Vice President for Enrollment Management at Chicago State University

Chicago State University (CSU) seeks a collaborative and visionary leader to serve as the Vice President for Enrollment Management (VPEM). The new VPEM must be a highly skilled, experienced, and innovative executive who will serve as the University’s chief strategist on all matters related to undergraduate enrollment and advisor on graduate and professional enrollment.

Reporting to the President and serving as a member of the senior leadership team, the VPEM will lead four areas: Admissions Recruitment; Admissions Processing; Financial Aid; and Enrollment Management Banner Support. The VPEM must possess a demonstrated knowledge of the major processes and best practices in successful operations for admissions and financial aid management, and an in-depth understanding of student market trends, prospect development, and higher education recruitment marketing. This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced enrollment management leader with an entrepreneurial spirit, proven management record of implementing best practices, fresh thinking, and an eye for innovation and creativity.

Chicago State University, designated as Illinois’ only four-year U.S. Department of Education Predominantly Black Institution and a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, plays a pivotal role in creating a robust return on investment for students and Illinois taxpayers.  With 3,300 student scholars enrolled at graduate and undergraduate levels, CSU’s students are 74% African American, 10% Hispanic, 3% White, 1% Asian and 11% identifying as other. Since 1867, CSU has built a reputation for diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Today, as a nationally accredited university with five colleges in Health Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business Education, and Pharmacy, CSU proudly supports students from 28 countries and 36 states on their life journey.


Leadership Priorities for the Role:

Transform Enrollment Management Operations
The VPEM will be a master at gaining cooperation between teams within the enrollment management division to create a collaborative culture within the division and with the campus community. They will work to assess enrollment operations and processes to make them more efficient, timely, responsive, and student/user friendly. The VPEM will sustain a caring and inclusive community; ensure proper staffing, access to technology, training, and support; and maintain the Division’s excellent customer service for current and prospective students and their families.

Implement Integrated and Responsive Enrollment Growth Strategy
The VPEM must be an avid collaborator and integrator, building cross-functional teams to develop and implement a strategic enrollment management plan that results in increasing and sustaining enrollment growth, retaining students through graduation, and providing a comprehensive, seamless student experience from application to graduation at all levels of the University. The development of an integrated student experience model, based on enrollment management best practices and data analysis, with clearly aligned goals that actively support student success, will be an important task for the new VPEM.

Provide Executive Presence and Leadership
The VPEM is a member of the President’s executive leadership team. Effective collaboration between divisional areas is necessary for the success of the role, especially through the logical ties between enrollment management and academic affairs. The next VPEM will forge strong partnerships with the Provost and other academic affairs colleagues and with faculty. The next VPEM will focus on developing cooperative/collaborative relationships with other cabinet-level officers, seeking ways to leverage resources to address the needs of the students, be they academic, athletic, financial, personal, or social. The VPEM is also called upon to represent CSU in external spaces such as: public hearings before the Illinois General Assembly; among a network of Chief Enrollment Officer peers; and at higher education conferences to advance the brand of CSU.

Job Summary and Responsibilities
The VPEM is responsible for creating, leading, managing, and overseeing a comprehensive enrollment program that incorporates best practices in recruitment, admissions, institutional research, records, registration, and financial aid. As guided by the CSU Board of Trustees, the President provides the vision for short and long-term enrollment goals.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Administrative Leadership

  • Overseeing a division operating budget of over $2M, 20 staff members, and annual scholarships and financial aid awards of $16M.
  • Developing staff and cultivating a network of experts within the organization to support a dynamic enrollment management operation.
  • Providing active oversight and accountability for all offices within the Division of Enrollment Management.
  • Building, leading, and motivating the appropriate teams to ensure that enrollment goals are being met.
  • Utilizing existing and emerging technologies to communicate and build relationships with students, families, community colleges and secondary school leadership and community members.
  • Monitoring and assessing data to evaluate the effectiveness of recruitment efforts and scholarship programs, including social media, marketing and other emerging technologies that enhance yield with potential students and their families.
  • Maximizing staff and financial resources to achieve multiple, varied objectives with competing prioritizations.
  • Ensuring compliance and risk management over functions and activities governed by federal, state, grant, university, or other regulations, particularly for financial aid.
  • Managing vendor relationship and contracts for enrollment management tools and services

