The Opportunity

Reporting to the associate vice president for enrollment management, the director of admissions (DOA) supervises the Office of Admissions, provides strategic leadership; plans, coordinates, communicates, and evaluates all aspects of on- and off-campus recruitment, including outreach to high schools and community colleges; oversees marketing and strategic communications to position CSU, Chico as a top-choice university; and ensures effective admission application processing to contribute to the recruitment and enrollment of academically qualified and culturally, ethnically, economically, geographically, and socially diverse students.

The Position

Role of the Director of Admissions for California State University, Chico

The DOA is expected to  develop, manage, and implement a strategic plan for the annual recruitment of undergraduate students to meet University enrollment goals, including print and electronic communications, prospect development, web, E-communications, and customer relations management programs, promotional, travel, and event strategies, including campus tours, large-scale campus visitation programs, and other outreach activities. The director is responsible for hiring, training and professional development of approximately 23 staff members (0f various classifications) in accordance with bargaining contracts and will oversee the work of 25-35 student staff, while also directly supervising the work of associate directors, an office coordinator, and other positions as organizational changes may require.

History of the Position

The position has been vacant since November, 2020 when the previous director departed for a position at another CSU institution. Jerry Ross, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, has been overseeing the office since November and has been assessing staffing needs of the office while also managing the day to day operations.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

  • Working in collaboration with the AVP, the director will be expected to develop a clear admissions and recruitment operational plan which will be designed to stabilize and enhance enrollment.
  • CSU, Chico is described as a warm, friendly environment with a culture of collaboration; marketing the academic programs of the institution along with its warm and inviting culture will be of utmost importance.
  • The director will want to foster team building and integration, recognize contributions, support growth and innovation, minimize staff turnover, and sustain forward momentum.
  • Faculty would like to be more involved in the recruitment process and to connect with students earlier; it is expected that the new director will collaborate with faculty to ensure that these connections are made and sustained.
  • With the ever-changing national demographic of potential students, the director must be knowledgeable about the region, nimble at assessing demographic trends and adept at transitioning as enrollment trends change.
  • The associate director of admissions is currently an open position; it is expected that the new director will endeavor to fill it soon after arrival.
  • Facility with the institution’s Target X CRM as well as the CSU system-wide PeopleSoft system will be a plus in immediately acclimating to the position.
  • The relationship with the town of Chico is vital and will require charisma from the director. CSU, Chico is primarily a residential campus and Chico is a college town, not a town with a college, so ensuring that the town/gown relationship remains strong through recruitment and prospective student events will be important.
  • Creating efficiencies in processing, admission procedures and communication through open conversations with institutional colleagues will go far in ensuring that students are kept informed of their status in the process and, therefore, likely to enroll and be retained.
  • As with all senior leadership at CSU, Chico, the new director will be expected to exhibit the six roles of a leader, as defined in the CSU, Chico Leadership Model, including:
  • Structuring work
  • Managing talent
  • Inspiring performance
  • Building teams
  • Using and sharing information
  • Facilitating change

Measures of Success

At an appropriate interval after joining CSU, Chico, the following will initially define success for the director of admissions:

  • the director is a visible and engaged leader throughout campus and is collaborating with all constituents on admission initiatives;
  • the director has developed an across the board and clear understanding of the institution’s enrollment strategy so that all internal stakeholders can articulate and support it;
  • the director has successfully managed expectations and adeptly managed to prioritize requests from across campus;
  • in collaboration with the associate vice president for enrollment management, the director has developed and initiated plans for leading the admissions team in the next phase of its development by providing an inspirational, strategic, and statistically supported vision for short- and long-term enrollment goals; and
  • the director has remained current in the oversight and interpretation of all rules and regulations pertaining to budget, compliance, and other related institutional best business practices.

Qualifications and Characteristics

A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in the management of an admission office or equivalent setting and five years of progressively responsible supervisory and/or managerial experience OR a master’s degree and a minimum of three years of experience are required.

Additionally, the DOA is expected to demonstrate effective leadership and motivational skills, independent judgment and critical decision-making skills, display excellent verbal, written, and public speaking skills, as well as excellent data analysis skills and strong interpersonal, planning, and organizational skills. Advanced analytical, problem solving, and critical thinking skills within a complex work environment, and a strong commitment to equal opportunity are expected of the director. Thorough knowledge of procedures and practices to develop and implement recruitment plans, statistical analysis, current research, marketing, and recruitment trends, organizational development and administrative, personnel, and fiscal management, and demonstrated knowledge of information and communication technologies in admission management will be required of the director.

