susquehanna University recently instituted a Master’s in Education program, building upon the success of the post-baccalaureate Teacher-Intern Program. Susquehanna offers more than 50 majors, 45 minors and 850 courses and has a 13:1 student-faculty ratio, which facilitates close relationships with professors and a personalized learning environment. In recent years, the University has prioritized a culture of assessment in both academic and administrative work and now has a strong foundation and structures in place for continuing success.

Beginning in fall 2009, Susquehanna implemented an innovative Central Curriculum that spans all academic programs and provides the means for all students to achieve the Institution’s learning goals. The curriculum is reviewed as part of the Strategic Plan and annually in effort to ensure it is reflective of today’s students’ needs. The Central Curriculum is organized in five main areas: richness of thought, natural world, human interaction, intellectual skills, and connections. A capstone experience, while not formally a part of the Central Curriculum, is also a key requirement for all students. Distinctive elements of this curriculum include its approach to diversity studies, ethics, teamwork, writing, interdisciplinary work, sustainability and the development of intellectual skills. The Central Curriculum also includes the cross-cultural Global Opportunities “GO” Program requirement. Susquehanna is among a mere handful of schools to mandate a study-away experience for all students and is the only institution that requires a post-travel perspectives course in which students reflect on how that experience changed them. As an award-winning program, GO provides students with semester-long opportunities, shorter (two-week minimum), faculty-led programs and Go-Your-Way opportunities for students to design their own programs. About 85 percent of Susquehanna students complete their off-campus study outside the United States. Typically, 98 percent of each graduating class is employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months. Approximately 25 percent of liberal arts and sciences students enter graduate or professional school immediately after graduation from Susquehanna University.

Faculty

The University attracts talented and enthusiastic faculty whose primary commitment is excellence in teaching. Faculty are active in a wide variety of scholarly activities that enhance their effectiveness as educators. Strong advising and mentoring and an environment that supports opportunities for informal interactions between students and faculty, are hallmarks of the institution. Susquehanna faculty go out of their way to give students a unique mix of challenge and support that enables them to reach new levels of insight and achievement. There are annual faculty awards for excellence in teaching, service, and advising.

The University’s full-time teaching faculty numbers 135.5 full-time equivalents (FTE) Including four individuals who hold shared positions. The percentage of full-time faculty holding the doctorate or terminal degree in their field is over 92 percent. Adjunct faculty represent an additional 40 FTE. Excluding Education, Music, and Studio Arts, part-time faculty deliver approximately 17 percent of instruction, against a strategic plan goal of being under 20 percent. Sixty-four percent of the faculty are tenured; their average age is 49 and their average years of service is 10. More than 18 percent are members of historically underrepresented populations/groups, and 45 percent are women. Susquehanna’s faculty meet as one body, and the Deans of the two schools report to the Provost.

The high-quality scholarship of the faculty has earned support from highly competitive funders including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Education, the Richard King Mellon Foundation, the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, among others.

Accreditation and Affiliations

In reaffirming Susquehanna’s accreditation in June 2014, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education “commend[ed] the institution on the quality of the self-study process and report.” A commendation is the most positive outcome an institution can receive and is evidence of the strength of Susquehanna’s academic programs, governance and leadership, and planning and resource allocation.

The review team noted that Susquehanna has “a strong sense of mission, an enviable core curriculum, a culture of assessment and transparency that fosters trust and collegiality, and a history of intentional planning that produced excellent results for many years.”

Susquehanna is a member of the Annapolis Group, an organization of the leading national independent liberal arts colleges. Along with just over 100 colleges and universities, it also is a member of the American Talent Initiative, an alliance to substantially expand the number of high-achieving, low- and moderate-income students at America’s undergraduate institutions with the highest graduation rates. ATI works with U.S. institutions that graduate at least 70 percent of their students in six years—a threshold that just under 300 colleges, including Susquehanna, have achieved.

The Sigmund Weis School of Business is accredited by AACSB International—the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB accreditation is the hallmark of excellence in business education and has been earned by fewer than 5 percent of the world’s business schools.

Programs for the preparation of elementary and secondary education teachers at the bachelor’s level are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The Department of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, and the Department of Chemistry is accredited by the American Chemical Society. The graduates in accounting are eligible to sit for the New York State licensure examination in Certified Public Accounting.

Susquehanna is also a member of the American Association of Colleges and Universities, the American Council on Education, the Council of Independent Colleges, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the Lutheran Educational Conference of North America.

Finally, Susquehanna University ranks among the Top 10% of universities in the U.S. for career-long earnings, according to a new report from Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Susquehanna ranks No. 338 among 4,500 colleges and universities nationwide for salary earned over the length of a career. The university ranks No. 24 among four-year, private universities in Pennsylvania. Other universities within the Top 25 include the University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, Lehigh and Duquesne universities and Swarthmore College. Specifically, the report found that by the end of their careers, Susquehanna graduates could expect to earn an additional $1 million in today’s dollars than if they had not gone to college. “These results demonstrate that a college education continues to be a wise investment for a young person preparing for a prosperous future,” said Susquehanna University President Jonathan D. Green. “Not only do college graduates earn significantly more over their lifetimes than those who do not complete college degrees, a Susquehanna education prepares its graduates to be informed and engaged citizens, which benefits us all.”