Leadership of Enrollment Management Strategy Development and Implementation

  • Developing and overseeing the execution of multi-year and annual comprehensive enrollment plans, based on current market trends, critical data development, review and analysis, with appropriate goals that include strategies to recruit and enroll traditional undergraduate, transfer, returning adult, graduate, online, extension, and international students.
  • Working with key stakeholders and key unit leaders to identify target audiences and developing and executing effective enrollment management plans designed to attract students.
  • Bringing innovation, a fresh perspective and willingness to engage innovative and leading approaches to increase student enrollment in a challenging recruitment environment.
  • Securing comprehensive statistical and data-informed analyses necessary to make sound strategic policy decisions.
  • Developing annual admissions and financial aid forecasts using predictive models and budgets.
  • Planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the specific programs, services and functions designed to optimize net tuition revenue.
  • Leading the data-driven, evidence-based approach to University-wide initiatives and programs designed to increase student retention and success.
  • Optimizing use of available federal, state, institutional, and grant resources in the recruitment and retention of students.

University Collaboration

  • Evaluating and improving the practices of a seamless student enrollment experience, including timely, effective, and positive engagement with students and families throughout the entirety of their experiences with admissions, financial aid, and registration.
  • Coordinating with the Division of Academic Affairs to fully understand academic program offerings for marketing and information sharing to prospective
  • Developing and implementing an integrated marketing and communications plan in partnership with the Office of External Affairs on using research-based decisions on messaging and delivery mediums for print and electronic recruiting collateral.
  • Leading the collaboration between university institutional advancement and enrollment management to identify, prioritize, and proactively implement scholarship plans.


Desired Attributes, Skills, and Qualifications:

  • A master’s degree from an accredited institution is required; a doctorate degree is preferred
  • A minimum of five years at the executive or senior administrative level within higher education
  • Demonstrated leadership in higher education strategic enrollment management, including developing and implementing data-driven programs, budgetary and personnel responsibilities, enrollment management planning, contract management, and program development
  • Understanding the interpretation of enrollment data and statistical analyses to help shape general vision and grow strategic enrollment
  • Demonstrated understanding of financial aid strategy and compliance
  • Highly efficient, effective, and results-oriented individual with strong business acumen
  • Executive presence and ability to engage with stakeholders as an executive representative of CSU leadership
  • Proven experience leading, motivating, and managing a team
  • A keen understanding of the need to minimize barriers to student enrollment
  • Knowledge of current best practices in enrollment management, admissions, financial aid, and registration
  • Experience with current and emerging technology (hardware and software solutions) related to recruitment, admissions, and financial aid, including expertise with enrollment management systems and web-based recruitment efforts
  • Deep familiarity with Ellucian Banner Enterprise Resource Planning
  • Familiarity with CRM like Salesforce TargetX
  • Experience with process-improvement initiatives and leadership in change-management environments
  • Knowledge of and leadership experience in recruiting and supporting a culture of inclusion, equity, and diversity
  • Knowledge of national and state issues related to higher education policies and practices that influence enrollment management
  • Ability to balance a focus on operational effectiveness with visionary and a strategic thinking
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a proactive communication style that can drive consensus building
  • Good listening and problem-solving skills
  • Outstanding integrity, fairness, compassion, and empathy
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with internal and external constituents
  • Experience in collaborating effectively on specialized recruitment efforts such as with athletic coaches for the recruitment of student-athletes

Chicago State University
Chicago State University (CSU) has a rich history of providing education opportunities that dates to the Reconstruction Era. CSU is Illinois’ only four-year U.S. Department of Education-designated Predominantly Black Institution and is a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Today, as a nationally accredited university with five colleges in Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Health Sciences, and Pharmacy, CSU proudly supports a diverse student population that hails from 28 countries and 36 states.