In order to be successful in the role, stakeholders at CSU, Chico indicated that it will be helpful for the new director to possess the following personal characteristics:

  • be student focused;
  • be a highly collaborative leader who invites a broad spectrum of stakeholders to share their energy, ideas, and investment in the overall admissions process, student success, and the success of the institution as a whole.;
  • have an understanding of the importance of transfer students, particularly as the population of students from community colleges is decreasing;
  • understand that while this is a “working director” position, one cannot be too much in the weeds in order to assess from a macro-level while implementing change at a micro level when necessary;
  • having a global mindset will be important, as CSU, Chico is looking to grow its enrollment of international students;
  • display a willingness to step into marketing the institution in new markets, particularly out of state markets where the demographics indicate populations of college-aged individuals;
  • an understanding of the important role of the financial aid and scholarships team at CSU, Chico will be very helpful;
  • as CSU, Chico is a designated Hispanic-serving Institution, culturally responsive events and recruiting will be expected of the director and entire team;
  • have an understanding of trends and best practices in the current enrollment landscape will be very helpful;
  • have a facility with technology and data analysis, reporting and presentation;
  • be creative in motivating the team;
  • have an understanding of both rural and urban environments along with a willingness to try new recruiting methods in both;
  • understand the importance of the town/gown relationship with the city of Chico;
  • be personable, gracious and one who believes in open communication lines;
  • be a strategic thinker and leader wo will work with the AVP for Enrollment Management to shape the enrollment plan;
  • be a transparent leader who will welcome open lines of communication with the team;
  • believe in work/life balance and serve as an advocate for the Admissions team; provide staff with professional development opportunities and not be a stern task master;
  • encourage mutual trust within the admissions team;
  • have an understanding of rural communities, particularly native students and the barriers they face;
  • be willing to share information with EOP and to collaborate with all departments;
  • have a savviness about campus politics;
  • be level-headed, with an ability to roll with unanticipated situations; and
  • have the ability to assess the strengths of the camps and market those successfully.

Overview of Enrollment Management Services

Mission Statement

Enrollment Management Services (EMS) at California State University, Chico coordinates the recruitment, enrollment, retention, and graduation of a diverse, high-quality student population, necessary for the University to meet its goals. EMS units enable the University to make decisions and facilitate accountability through the provision of records and data management services.

EMS values are centered on outstanding service to students and the campus community. We are accountable for what we do and responsive to change. We are educational leaders for innovative enrollment management which is inclusive and respects and honors diversity of experience and thought.

The CSU, Chico Strategic Enrollment Management framework focuses on six dimensions:

  • university identity and image
  • recruitment and admission
  • student support systems
  • student success
  • enrollment programs and services
  • an integrated infrastructure for campus wide enrollment management

For detailed information please visit

The following offices comprise the Enrollment Services division:

  • Academic Advising
  • Financial Aid and Scholarship Office
  • Office of Admissions
  • Office of the Registrar


Jerry Ross AVP of Enrollment Management and Interim Director of Admissions

Jerry Ross, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management at Chico State University, began his role on April 27, 2020. He comes to Chico State from the University of Florida where he was COO for UF Online and managed marketing, curriculum, data analysis, and strategic planning. He previously served as University Registrar at Purdue University as well as Syracuse University. Jerry also worked at the West Virginia University and the University of Southern Mississippi. He holds a BA, MA, and Ed.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi. He has been a frequent presenter at national conferences as well as publishes on topics including enrollment management, leadership, technology, FERPA, and partnering with faculty.

Institution & Location

Institutional Overview

The Mechoopda Maidu Indians were the original inhabitants of the area issued as the Rancho Arroyo Chico land grant to William Dickey in 1845. General John Bidwell, pioneer, statesman, and founder of Chico, subsequently bought the grant. In 1887, Bidwell donated eight acres of cherry orchard, and construction began on Chico State Normal School. We acknowledge and are mindful that CSU, Chico stands on lands that were originally occupied by the first people of this area, and we recognize the Mechoopda and their distinctive spiritual relationship with this land and the waters that run through campus. We are humbled that our campus resides upon sacred lands that once sustained the Mechoopda people for centuries.

