Iowa State University (ISU) is one of the most student-centered public research universities in the nation. It is a place where adventurous minds are encouraged to accomplish amazing things. As a major international top-ranked public university by U.S. News & World Report and a member of the Association of American Universities, Iowa State is a global and culturally diverse university committed to providing an inclusive, equitable, and diverse environment for both learning and employment. We know diversity in experience and perspective is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and building an inclusive academic community. At Iowa State, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituents. The university has an expectation that all employees will demonstrate a contribution to diversity and inclusion as embodied in Iowa State University’s Principles of Community.

At Iowa State, more than 36,000 students choose from 100 majors, study with world-class scholars, and hone their leadership skills in more than 850 student organizations. Students from all 50 states and more than 125 countries converge on one of the nation’s top 25 most beautiful campuses. Big 12 sports and a tradition of cultural and popular performances make campus life fun and memorable. Iowa State, a land-grant university, has set enrollment records for most of the last decade and is the largest university in the state of Iowa. Iowa State is located in Ames, a community of 66,000 ranked as the second-best college town (population under 250,000) and among the top 10 best places to live in America. Reporting through the Office of the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs, the Office of Admissions fulfills Iowa State’s land grant mission by attracting, recruiting, orienting, and enrolling a diverse group of new undergraduate students to meet the university’s enrollment targets. The Office of Admissions at Iowa State University works to be a leader in innovation and customer service while maintaining healthy new student enrollment. We seek to be an employment destination in the fields of admissions and orientation. On campus, we support our campus partners and strive to be a data powerhouse.

The Position

Responsibilities of the Position

Reporting directly to the Director of Admissions and as part of the Admissions Leadership Team, the Senior Associate Director for Recruitment leads all undergraduate recruitment efforts for domestic and international freshmen and transfer students. The broad portfolio of the position and supportive nature of the campus will provide an experienced admissions leader the opportunity to grow while maintaining many years of healthy new student enrollment and ensuring customer service is provided at the highest level through positive, sincere interactions and student-friendly processes and procedures. Efforts led by this position include international and domestic recruitment, strategic scholarship review and awards, telecounseling, alumni recruitment support, and early outreach including programming and summer camps for youth, middle schoolers, underserved students, and talented and gifted populations. The senior associate director is supported by an innovative, experienced Admissions Leadership Team and talented, collaborative campus partners. The ideal candidate will have broad recruitment experience, appreciate and seek to expand diversity among staff and the student body, and be able to optimize technology to support a strategic, outcomes-focused territory management model.

The senior associate director will implement, direct, manage, supervise, and evaluate undergraduate recruitment efforts and strategies; direct the admission of U.S. freshman and transfer applicants, i.e., make admissions decisions and counsel denied applicants; manage vendor outreach and relationships for products and services related to recruitment; exercise judgment when setting and applying policies; represent the university and office of admissions to public figures and leaders in government and education; facilitate outreach efforts for internal and external partners; serve as a liaison for collaboration between the three Regent universities, Extension, Alumni Association, academic partners, and auxiliary services on campus; act as a spokesperson on University undergraduate admissions policies; actively participate in national and state listservs such as National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) and Iowa Association for College Admission Counseling (IA ACAC), among others; monitor posts, stay informed of trends, and research and respond to inquiries on behalf of Iowa State; provide oversight to the associate director for transfer relations and recruitment, two assistant directors and the coordinators of international recruitment and regional recruitment; assist in the development, creation, and production of admissions publications; participate in the full complement of Admissions duties; and have direct supervision of five professional staff (including one regionally-based) and one support staff as well as indirect supervision of 16 professional staff (including three regionally-based), four graduate assistants, over 25 undergraduate student staff, and 75 Alumni Admissions Council volunteers.

Qualifications and Characteristics of the Successful Candidate

Required Education and Experience

A bachelor’s degree and 8 years of related experience; OR a master’s degree and 6 years of related experience; OR a Ph.D. or other professional degree and 3 years of related experience.

Preferred Education and Experience

Master’s degree.

Experience in admissions recruitment, processes, and procedures.
Administrative level use of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM), student information systems, or other sales/territory management software.
Experience with recruitment marketing and data-driven analysis.
Experience working with diverse student populations and learning environments.
Experience or education which demonstrates fluency in a second language.
Experience working in a university or college setting of similar size and/or complexity.
Experience in planning and conducting recruitment events.
Experience working with international students in a higher education setting.
Experience working with transfer students and articulation.
Experience supervising various employee types.