Enrollment

The Class of 2022 enrolled 618 first year students selected from a pool of 5,683 applicants. The admission rate hovers around 70 percent, and the enrolling class is drawn from 29 states and 25 countries. About 60 percent of students are from Pennsylvania, while 56 percent of enrolled students are female. The average SAT score for first-year students is 1120 and the average ACT is 25, although Susquehanna is a test-optional school, and the average GPA for the class is 3.58. With strong representation from the class of 2022, more than 17 percent of the entire student body is from historically underrepresented populations/groups.

Strategic Plan

The Senior Leadership Team and University Council led the development of a comprehensive, mission-centered strategic plan and the Board has approved the plan to achieve four Philosophical Goals by 2026 while advancing the University’s operational metrics on a concurrent, seven-year timeline. The resulting plan will allow annual assessment of these metrics and a concomitant renewal of the plan. The plan is designed to execute a bold, mission-driven vision that is student-centered, builds on institutional strengths, advances operational metrics, and expands the University’s reputation and national presence to ensure continued success in enrollments and student retention. While the strategic plan will lay the foundation to move the University forward, the newly appointed vice president for enrollment will be critical to advancing the plan implementation as it relates to the enrollment goals.

Human and Financial Resources

Susquehanna is a strong and financially healthy institution and has been in the enviable position of continuing to invest in its programs, people and campus. The quality of the educational programs is high, and facilities are among the best in the nation among liberal arts colleges. Cash and cash reserves ($20 million outside of the endowment) reflect strong fiscal discipline and total financial resources are at the highest level in the University’s history. Susquehanna’s annual operating budget is $76 million, its endowment is over $160 million and total University assets are valued at $338.5 million, earning an “A3” debt rating from Moody’s. Susquehanna’s disciplined planning efforts and stewardship have created the resource base that permits the University to thoughtfully consider the future and adapt intentionally. Strategic innovations include improved admissions operations, increased focus on international recruiting and investments in marketing that include a relatively fresh website. The campus community has developed novel curricular and co‐curricular programs that are attracting a wider range of students. Susquehanna works with the Gallup organization to develop and support its administrative leaders thanks to a $1 million gift from Board Chair Signe Gates (Susquehanna Class of 1971). The Gates Fund for Excellence in Leadership provides resources to develop and maximize the leadership skills of the senior team so that Susquehanna is prepared to deal effectively with the challenges of the coming decades. This initiative builds on Ms. Gates’ commitment to nurturing Susquehanna’s most important resource—its people. She has also demonstrated that support through her gifts to fund the Gates and WIT (Whatever It Takes) staff award programs she established in 2006.

Location 

Susquehanna University is located in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, approximately 50 miles north of Harrisburg in the scenic Susquehanna River Valley.  The three-county region of the Greater Susquehanna Valley has a population of 180,000 and is characterized by small towns and a hilly,  scenic landscape adjacent to the Appalachian Trail.

Founded in 1787 by Captain Anthony Selin, who fought with Washington in the Revolutionary War, Selinsgrove features a blend of small-town friendliness and scenic countryside. The brick-paved sidewalks and tree-lined streets of downtown offer charming shops, restaurants and businesses. Situated on the shores of the Susquehanna River, there are many opportunities for boating and swimming in the summer, and ice fishing and skating in the winter. Located about a three-hour drive from Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City, Selinsgrove’s quiet streets, historic homes and easy access to shopping centers and schools make Selinsgrove an ideal place for families. Selinsgrove offers year-round enjoyment and security as an ideal place to work, live, and play.

To Apply

Napier Executive Search is assisting Susquehanna University with the search for the Vice President for Enrollment.  To arrange for a confidential conversation or to nominate someone, please contact Laura Robinson (laura.robinson@napiersearch.com) or Mary Napier (mary.napier@napiersearch.com).  For best consideration, candidates who plan to apply should send a resume, a detailed letter of interest, and contact information for three professional references by email to susqu@napiersearch.com  no later than January 29, 2019.  Review will begin immediately thereafter and the expected start date will be early summer 2020.

All applications and nominations will be considered confidential and notice will be given before references are contacted. At late stages, candidates will participate in Gallup leadership interviews and full background checks.

As a living, learning and working community, Susquehanna University affirms its commitment to being an engaged, culturally inclusive campus.  As we seek to embody the rich diversity of the human community, we commit ourselves to the full participation of persons who represent the breadth of human difference.  The university encourages candidates from historically underrepresented groups to apply.  Susquehanna University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.