The campus opened in 1889 with 90 students and five faculty members. The first class of teachers graduated in June 1891. Chico State Normal School became Chico State Teachers College in 1921. The legislature converted its teachers colleges to state colleges in 1935, and Chico State Teachers College became Chico State College. In 1972, the college became California State University, Chico.

Art Galleries and Museums: The Turner Print Museum features a collection of over 3,000 fine art prints spanning six centuries, while the Jacki Headley University Art Gallery presents contemporary exhibitions featuring regional, national, and international artists. Student-centered galleries include the B-SO Space and the Master of Fine Arts Galleries. The Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology offers student-curated exhibits, lecture series, and summer camps, and the Gateway Science Museum creates educational programs to teach school children about the world around them.

Athletics: There are 13 Division II men’s and women’s athletic teams, with an all-weather track, putting green, jogging trails, two gyms, a soccer stadium, softball fields, Nettleton Stadium (for baseball), tennis courts, basketball courts, weight room, and other facilities.

Housing: The University provides 2,260 living spaces in six on-campus residence halls and one off-campus apartment complex (University Village).

Laboratories: Agriculture, Anthropology, Archeology, Art, Biology, Bio-Psychology, Chemistry, Child Development, Computer Science, Consumer Science, Counseling Psychology, Dietetics/Food Nutrition, Engineering, Exercise Physiology, Foreign Language, Kinesiology, Geosciences, Manufacturing, Physics, Physical Anthropology, Psychology, and Agriculture and Biology greenhouses are among the many labs on campus. In addition there are many student computing facilities (three university open-access labs, including a 24-hour lab; 40+ department labs; and seven residence hall labs).

Meriam Library: The University’s library is a four-story building housing close to a million print volumes with complete Wi-Fi coverage on all floors. It also contains computer labs, private study rooms, and high-tech collaborative learning spaces. Through the Library ReSEARCH Station, users can access more than 100 electronic databases leading to full-text articles in over 41,000 journals and get help with their research online using Ask A Librarian. Special Collections houses the northeastern California collection of books, photographs, and manuscripts as well as the University Archives and the Rare Book Collection.

Performing Arts and Public Events: The University has three theatres, one auditorium, two gyms, and three athletic stadiums, attracting more than 150,000 people from the region to attend activities on campus each year. The School of the Arts presents an active calendar of student performances and art events of all kinds, including the North State Symphony; the annual spring musical; and galleries showcasing work of students, faculty, and invited artists. The Humanities Center hosts an eclectic calendar of speakers and faculty symposia. Chico Performances presents a variety of professional touring artists in music, dance, and theatre. It also hosts the President’s Lecture Series, which has included Mikhail Gorbachev, Desmond Tutu, Jane Goodall, and Shimon Peres.

Preserves: Chico State Enterprises manages several land preserves for the primary purposes of protection, enhancement, research, and education. These include the 3,950-acre Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve, the 300-acre Butte Creek Ecological Preserve, and the 80-acre Eagle Lake Field Station.

University Farm: The 800-acre Paul L. Byrne University Farm offers lab experience in beef, swine, sheep, goat, and organic dairy production; meat lab; ag mechanics; orchard management, crops, soils, and sustainable agriculture.

About Chico, CA

The University’s campus is located right next to charming downtown Chico with dining, retail, and farmers markets that create a welcoming atmosphere. Just a few hours from the San Francisco Bay Area, Chico offers a thriving arts, music, and events scene in a community with one of the lowest costs of living in the state. Named one of the greenest schools in the nation in The Princeton Review’s “Guide to Green Colleges,” most Wildcats live, learn, and work within walking or biking distance of campus. Home to Bidwell Park’s 3,670-acres of hiking, biking, and walking trails, Chico offers endless outdoor recreation opportunities as well.


Chico State is the comprehensive university of the North State with a global reach.

Through excellence of inquiry, innovation, and experiential learning, we develop students who are critical thinkers, responsible citizens, diverse leaders, and inspired stewards of environmental, social, and economic resources.


Chico State will be known as a preeminent university solving the unprecedented challenges of the 21st century.

Strategic Plan

Enduring commitments power the mission of the University, and they fuel students’ drive for success. The new strategic priorities are grounded in our four enduring commitments. And, these strategic priorities will provide the University with focus as we aspire to achieve our new vision statement. To be sure that our campus focus remains acute, to keep us from distraction, three strategic priorities will direct us going forward.