The successful candidate will possess strong and effective written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate and provide complex information to an audience unfamiliar with admissions policies and procedures; the ability to think strategically and analytically in order to formulate, implement, and evaluate innovative approaches, creative solutions, and new systems and procedures to meet organizational objectives; the ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a rapidly changing team-based environment; the ability to manage/coordinate personnel, including mediating among several staff sub-groups to create one focused team effort; demonstrated initiative; proven leadership ability, goal setting and project management skills; knowledge of recruitment marketing and the ability to interpret marketing data; and the ability to promote excellent interpersonal relationships and collaboratively work with diverse groups of students, staff, faculty, administrators, and community leaders to achieve enrollment goals. The ability to manage, motivate, and evaluate staff, as well as collaborate with staff, are essential. Excellent organization, decision-making, problem solving, counseling, time management, along with a strong commitment to public service will be essential for success in this position in order to efficiently and effectively manage a broad array of work assignments. All staff members are expected to interact collegially, and maintain the highest standards of integrity and ethics. This incumbent must be willing to travel extensively both domestically and, on occasion, internationally, and have the ability to work early mornings, late evenings, weekend hours and extended hours as necessary throughout the year.

In addition to the stated educational and experiential qualifications for the positon, stakeholders at ISU indicated that the personal characteristics listed below would be important considerations in the selection of the best candidate for the position of senior associate director for recruitment.

  • Honesty, transparency and integrity
  • Passion, creativity and competitiveness
  • Willingness to learn from a talented team of colleagues
  • Emotional intelligence; ability to read and understand people
  • Team player/team builder
  • Cultural competency to manage three generations of employees within the recruitment area
  • Sense of humor
  • Relational; with a desire to continue to expand on the positive relationships across campus offices
  • Flexible; seeks to understand individual differences
  • Proactive
  • Strong supervisory skills
  • Ability to read and understand people
  • Excellent listener/empathic
  • Diplomatic; has the ability to listen and learn from others
  • Excited about ISU and the opportunities inherent at the university
  • Innovative, particularly with technology, while also being realistic about systems implementations and timelines
  • Critical thinker; one who sees the big picture and is decisive
  • Ability to manage both up with senior leadership and down throughout the recruitment team
  • Relationship builder – internally and externally
  • Mentor with previous direct recruiting experience in a territory management scenario
  • Advocate for staff professional development
  • Strong external professional organization ties and desire/ability to represent ISU at state, regional and national professional organizations
  • Willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done
  • Student-centric
  • Organized and efficient; able to manage multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Strategic thinker and leader
  • Charismatic; strong communication and public speaking skills
  • Self-confident without being arrogant.

Likely Opportunities, Priorities, and Challenges of the Position

This position has a very large scope of responsibility, and has been described as being similar to a director-level position at smaller institutions. The position will supervise 5 professional staff, and 1 support staff and have indirect supervision of 16 professional staff, 4 graduate students, over 25 undergraduate student staff and 75 Alumni Association Council volunteers, so it is, indeed, a very large portfolio and a very important position. The position includes a local recruitment territory and, occasionally international travel will also be expected of the senior associate director for recruitment.

Iowa State University has a very strong academic reputation; Ames is known to be a top city in which to live and the Admissions staff is innovative, engaging, and invested in the process of finding the best candidate for this position. The recruitment team has a voice, longevity, and is tremendously loyal to ISU, so the new senior associate director will be embraced by a knowledgeable team of individuals who know their jobs, work hard, and enjoy being part of a very productive and important team.

The senior associate director will be surrounded by a very knowledgeable team with a very strong work ethic who are looking for a leader who is a good supervisor, knows the higher education enrollment landscape and best practices, and who has the desire to continue the upward trajectory of Iowa State University’s recruitment efforts both domestically and internationally.

History of the Position

The position was vacated recently by an individual who left for another institution. He had held the position for approximately 18 months.

Organizational Structure of the Division

The Senior Associate Director for Admissions reports directly to the Director of Admissions, who in turn, reports to the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success. The Associate Vice President reports to the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs.

Institution & Location

Institutional Background

Iowa State University, located in Ames, Iowa, is one of the nation’s leading land-grant universities. Chartered in 1858 as the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm, it became the nation’s first land-grant institution when the Iowa General Assembly awarded it the state’s land-grant charter in 1864. The college opened in 1868–1869, and a class of 26 was graduated at the first commencement in 1872. Graduate study was offered almost as soon as classes began, and the first graduate degree was conferred in 1877. The college was renamed Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1898 and became Iowa State University of Science and Technology in 1959. Today, Iowa State University is a comprehensive research university of international stature with over 36,000 students from all 99 counties in Iowa, 50 states, and 100 other nations.

