Located in Birmingham, Alabama, Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) is a four-year, private institution that, in recent years, has been consistently identified as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country for its academic quality and value. BSC students enjoy a 12:1 student to faculty ratio and 100% of students complete a capstone project. BSC currently enrolls more than 1200 undergraduate students and is a sheltering institution for Phi Beta Kappa and recognized as one of the members of Colleges that Change Lives.
Reporting to the vice president for enrollment management, the director of admission will lead all aspects of recruitment, selection and enrollment of new undergraduate students. The director will be a strategic partner in the implementation of a comprehensive recruitment plan measured by data and best practices. Additionally, the director will provide day to day leadership to a team of nine admission professionals and create a student-centric culture that aligns with the institutional mission. As the leader of the office of admission, the director works collaboratively with senior enrollment leadership to organize and implement a highly efficient, team-based enrollment model that emphasizes an increase in academic profile, net tuition revenue and geographic diversity. The director will work to develop and sustain relationships with key constituents, such as the university campus community, high school counselors, alumni, community colleges, parents and prospective students. The director of admission will provide leadership in the creation and cultivation of new and existing markets (both traditional freshman and transfer), including prospecting, relationship-building with key constituencies and recruitment travel. The director will serve as a liaison for collaboration between the office of admission, faculty, and marketing and communications staff; and actively participate in national and state professional admission associations to stay informed of current admission trends and research.
A bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred) and substantial documented progressive professional experience in an admission office within higher education are required. In addition, sophisticated understanding and demonstrated experience with data reporting/analytical skills, and expert utilization of data and current industry technology in support of the division’s goals and responsibilities will be expected of the director.
The successful candidate will be expected to have broad undergraduate recruitment experience, appreciate and seek to expand diversity among staff and the student body, and be able to optimize technology to support a strategic recruitment model. The ability to manage, motivate, and evaluate staff, as well as collaborate with staff and faculty, is essential. In addition, the successful candidate will possess high professional standards; strong and effective written, oral and presentation skills; a demonstrated ability to develop strategy, design tactics, and implement recruitment and yield plans effectively; and the ability to understand, use, and train colleagues to leverage core technology such as the Slate CRM and other applications necessary for effectively recruiting a first-year and transfer class.
Likely Opportunities, Priorities, and Challenges of the Position
BSC is seeking a strong leader and manager who will lead, build and motivate the team of professionals in the Admission office. In addition, the director will be expected to retrieve data from BSC’s Colleague and Slate systems, and to understand how to analyze and report the data as well as train the staff members to also gather and utilize data to make decisions, such as scheduling of school visits and events. The stakeholders at BSC also indicated that the new director of admission will be expected to address the following opportunities, priorities and challenges:
- provide and encourage professional staff development;
- balance the big picture of BSC and why difficult institutional decisions have been and will continue to be made;
- prioritize the enrollment goals of the office vis-à-vis the institution’s budget;
- have the ability to break down a large goal into manageable steps for the team;
- learn the dynamic of BSC and its location in order to fully engage with the entire community;
- set clear recruitment and enrollment expectations of the team, and offer them the opportunity to own their goals and territory;
- be a creative thinker and one who is familiar with different management styles;
- take the time to get to know the team members and their own work styles in order to motivate them personally and professionally;
- participate in and encourage admission staff participation in state, regional and national professional committees and associations;
- endeavor to “know your audience and how to communicate to different audiences”;
- collaborate closely with faculty and staff colleagues throughout the institution by developing working relationships across campus;
- share policies and procedures with campus colleagues that have been developed with the best interest of the students and the institution;
- create positive messaging by demonstrating that the admission team is admitting and enrolling future alumni;
- collaborate with colleagues to establish clear lines of communication for new students, particularly those who enter BSC mid-year as transfers or first-term freshmen in the spring term;
- endeavor to break down siloes and to understand how all of the offices work together for a common goal – that of enrolling qualified students who will thrive at BSC and become future alumni who will have “lives of significance” and prosperity, as they will in turn support BSC;
- attempt to understand the history of BSC and then present a vision for cohort excellence to move the institution forward; and
- have a voracious appetite for change and an eagerness to work in tandem with the vice president for enrollment management to engage with the internal and external BSC communities to implement change in order to achieve BSC’s strong commitment to changing the lives of its students.
History of the Position
The position has been vacant since June, 2019 when the former director left to assume a position in graduate admission at another institution.
Birmingham-Southern College traces its roots back to 1856, the year the Alabama Legislature chartered Southern University as a Methodist institution; the following year, the school’s cornerstone was laid in Greensboro, Ala.
About 100 miles away, the North Alabama Conference College opened on a hilltop west of the young city of Birmingham; in 1906, the school changed its name to Birmingham College. The school began to flourish—the first of six BSC Rhodes Scholars was named in 1910—but the United States’ entry into World War I depleted the student body.