All of Chico State’s priorities are predicated on the primacy of student success enabled by excellence of faculty and staff as well as communication, technology, and philanthropy.

Our Strategic Priorities are:

  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Civic & Global Engagement
  • Resilient & Sustainable Systems

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Cultivate and nurture a welcoming and inclusive campus where students, faculty, and staff have an equitable opportunity to thrive.

  • recognize that historically underserved students have not had equal access or opportunity for educational success
  • maximize the recruitment, retention, support, and graduation of diverse students
  • eliminate achievement gaps by providing excellence in education and support to all students
  • promote hiring and retention that contributes to a diverse and inclusive community that reflects student demographics
  • develop and enhance policies, programs, and activities that support an inclusive, accessible, and equitable learning and working environment
  • honor the distinct values, beliefs, identities, and cultures of our students, faculty, staff, and community
  • address real-world issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion through interdisciplinary and international experiences
  • cultivate an environment that embraces diversity of thought, freedom of expression, and respect for others

Civic & Global Engagement

Build stronger and more vibrant communities by connecting the University and community in mutually beneficial ways to effect meaningful change in the world around us.

  • emphasize University-community partnerships that are collaborative, participatory, empowering, systemic, and transformative
  • engage students, faculty, staff, and community members through experiential learning and internship opportunities with the communities of the North State and beyond
  • create an environment committed to the active pursuit of global engagement, service, social justice, and connectedness
  • instill a culture of philanthropy and social engagement
  • broaden opportunities for civic and global engagement in our academic programs

Resilient & Sustainable Systems

Advance environmental, social, and economic sustainability; striving toward a just and resilient future.

  • work to be climate neutral by 2030
  • cultivate knowledge, research, and practice to increase awareness that our individual and collective actions have impact regionally, nationally, and globally
  • be wise stewards of resources and embrace sustainability and resilience as a way of living
  • integrate sustainability and resilience into curriculum, research, and campus operations to better serve students and meet the needs of society
  • recover and adapt to significant difficulties or challenges and recognize our responsibility to forge resiliency in the communities we serve

For a detailed look at the strategic plan, visit


Gayle Hutchinson, President

Gayle Hutchinson is the 12th president of CSU, Chico (Chico State) and the first female to hold the position in the university’s 133-year history.

Dr. Hutchinson began her career in higher education at CSU, Chico, joining the faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology in 1990. She taught in the classroom for 17 years earning tenure, promotion, and the rank of full professor. She chaired the department from 2002-2007. She also served as principal investigator and co-director of the Northern California Physical Education-Health Subject Matter Project (1995–2002).

Dr. Hutchinson’s scholarship and grant writing focused on teacher socialization, social psychology of sport, comprehensive school-based wellness programs, and equity in sport and physical education. As a faculty member, she was highly engaged in the Academic Senate and CSU Statewide Senate. She also co-chaired the Chico State Diversity Scorecard Committee that was responsible for drafting the University’s Diversity Action Plan in 2010.

After participating in the prestigious American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows program (2005-2006), Hutchinson applied for and earned the position of Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (2007-2013) at Chico State.

Prior to her presidency, Hutchinson served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at California State University, Channel Islands (CI) (2013–2016), the newest campus in the CSU system. Hutchinson was instrumental in helping to develop CI as one of the fastest growing and more innovative campuses in the CSU.

In the years since taking office as President of Chico State, Hutchinson has conducted a campus-wide listening tour, conducted two campus climate surveys, successfully completed an institutional WASC re-accreditation, developed a new university strategic plan, and developed a new campus master plan. She also led the University’s response and recovery efforts to the devastating Camp Fire of 2018 and the COVID-19 pandemic.

She holds a bachelor’s of science degree in physical education teacher education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; a master’s degree in teaching analysis and curriculum development from Teachers College, Columbia University; and an Ed.D in teacher education and staff development from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The scaffold that supports her leadership style is collaboration, shared governance, diversity, innovation, institutional accountability, transparency, trust, and respect.