Iowa State has led the development of several fields of study that are central to the land-grant movement, including engineering, agriculture, human sciences, and veterinary medicine. Extension, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2003, traces its roots to Iowa and early outreach programs by Iowa State’s Adonijah Welch and Perry Holden. The legislation establishing the national Agricultural Experiment Station system was written by Iowa State faculty members Seaman Knapp and Charles Bessey in the 1880s.

George Washington Carver, one of the nation’s most distinguished educators and agricultural researchers, received bachelor’s (1894) and master’s (1896) degrees from Iowa State. The electronic digital computer, one of the most important technological innovations of the 20th century, was invented by John Vincent Atanasoff at Iowa State in the late 1930s. Carrie Chapman Catt, founder of the League of Women Voters and a key strategist behind the final ratification of the 19th Amendment, graduated as valedictorian of the Iowa State class of 1880.

Today, Iowa State is a recognized leader in many areas, including plant and animal genomics, materials sciences, analytical chemistry, biology, physics, behavioral studies, information assurance, virtual reality, engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, business, journalism, kinesiology, transportation and logistics, and education. Major research initiatives involve the bioeconomy, food safety and security, combinatorial chemistry, human/computer interaction, and animal health.

Iowa State is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), which consists of leading research universities in the United States and Canada. Iowa State aspires to be the best university in the nation in advancing the land-grant ideals and putting science and technology to work. The University’s mission is to create, share, and apply knowledge to make Iowa and the world a better place.

From a student perspective, Iowa State University is a place where adventurous minds are encouraged to accomplish amazing things. As a major international university ranked in the top 50 among public universities by U.S. News & World Report, Iowa State offers a student experience rich in social and academic diversity. One hundred majors, over 800 clubs, and approximately 12,000 students living in campus residential facilities enrich college life on a beautiful, park-like campus. A tradition of cultural and popular performances makes campus life fun and memorable. At Iowa State University, students can discover their passions and unlock their potential.

Iowa State fields 18 varsity teams in the Big 12 Conference, one of the nation’s premier athletics leagues. A strong fan base helps the Cyclones continually break attendance records and earn top honors in national online polls ranking the best “student spirit” (Hilton Coliseum) and “most dominant mascot on Earth” (Cy).

Ames and Central Iowa


Beneath the small-town charm of Ames, Iowa, beats the heart of a much larger city. A city that has become a player in developing the world’s bio-economic future. A city with top-quality education, from kindergarten to graduate school. A city that regularly draws performers like Kenny Chesney, Dave Matthews, Gabriel Iglesias, and Widespread Panic, along with international symphonies and Broadway musicals. A city with hundreds of acres of parks, numerous bike paths, and cultural festivals and celebrations. A city that’s been ranked the second-most-livable small city in the nation.

Iowa is a place where neighborhoods are friendly and commutes are short. A place where quality public education is not just a dream, but a reality. A place of vibrant cities with shopping and entertainment possibilities. A place of endless outdoor recreational opportunities.

You can learn more about Ames at

Des Moines

Located 35 miles south of Ames, Des Moines is the state capital and the largest city in Iowa, with over 600,000 residents. Often referred to as the “Hartford of the West,” Des Moines is a major insurance and financial center housing the home office of the Principal Financial Group and branches of EMC Insurance Group, Fidelity & Guaranty Life, Allied Insurance, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa, and American Republic Insurance Company.

Wells Fargo is the city’s largest employer, and the 18,000-seat Wells Fargo Arena is the Des Moines area’s primary venue for sporting events and concerts. It is the home of the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League, the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League, and the Iowa Barnstormers of the Indoor Football League. Des Moines is also home to the Iowa Cubs baseball team of the Pacific Coast League. The I-Cubs, Class AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, play their home games at Principal Park near the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers.

Dr. Wendy Wintersteen, President

Dr. Wendy Wintersteen was selected on October 23, 2017, to serve as Iowa State University’s 16th president. She assumed the office November 20 and is the first woman president in the university’s history.

From 2006-2017, Dr. Wintersteen served as dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station at Iowa State University. She was also the holder of the university’s first endowed deanship. During her tenure, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences was ranked in the top 10 in the world (Quacquarelli Symonds ratings); experienced record enrollment growth (third largest in the nation); established innovative teaching partnerships, including the Global Resource Systems interdisciplinary major; expanded student opportunities in entrepreneurship through the Agriculture Entrepreneurship Initiative; enhanced diversity and inclusion efforts; raised nearly $250 million in private support; and completed several major building projects.