Equity is at the heart of what Chicago State does every day. As an accessible university with an affordable tuition rate and commitment to supporting its students inside and outside of the classroom, CSU is able to elevate underserved student populations to better access enriching careers. Graduates of CSU are among the most likely to improve their economic status with a college degree. In ranking the nation’s best universities for economic and social mobility, CSU ranked number two out of 103 colleges and universities in Illinois, and in the top 4 percent nationwide out of over 2,000 colleges and universities. According to a study by the University of Southern California’s Race and Equity Center, CSU is ranked first in Illinois and tied at second nationwide among public universities for equity in educating and supporting Black students.

For the 2019-20 academic year, Chicago State University (CSU) experienced a 4% increase in undergraduate enrollment. This record increase was attributable to several factors, including: the introduction of stable leadership, a focused attention on the renewal and promotion of the CSU brand; active engagement and relationship cultivation with new external stakeholders; and implementation of student success and innovative academic programming. However, due to the unprecedented global pandemic since that time, national enrollment data has shown that the populations CSU predominantly serves (Black and Latinx students, low-income students, community college transfers, and students aged 25 and up) experienced some of the greatest challenges in accessing higher education. In recognition of the ongoing disruption of the global pandemic and associated events, CSU has revised its strategic plan for undergraduate enrollment, and university resources are being reassessed and redeployed to support vulnerable student populations across Chicago and beyond.

CSU has a world-class faculty that include award winners, prolific authors, researchers who work on groundbreaking projects in the sciences and humanities, and leaders in community organizations. CSU continues to innovate its curriculum and launched their first MBA program through an Executive MBA format in the 2019-20 academic year, with the first cohort of MBA graduates this past year. There is a newly accredited Library Science Master’s Program that is one of only two programs in the country accredited by the American Library Association that serves a primarily African American student body. In addition, CSU has introduced an Adult Integrated Learning Program that allows adult learners and returning students to receive college credit for life and work experience.

Over the last three years, CSU has been transforming and renewing its campus to better support students. They recently received $34 million in new capital funds from the State of Illinois. Some of the biggest capital projects will be the development of a new health professions simulation lab and the construction of the CSU Institute for Solutions for Urban Populations.

Beyond physical improvements, the university has instituted a comprehensive set of student success initiatives, called Cougar Commitment, focused around the integration of the following: pre-college and college readiness, first-year success, college persistence, holistic college support, and career readiness. Among the success stories are Rise Academy, a summer bridge program designed to provide new students with an early and supportive introduction to college as incoming freshmen receive their first year at college tuition-free. On top of extensive scholarship support for new and continuing students, CSU offers in-state tuition rates for all students in the United States.

CSU graduates are highly sought after with a 100 percent job placement rate for graduates in nursing, occupational therapy, and pharmacy, as well as education. CSU has forged inspiring new public and private sector partnerships with some of the state’s leading organizations including Abbott Labs, Leo Burnett, Hyatt Corporation, Northwestern Medicine, Pfizer, Discover Financial Services, Relativity Partners, and Spark Foundry. These partnerships offer students direct access to experiential learning opportunities that complement the classroom and often translate into paid internships and career paths.

Chicago State University transforms students’ lives by innovative teaching, research, and community partnerships through excellence in ethical leadership, cultural enhancement, economic development, and justice

Chicago State University will be recognized for innovations in teaching and research, and in promoting ethical leadership, entrepreneurship, and social and environmental justice. We will embrace, engage, educate, and empower our students and community to transform lives locally and globally.