Academic Programs and Faculty

Academic Programs

CSU, Chico has 7 colleges, 5 schools, and 22 centers and institutes:

College of Agriculture

College of Natural Sciences

  • School of Nursing

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

  • School of Social Work

College of Business

College of Communication and Education

  • School of Communication
  • School of Education

College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management

College of Humanities and Fine Arts

  • School of the Arts

Fall 2020

  • Bachelor of Arts Programs: 37
  • Bachelor of Science Programs: 34
  • BA and BS Options (within the Major): 75
  • Master of Arts Programs: 16
  • Master of Science Programs: 12
  • MA and MS Options (within the Major): 22
  • Minors: 111
  • Certificate Programs: 30
  • Professional Education Credential Programs: 12
  • Other Programs Offered:
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Fine Arts
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Social Work
  • Master of Teaching
  • Pre-Professional Programs in dental hygiene, dentistry, forensic science, forestry, law, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, theology, and veterinary medicine

The Honors Program offers special opportunities for motivated undergraduate students with high grade point averages. These opportunities range from specially designed courses in general education (Honors in General Education Program) and in selected majors (Honors in the Major Program) to many honors societies that students can join.

CSU, Chico is accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as a number of professional associations covering all seven colleges.

Centers and Institutes

  • Agribusiness Institute
  • Big Chico Creek Reserve
  • California Mechatronics Center
  • California Pavement Preservation Center
  • Center for Bilingual/Multicultural Studies
  • Center for Economic Development
  • Center for Enterprise Systems and Informatics Research (CESR)
  • Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Center for Excellence in Finance
  • Center for Healthy Communities (CHC)
  • Center for Mathematics and Science Education (CMSE)
  • Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems (CRARS)
  • Center for Water and the Environment (CWE)
  • Chico State Herbarium
  • Education for the Future
  • Gateway Science Museum Geographical Information Center
  • Janet Turner Print Museum
  • Northeast Information Center (NEIC)
  • Passages Adult Resource Center
  • Rural Northern California Clinical Simulation Center (Sim Center)
  • Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology

The Student Body, Fall 2020

Full-Time Equivalent students 15,608

Total Number of Students 16,630

  • Freshmen: 3,044 (18.3%)
  • Sophomores: 2,420 (14.6%)
  • Juniors: 4,443 (26.7%)
  • Seniors: 5,769 (34.7%)
  • Post baccalaureate Students: 954 (5.7%)


  • CSU, Chico Average (undergraduate and graduate): 22
  • Undergraduate Average: 22


  • American Indian/Alaskan Native: 0.5%
  • Asian: 5.5%
  • Black/African American: 2.8%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 35.6%
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.2%
  • White: 43.6%
  • Two or More Races/Ethnicities: 5.4%
  • Declined to State: 4.3%
  • Nonresident Alien: 2%


  • Female: 55%
  • Male: 44.9%
  • Nonbinary: 0.1%

Our students come from 39 nations, 28 states, and 1 U.S. territory.

97.8% of the total student population comes from California: 27.3% from CSU, Chico’s service area; 11% from the Sacramento Area; 21.4% from the San Francisco Bay Area; 22.5% from the Los Angeles area; and 16.6% from the rest of California. The remaining 2.2% are out-of-state or international students.

All students are members of the Associated Students of CSU, Chico, a multimillion-dollar corporation managed by students. The AS is responsible for the student government, the Chico State Wildcat Store, the Wildcat Recreation Center, Adventure Outings, the student union (Bell Memorial Union), and many other programs for students, including Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE), Child Development Lab (campus daycare), Community Legal Information Clinic (CLIC), Gender & Sexuality Equity Coalition (GSEC), and the Sustainability program.

Some student publications include The Orion student newspaper, The Chico Historian academic journal, and Watershed Review literary magazine.

Freshman Profile

Average High School GPA: 3.47 (admits) / 3.36 (enrolled)

Benefits Overview

CSU Chico’s goal is to provide employees with a robust selection of benefits to meet personal needs in dealing with work/life issues. These include

  • Medical Plans
  • Dental Plans
  • Vision Plains and Hearing Aid Discount program
  • Flex Cash
  • Retirement Plans
  • ScholarShare (College Savings Plan)
  • Life & Disability Insurance

For a detailed look at benefits, visit

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Kendra E. Dane at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

We are sensitive to how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting work and personal lives, and will offer the utmost flexibility throughout the interview process. The search committee expects to conduct initial interviews virtually for the safety and well-being of all involved.

Visit the CSU, Chico website at:

CSU, Chico is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against persons on the basis of race, religion, color, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, medical condition, National origin, sex, sexual orientation, covered veteran status, or any other protected status.