Vice President of Enrollment at Millsaps College

Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi seeks an innovative and strategic Vice President of Enrollment to develop and lead a sophisticated and nuanced enrollment management program.  Reporting to President Dr. Robert Pearigen, and serving as a member of both the Executive Staff and the Cabinet, the Vice President of Enrollment provides leadership in admission and financial aid, and will spearhead the college’s comprehensive effort to increase the number of completed applications and maximize and sustain enrollments.

As the chief enrollment officer, the Vice President will build relationships with a broad range of college leaders to create, implement, and positively influence student enrollment and retention.  Reflecting the College’s commitment to both the City of Jackson and the State of Mississippi, the Vice President will play an important role in shepherding positive relationships within the community to enhance the college’s appeal to qualified students.

The successful candidate will:

  • Develop, implement, and articulate a strategic enrollment plan, one that executes and evaluates innovative initiatives to increase the number of completed applications and ensure optimum levels of enrollment growth across each of the college’s academic programs and disciplines.
  • Build partnerships with members of the college community and outside stakeholders, including alumni and Millsaps parents, to structure and execute college-wide recruitment, enrollment, and retention efforts.
  • Provide inspirational and motivational leadership for the enrollment team, fostering their knowledge of the profession and use of best practices, as well as their commitment to customer service and depth of knowledge regarding the opportunities within the college’s programs and departments.
  • Recommend strategic initiatives, actions, and policy considerations to the President and fellow members of the Cabinet to leverage Millsaps College’s liberal arts foundation and professional programs to attract and enroll qualified students.
  • Provide operational management for admission, supervising all aspects of the recruitment funnel and recruitment pipelines including development of the prospect and inquiry pools, the on-campus tour experience for prospective students and parents, conversion and application processing, and review and yield activities.
  • Work closely with the vice president of marketing and communication to build a creative, comprehensive and inviting suite of electronic and print admission materials.
  • In conjunction with the office of marketing and communications, oversee the construction of an on-campus electronic communication funnel through Slate to prospective students and their parents promoting the benefits of a Millsaps education.
  • Lead the enrollment team in identifying challenges and opportunities, and develop an organizational culture that promotes thoughtful analysis, nimble action, and use of data in evaluation and decision-making.
  • Enhance the college’s successful recruitment of students from diverse populations and lead the college’s effort to increase transfer student enrollment.
  • Participate in and network with local, regional, and national organizations and alumni to facilitate recruitment initiatives and establish relationships that lead to enrollment partnerships, keeping in mind the high value placed on relationships by students and their families.
  • Identify opportunities to develop, refine and deploy a variety of recruitment and promotional events on and off campus, including enhancing the on campus visit experience to meet the needs of individual students and their families from diverse backgrounds and populations.
  • Possess knowledge of pricing strategies and financial aid leveraging; the impact of pricing on diverse populations; the effective balance of merit and financial assistance for attracting and retaining students; and understand and promote the importance of financial literacy and customer service.
  • Oversee the responsibility of the office of financial aid for serving both current and prospective students, while maintaining critical compliance with federal and state funding sources.
  • Demonstrate an understanding and in-depth knowledge of local and regional market trends and demographics.
  • Articulate the value of a liberal art education to students and families.
  • Possess an understanding of NCAA regulations for Division III athletics and the ability to build partnerships with coaches and athletic administrators to facilitate the recruitment of student athletes.
  • Contribute to the realization of the major initiatives outlined in the college’s strategic plan: Across the Street and Around the Globe: Partnerships and Influence at Millsaps College
  • Direct efforts of 11 enrollment team members and the campus community in  achieving short term enrollment growth, increasing student population from approximately 800 to 1,100.

Qualifications and Characteristics

The successful candidate should have significant proven experience in higher education. 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. In addition, candidates for this position should demonstrate the following characteristics, skills, abilities, and understanding:

  • Significant direct supervisory experience and administrative leadership of a multifaceted enrollment operation.
  • Demonstrated success in developing and refining integrated strategic enrollment and marketing plans.
  • Creative, nimble, and flexible in realizing opportunities and operationalizing action, evaluation and communication.
  • Ability to interpret and analyze data, with aptitude for illustrating its meaning and talent for identifying and articulating actionable opportunities.
  • Analytical skill in understanding financial aid, the discount rate, net tuition revenue, and compliance in aid distribution in relation to the institutional budget.
  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Agile and compassionate professional who has a commitment to fostering positive relationships while leading operational change.
  • Innovative, strategic, visionary, and creative approach to recruiting new students.
  • Advanced understanding of modern student recruitment and marketing strategies and demonstrated skill in leveraging technology while also fostering a personal, relationship-driven recruitment approach.
  • Talented manager with a knack for hiring well and coaching individuals, while fostering teams to celebrate success.
  • An appreciation for the rich history of the Jackson, Mississippi, area; a passion for the liberal arts; a desire to build lasting relationships with the faculty, staff, coaches, students, and alumni of Millsaps College.

 

The Institution

Millsaps is an accredited, private non-profit, national liberal arts college founded by members of the Methodist Church in 1890. One of only a handful of national liberal arts colleges with both a Phi Beta Kappa chapter and an AACSB accredited business school, Millsaps is a selective undergraduate institution located on 100 beautiful acres in the heart of Jackson, the capital of Mississippi.