On May 30, 1918, Southern University merged with Birmingham College on that hilltop location and in
1921, U.S. President Warren Harding inaugurated Guy Snavely as the newest president of Birmingham-Southern College. Snavely set about—and succeeded—building the finest undergraduate institution in the state. In 1931, for the college’s 75th anniversary celebrations, and in 1927, the college received the state’s second Phi Beta Kappa chapter, which it still holds.
But once again, war changed the face of the college. By the end of 1941, the campus had lost most of its male students and faculty. In future years, BSC would not be sheltered from conflict, both local and national. In 1965, the college enrolled its first black students; some BSC students had previously joined their African-American peers from other institutions to fight for civil rights. College leaders contemplated moving the college out of Birmingham in the 1970s, but then-Pres. Dr. Neal Berte held fast to the vision of the college on the city’s western border—and helped build the institution to a nationally-ranked liberal arts college with an innovative curriculum and a commitment to student success.
BSC has been consistently identified as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country for its academic quality and value. BSC students enjoy a 12:1 student to faculty ratio and 100% of students complete a capstone project. BSC currently enrolls more than 1200 undergraduate students and is a sheltering institution for Phi Beta Kappa. It is also a member of the Colleges that Change Lives (CTCL) organization.
Daniel Coleman, President
Daniel Coleman, a Birmingham resident with more than three decades of experience in finance and strong ties to BSC, took office as Birmingham-Southern College’s 16th president on Dec. 3, 2018.
Coleman, who was CEO of the global financial services firm KCG Holdings until its 2017 sale, was previously a member of the college’s Board of Trustees and is an adjunct professor of finance. He and his wife, Brooke, returned to their hometown with their three children in 2009 after more than a decade in the New York area. Coleman served on Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin’s transition team and remains the co-chair of the mayor’s financial advisory team, working to improve the city’s management of its finances. He has also served on the boards of the Alabama Symphony Endowment and of Build Up, an innovative early-college workforce development program centered in the Ensley neighborhood.
Coleman played a leading role in the evolution of automated trading in global financial markets. Until its 2017 sale to Virtu Financial, New York-based KCG was a leader in the securities and financial services industry. Before KCG, Coleman was CEO of GETCO, a privately-held automated trading firm based in Chicago. Prior to that, he worked for 24 years for UBS and its predecessor firms, ending up as global head of equities for UBS Investment Bank.
Coleman entered the world of finance as an option clerk after earning a BA in English at Yale. He earned his MBA at the University of Chicago while trading convertible bonds. After moving to New York in 1996, he moved into management positions for a predecessor of UBS. He rose to head of global equities there; from 2005 through 2010, he oversaw a business that remained profitable through the recession, included the world’s leading cash equities execution business and equity research department, and handled global equity derivatives, global prime brokerage, and more.
Coleman and his family returned to Birmingham in 2009 and joined the BSC Business Administration Department as an adjunct professor, teaching three courses in finance. He has also taken courses at BSC in the computer programming language Python and in calculus, working alongside some of his own students.
Trent Gilbert, Vice President for Enrollment Management
Gilbert joined Birmingham-South College on June 1, 2019, after spending 18 years working in the higher education enrollment field, including at Elon University in North Carolina, Richmont Graduate University in Atlanta and Monmouth College in Illinois. He served as chief experience officer at TargetX, a higher education consulting firm specializing in technology and the campus visit experience. He provided consulting services to more than 200 clients. Gilbert was cofounder of Render Experiences—recently acquired by RNL—a higher education consulting firm that offers campus visit consulting services to higher education clients across the country.
“Trent has run admissions and enrollment at a small liberal arts college, and as a consultant, has advised numerous schools in enrollment management,” said BSC President Daniel B. Coleman. “Complementing those experiences, his energy and focus will help our college build on the recent momentum we’ve experienced with this year’s applicant pool. We’re delighted to have Trent, his wife, and their two sons join the Birmingham-Southern community.”
A native of Florida and a 2002 graduate of Elon University, Gilbert earned a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in business administration and public administration. He began his career as associate director of admissions at Elon. In 2017, he earned his master’s in higher education administration from Georgia Southern University.
- Health Insurance
- Dental Insurance
- Vision Insurance
- Retirement Plans
- Group Life Insurance
- Flexible Benefits Plan
- Long Term Disability
- Employee Assistance Program
Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. The expected start date is early summer, 2020. 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 email@example.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.
Visit the Birmingham-Southern College website at www.bsc.edu
Birmingham-Southern College is an equal opportunity employer and, as such, does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, religion, age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions), handicap, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic prohibited by law in any of its employment practices, including hiring, firing, discipline, promotion and other terms and conditions of employment.