  • Personal and academic excellence
  • Personal, professional, and academic integrity
  • Diversity, Equity, and inclusion
  • Leadership, service, philanthropy, social justice, and entrepreneurship
  • Creative and innovative thinking and learning
  • Pride in self, community, and the university
  • Lifelong learning


Zaldwaynaka (“Z”) Scott, Esq., was unanimously elected by the Board of Trustees to serve as the 12th permanent president of Chicago State University and assumed the role on July 1, 2018. President Scott oversaw the development and advancement of the CSU Strategic Plan 2020-2025, ensuring that the institution will lead with the mission of transformation for students’ lives through innovation and excellence in ethical leadership. She also supervised the launch of a historic re-brand of the University, putting into motion new brand assets and campaigns to revitalize the institution’s reputation and raise awareness among new stakeholders. President Scott is also a well-known advocate for equity in higher education, having formed and co-chaired the Equity Working Group for Black Student Access and Success in Illinois Higher Education, a body of leaders from across the Illinois education, public, private, philanthropic, and community development sectors to formulate an action plan for addressing Black student access and success in Illinois higher education. In recognition of these achievements, the CSU Board of Trustees extended President Scott’s contract through 2026.

Prior to her current role, President Scott was an equity partner in a national law firm with an international practice that focused on corporate internal investigations, counseling clients on regulatory compliance and crisis management. She also spent more than 16 years as a federal criminal prosecutor in the position of Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois, where she served as Chief of the General Crimes Section. Upon leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Illinois State Senate confirmed her appointment as Illinois’ first Executive Inspector General for the Agencies of the Governor and its public universities. In this role, she created an independent executive branch state agency from its inception, developed the United States’ first statewide ethics training platform for state government employees, and created a protocol for the investigation of claims of misconduct, waste, fraud, and abuse.

President Scott taught at some of the nation’s most competitive law schools, including Northwestern University School of Law, The University of Chicago Law School, and UIC John Marshall Law School. The Indiana University Maurer School of Law honored her with its Distinguished Service Award (2012) and selected her for induction into the Law School’s Alumni Hall of Fame (2019).

President Scott is a highly sought-after speaker and lecturer on topics related to leadership, crisis management, trial advocacy, ethics, and compliance. She has received numerous awards honoring her service from organizations including the American Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the Cook County Bar Association, La Rabida Children’s Hospital, and the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Chicago. She was recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of the Most Powerful Women in Chicago Business (2018). She is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and the Commercial Club of Chicago. President Scott’s peers rank her among the nation’s top lawyers, resulting in her inclusion in Chambers and Partners USA, U.S. News Best Lawyers, Women in Business Law Guide, The Best Lawyers in America, Leading Lawyers 2015, Top 10 Women in Criminal Defense, and Illinois Super Lawyers

A distinguished business and civic leader, President Scott has played an influential role in the Chicago community for over 30 years. She is on the Board of Directors for the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital Medical Center; the Board of Trustees at the US Coast Guard Academy and the Board of Trustees of the Shedd Aquarium. In the past, President Scott has served as Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Chicago Housing Authority, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Chicago State University and was a member of the Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law Board of Visitors, among others.

President Scott holds a Juris Doctor from Indiana University Maurer School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.


