Rockford University, in partnership with the search firm Scott Healy & Associates, invites applications and nominations for the position of Vice President for Enrollment Management (VPEM). The VPEM is a senior-level administrator who reports directly to the President and is a member of the Executive Council. The Vice President provides vision, strategy, leadership, and management oversight for Rockford University’s recruitment, enrollment, and retention of new and continuing undergraduate, adult degree completion, graduate, and English as a Second Language (ESL) students. The VPEM oversees functions including the Undergraduate Admission (as director), Global Affairs, Adult and Graduate Studies, and Student Administrative Services. The VPEM provides collaborative, mission-centered leadership for enrollment management professionals dedicated to students from their admission to the University through their graduation at Commencement.
The VPEM serves as a member of the President’s Executive Council and participates in institution-wide strategic planning and policy development for enrollment management. The VPEM is responsible for the development, implementation, coordination, and evaluation of the institution’s strategic enrollment initiatives and outcomes while providing vision and leadership to the institution in all areas of enrollment management. The successful candidate will partner with all University stakeholders including the Board of Trustees, Executive Council, academic leadership, faculty, students, alumni, and colleagues to achieve strategic enrollment goals.
Rockford University: Rockford University is a private, highly rated regional university in the Midwest, located in Rockford, Illinois. Situated on a 150-acre, park-like campus, Rockford University serves as a home away from home for its students. Founded in 1847 as Rockford Female Seminary, the institution changed its name to Rockford College in 1892 and then to Rockford University in 2013. Rockford University is an independent, coeducation, liberal arts institution dedicated to serving a diverse student population. The University offers 80 undergraduate majors, minors, and programs; degree-completion programs in management and accounting studies; and graduate programs in business and education.
Rockford University is one of only 11 institutions in Illinois with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter and has consistently ranked as a Best in the Midwest institution by Princeton Review. Rockford University educates approximately 1,200 full and part-time students with a mission of educating men and women to lead responsible lives by means of a curriculum grounded in liberal arts learning and complemented and extended by professional and practical experience. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1, students enjoy a close and supportive relationship with faculty and staff. The University offers 14 NCAA Division III intercollegiate varsity teams and several junior varsity teams that compete in the Northern Athletic Collegiate Conference.
The College Community and Rockford, IL: Rockford is a city of about 150,000 people situated on the banks of the Rock River and serves as the county seat of Winnebago County. Nicknamed the Forest City, Rockford is known for various cultural and historical venues including the Anderson Japanese Gardens, Coronado Performing Arts Center, Burpee Museum of Natural History, Discovery Center Museum, the Klehm Arboretum, and the Mendelssohn Club, the oldest music club in the nation. Neighboring communities that border Rockford are considered an integral part of the metro area including the cities of Machesney Park, Rockton, Loves Park and Cherry Valley. In addition, Rockford is only 70 miles south of Madison, WI., and approximately 85 miles from Chicago.
Outdoor opportunities abound: Rock Cut State Park features over 3,000 acres for camping, hiking, fishing and boating. Anderson Japanese Gardens offers a 10 acre oasis featuring winding paths and events for all ages. The Rockford Park District provides a network of parks, trails, and golf courses including the Aldeen Golf Course, rated the best municipal course in Illinois by Golf Digest. Excellent restaurants, numerous fine and performing arts, and professional sports are offered to all who live in and around the community of Rockford, Illinois.
The Position: The VPEM will be responsible for the leadership, management, and supervision of the Office of Admission including the development of admission counselors and operations staff; Student Administrative Services, which comprises financial aid, registration, and student billing; Office of Global Affairs, whose staff oversee the recruitment and success of international students as well as the ESL program; and the Adult and Graduate Studies staff members who manage degree completion and graduate recruitment and admission. The VPEM must be innovative and adept at promoting current academic and student-centered programs, as well as bringing forth recommendations for new recruitment and enrollment initiatives, marketing and communication strategies, financial aid leveraging strategies, retention, tuition net revenue strategies, and academic programs that align with the University’s mission, resources, and market demand. Excellent listening skills, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a commitment to campus-wide collaboration will serve the VPEM well and enhance the University’s enrollment management success.
Qualifications: The successful candidate for the position of Vice President for Enrollment Management should have the following:
At least 10 years of progressive experience in higher education, with a minimum of five years of experience in admissions and financial aid;
A master’s degree is required and a doctorate is preferred;
Considerable experience in data-driven enrollment operations that result in sustained growth in enrollment, diversity, academic quality, and increased retention and graduation rates;
Track record of developing and implementing marketing strategies to drive increases in attendance and increase awareness of an institution’s programs and mission;
Experience with developing financial aid leveraging and appropriate discounting to achieve new student enrollment, increase retention, and improve graduation rates;
Working knowledge of current methodologies in enrollment management, admissions processes, institutional marketing strategies, and strategic media relations;
Experience with managing vendor partnerships;
An understanding of strategic enrollment management practice and theory, including in-depth understanding of all functions of enrollment management as they pertain to undergraduate and graduate programs including student recruitment, events, registration, financial aid, and revenue and expense budgeting outcomes;
Appreciation and experience with team leadership and professional development for staff;
Experience in implementing and improving comprehensive enrollment and marketing/communication plans;
The ability to work with the breadth of University Constituencies to create a comprehensive and effective enrollment management structure and environment.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
The VPEM will implement a comprehensive admission, financial aid and retention program that enables Rockford University to achieve the enrollment required for sustained financial stability. The essential duties and responsibilities are as follows:
Develop annual admissions forecasts, predictive models, and budgets; build, lead, and motivate the appropriate teams to ensure that enrollment goals are met.
Collaborate with the University’s external strategic enrollment management and financial aid vendor, Marketing and Communications department, and on-campus stakeholders to achieve enrollment and retention goals.
Support and mentor an enrollment management leadership team comprising the Associate Vice President for Student Administrative Services, who oversees registration, student accounts, and financial aid; the Associate Director of Admission, who manages day-to-day counselor and recruiting activity and admission operations; the Director of the Office of Global Affairs, who is responsible for international student recruiting, immigration compliance, international student support, and ESL; and the Director of Adult and Graduate Studies, who holds revenue budget responsibility for the adult degree completion and graduate programs.
Oversee and directthe activity of the Associate Director of Admission, admission counselors, and admission operations staff members, including collaboration with Athletics, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Finance/Business Office.
Prioritize the activities of leadership team members to ensure that they meet departmental goals and work collaboratively with other departments to help the University meet its revenue goals and re-direct priorities when necessary.
Conduct annual performance reviews and salary planning in partnership with Human Resources.
Support the Grow Committee of the Board of Trustees in partnership with the Provost and President.
Create, modify, and update strategic plan initiatives to ensure that the University is making progress toward Grow initiatives.
Chair the University Retention Committee.
Develop enrollment, organizational, staffing, and technology strategies that will position Enrollment Management to respond to changing institutional and market opportunities.
Application and Nomination Process: Rockford University has retained Scott Healy & Associates to oversee and manage the entire search process. All applications must be sent to:
Applicants must apply electronically by a word document and include:
Cover letter outlining experiences and success in the areas indicated in The Position;
A complete and up-to-date Resume;
Names of five professional References with title, institutional affiliation, email address and direct phone numbers. (No references will be contacted without written permission from the candidate.)
Applications submitted by February 14, 2022, will receive priority consideration. An anticipated start date for the selected candidate is July 1, 2022. The search process will remain open until the position is filled.