Millsaps’ student body is comprised of approximately 800 students, 5 percent of whom are enrolled in the college’s graduate programs in accounting and business administration.  The student body is both geographically and ethnically diverse, coming from 19 states and 31 countries.  International students represent 7 percent of the student body, and 19 percent of students identify as African American or Hispanic.  Roughly, 30 percent of enrolling students are Pell-eligible, and the College remains committed to making a Millsaps education accessible for all students. Post-graduation, many Millsaps students have their sights set on business, law, or pre-health programs, but all leave well-rounded through an interdisciplinary curriculum that uses real-world exploration. Socially networked, dynamic, and affordable, Jackson offers students both a great place to go to college and numerous opportunities to launch their careers.

The Compass Curriculum is the foundation for each student’s academic experience and exploration.   Launched in 2015, this universal core curriculum provides each student with learning experiences in the liberal arts to foster critical thinking and reasoning, communication, collaborative learning, and problem solving skills. All students take coursework in a foreign language, business literacy, science, and interdisciplinary humanities before specializing in a particular area of study and completing a capstone experiential learning project that may involve research, a field- or community-based course, study abroad, an internship, or an honors project. The City of Jackson is the cornerstone of Millsaps’ academic experience where the combination of on- and off-campus learning experiences take place.  Students work at the teaching hospital and medical center across the street, at the capitol and law offices downtown, the many museums in the city, and in bustling business and arts districts.

Millsaps guarantees graduation in four years, and boasts nearly double the four-year graduation rate of any other institution in the region. Notably, 100 percent of the 2019 graduates who applied to medical school from Millsaps were accepted; 90 percent of Millsaps graduates who apply to law school are admitted in their initial year of application; and 95 percent of Millsaps graduates are employed or enrolled in graduate/professional school six months post-graduation.

Consistently ranked as one of the best values in higher education, Millsaps has been praised by Colleges That Change Lives, The Princeton Review, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, the John Templeton Foundation, The Fiske Guide to Colleges, and Insight Magazine.  In the past five years, Millsaps has had two Rhodes Scholars, four Fulbright Scholars, a Truman Scholar, a Goldwater Scholar, and a College Football Hall of Fame inductee. The Economist ranking of alumni outcomes places Millsaps’ graduates in the top 14 percent  of all college graduates across the U.S., and a recent Georgetown University study places Millsaps College as the highest return on investment at retirement than any college or university in the state of Mississippi. Millsaps is also a member of the Associated Colleges of the South and is associated with the United Methodist Church. For more about Millsaps, go to http://www.millsaps.edu/.

   

Location

Jackson, Mississippi is a progressive southern metropolitan city of over half a million people. The city is served by an international airport and is located at the crossroads of Interstates 55 and 20, creating easy access to Birmingham, Memphis, New Orleans, and the Gulf Coast.  Those who choose to live in Jackson enjoy the varied and beautiful neighborhoods such as Fondren and Belhaven, while others enjoy a short and easy commute from suburbs such as Clinton, Flowood, Brandon, Ridgeland, and Madison.

Jackson is a nexus for talented people who want to work together and has been named one of the country’s best communities for young people. Newcomers to Jackson will appreciate the city’s beautiful neighborhoods, outdoor spaces, wonderful food scene, friendly atmosphere, and cultural opportunities. Just outside the campus of Millsaps College, there is plenty to see and do in Jackson, whether you choose the creative Fondren business and entertainment district to the north, the resurgent Midtown community to the west, the charming, historic Belhaven neighborhood to the east, or the museum district downtown, south of campus.

Jackson is steeped in history, much of which can be found at the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. While downtown, visit the nearby Old Capitol Museum and the Smith Robertson Museum, Thalia Mara Hall, or the Mississippi Museum of Art. The city is also home to the LeFleur Museum District that includes Lefleur’s Bluff State Park, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, the Mississippi Agriculture Museum, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Mississippi Children’s Museum.

Just a short drive from campus you’ll find trails perfect for biking or running at Lefleur’s Bluff State Park, the Ridgeland Multi-Purpose Trails, the Natchez Trace Parkway, and the shores of the Barnett Reservoir. The latter is perfect for afternoon picnicking, recreational boating, birdwatching, or fishing (just ask any student about the Overlook). During baseball season, you can grab a hot dog and catch a Mississippi Braves game at nearby Trustmark Park.

Annual events such as Hal’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade (the nation’s fourth largest), Belhaven’s Bright Lights, Belhaven Nights, Jacktoberfest, CelticFest, and the Mississippi State Fair keep the festivities going year-round. You’ll find many of Jackson’s events are free or low cost.

To Apply

Napier Executive Search is pleased to assist Millsaps College with the search for the Vice President of Enrollment.  To arrange for a confidential conversation, please contact Laura Robinson (laura.robinson@napiersearch.com), Catherine Capolupo (catherine.capolupo@napiersearch.com) or Mary Napier (mary.napier@napiersearch.com).

Candidates who plan to apply should send a resume, a detailed letter outlining interest in Millsaps College, and contact information for three professional references by email to millsaps@napiersearch.com by April 8, 2020 for best consideration. All applications and nominations will be considered confidential and notice will be given before references are contacted.

Millsaps College is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy of Millsaps to offer equal educational and employment opportunities to all persons without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or veteran status. Eligibility for employment is contingent upon successful completion of a background screening.