Recent Academic and Student Services Initiatives

  • CSU’s innovative Rise Academy program is a strategic initiative designed to address the key challenges faced by first-year, under-represented, and first-generation college students. Upon completion of a summer bridge program, Rise Scholars are connected to a Rise advisor to help guide them on their next CSU steps such as full-time registration and required self-development workshops. After a pilot program in 2019 and fully-remote programming in 2020, CSU successfully brought Rise students back to campus in fall 2021, with over 100 students having completed the Academy, including honor students, athletes, and band members. In 2022, Institutional Research has found that freshmen students who complete Rise Academy program attempted and earned significantly more credit hours, as well as earned significantly higher GPAs than non-Rise freshmen.
  • Additionally, CSU is proud to share that six 2021 Rise Scholar freshmen were recipients of the newly-minted Hope Scholarship which includes a full-ride tuition and fees to CSU for up to five years. This multi-generational scholarship also offers one parent of each recipient free college tuition. Twelve Rise Scholars were also nominated and accepted into CSU’s Championship Mentoring Program, a leadership program created to connect scholars to self-development workshops and local employer mentors.
  • The Diverse Scholars in Education program, launched in 2021 as part of President Scott’s mission to address equity in educational attainment, provides students with a full-tuition, four-year scholarship for students who have an interest in becoming PreK-12 teachers committed to leading change efforts in improving educational outcomes for students in urban settings. In addition to the scholarship, Diverse Scholars are provided weekly academic support sessions, an assigned program mentor, cohort-based instruction, and monthly education-focused activities.
  • The College of Business launched its Master of Business Administration program in the 2019-20 academic year to help contribute new and diverse corporate leadership talent to the market and is establishing itself as an attractive option in the competitive Chicagoland business education arena. The two-year graduate business program is designed as a part-time weekend MBA program to support working professionals seeking a graduate business degree with the convenience of a south Chicago location and weekend schedule. The inaugural program began with a cohort of 20 students and graduated its first class of 16 students at the Spring 2021 Commencement.
  • CSU continues innovating new partnerships designed to help propel access to new career paths for students of color, and to help reduce overall education timelines and costs. In its newest agreement, CSU collaborated with Morgan State University (MSU) to create a pathway from CSU to MSU where participants receive two bachelor’s degrees in just five years. From CSU, the student would earn a B.S. in Physics Engineering, and from MSU, a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. The agreement will advance the commitment of both universities to increasing underrepresented students’ participation in the physical sciences and engineering fields.
  • Gordon Food Service, a 124-year old food distribution company, invested $45,000 in the creation of a professional development bootcamp ‘Master Class,’ that includes scholarship and stipends for students, expert presenter instruction, access to mentors and internships, opportunities to job shadow, and future employment.
  • The Department of Communications, Media Arts & Theatre is collaborating with Leo Burnett, a world-class Chicago-based advertising company, and the Marcus Graham Project (MGP). Students learn skills such as building agency websites, investigating customer insight, learning how to reach target audiences, analyzing audiences’ demographics, marketing on social media, and software knowledge. The ten-week bootcamp is capped by the opportunity for paid internships within the Publicis Groupe.
  • Publicis Groupe hosted four student interns at its Spark Foundry Agency. Spark Foundry offered students exposure to a range of brand and media functions including data, analytics, performance marketing, commerce, investment, and strategy. Two students were offered full-time positions following the successful completion of the program.
  • Relativity, a global legal and compliance technology company, forged a new partnership with Rise Academy, Chicago State University’s first-year student success program, created in response to recent events such as COVID-19 that have made it more challenging for some students and families to continue their studies. Through the partnership, four Relativity employees became mentors for eight Rise Scholars. These mentors have experience in engineering, cybersecurity, and business, and draw on their own experiences to help guide and advise the students on their personal college and career journeys. In addition, Relativity Chief Technology Officer Keith Carlson joined CSU’s Computer Science Program’s External Advisory Committee to advise on curricula to ensure CSU is offering industry-aligned, cutting-edge education. Relativity has also donated $50,000 in scholarships to seven of Rise Academy’s first-year students at CSU and this will help not only cover their tuition but include a personal laptop, textbooks, and the campus healthcare plan.

To learn more about Chicago State University, go to and access the 2021 Annual Report here:

Napier Executive Search is pleased to partner with Chicago State University to identify candidates for the position of Vice President for Enrollment Management. To arrange for a confidential conversation or to nominate a candidate for this position, contact Laura Robinson at, Suzi Nam at, or Mary Napier at To apply, please send a resume and a detailed letter of interest, along with at least three professional references, to Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled, but for assurance of best consideration, application materials should be submitted by August 26, 2022. All applications and nominations will be considered confidential.

Chicago State University is an Equal Opportunity Institution committed to cultural, racial, and multi-ethnic communities and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Persons who need reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act to participate in the application process should contact the Office of Human Resources at 773-995-2040 or

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