Dr. Wintersteen’s career at Iowa State spans nearly 40 years, beginning as an extension specialist in integrated pest management. After completing her doctorate, she served as a professor of entomology with a brief stint in Washington D.C., and then assumed a number of administrative roles in extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Dr. Wintersteen represents Iowa State University on many state, national and international boards. She currently serves as president of the Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation, which has worked in support of greater funding for food, agricultural and natural resources research through a unified message to meet global challenges of a growing population, limited arable land, climate change and new pest and disease pressures. In 2013, she was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to the board of directors of the U.S.-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund. Her past service includes terms on the boards of the Farm Foundation and the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology. Wintersteen also serves as past chair of the Administrative Heads Section of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities’ Board on Agriculture Assembly. She was the 2016 recipient of the Carl F. Hertz Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award from the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.

Dr. Wintersteen earned a bachelor’s of science degree in crop production from Kansas State University and her Ph.D. in entomology from Iowa State University. In 2007 she was honored as a Kansas State University Alumni Fellow for professional accomplishments and distinguished service.

Dr. Martino Harmon, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs

Dr. Harmon joined Iowa State University in 2013 as the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs. Prior to joining ISU, he had been the Executive Director of Student Success and Retention at Cincinnati State Community College. Dr. Harmon holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration, a Master of Education in Human Resource Development/Technology Education and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing Management, all from the University of Toledo. He became the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs at Iowa State University in March, 2016.

Ms. Laura Doering, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services

Ms. Doering joined Iowa State University in 1996 as the Assistant Registrar. She became Associate Registrar in 1999, Senior Associate Registrar and Director of Transfer Relations in 2005, Registrar in 2012 and Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success in March, 2017. She holds a Master of Science degree in Education from Iowa State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Western Michigan University.

Ms. Katharine Johnson Suski, Director of Admissions

Ms. Johnson Suski joined Iowa State University as Director of Admissions in July, 2014. She came to ISU from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, where she had served as Director of Admissions. Ms. Johnson Suski holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio/Television from Southern Illinois University.

The Iowa State University Strategic Plan 2017–2022

The University’s new strategic plan has been in development since late 2015, and went into effect on July 1, 2016.

The approved strategic plan is available at


The Academic Program

Colleges, Majors, and Pre-Professional Programs

The University is organized into eight colleges:

  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Design
  • College of Engineering
  • Graduate College
  • College of Human Sciences
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • College of Veterinary Medicine

These colleges offer 100 bachelor’s degree programs, one professional degree (doctor of veterinary medicine), 112 master’s degree programs, and 83 Ph.D. programs.

Departments with the largest number of undergraduate majors:

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering
  • Kinesiology
  • Animal Science
  • Art and Design
  • Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management
  • Psychology
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
  • Architecture
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering
  • Finance
  • Accounting

The Student Body

The University’s official fall 2017 enrollment was 36,321, the second largest in school history. In the past decade, overall enrollment at Iowa State has grown by over 40 percent, and the current student body represents every Iowa county, every U.S. state, and 127 countries.

This fall, 19,843 Iowans are attending Iowa State. They equal nearly 55 percent of the student body. The vast majority (18,246) are undergraduates. International enrollment is 4,115, down just 16 students from 2016’s record 4,131.

Overall, nearly 95 percent of Iowa State graduates are either employed or pursuing further education within six months of graduation.

Iowa State’s freshman class of 5,944 students includes 3,174 Iowans, and has an average ACT score of over 25. More than a quarter of Iowa State’s incoming freshmen ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes, and their average high school GPA was 3.61.

Total U.S. multicultural and international enrollment at Iowa State is 8,789, or 24.2 percent of the student body – a new record exceeding last year’s number of 8,748. U.S. multicultural enrollment is a record 4,674, up 57 from last year’s total of 4,617. Undergraduate U.S. multicultural enrollment is also a record – 4,171, up 78 from last year’s total of 4,093.

Iowa State’s student numbers set records in the following categories this fall:

  • Professional (veterinary medicine) enrollment is at a record 596, up from last year’s 586 students. Veterinary medicine total enrollment is 765.
  • Nonresident enrollment is 12,363, a new record – up 854 over last year’s total of 11,509.
Fall enrollment by college:
Agriculture and Life Sciences5,333
Human Sciences4,640
Liberal Arts and Sciences8,284
Veterinary Medicine765
Interdepartmental units and graduate undeclared342

Peer Land-Grant Universities

This group of 10 land-grant universities was adopted as a peer comparison group for Iowa State University in 1986. Each is the public land-grant university in its state, and all are classified as “doctoral/research universities—extensive” in the 2000 Carnegie Classification of Higher Education.

  • University of Arizona
  • University of California
  • University of Illinois
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Minnesota
  • North Carolina State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Purdue University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Wisconsin

Benefits Overview

Iowa State University offers a comprehensive benefits package designed to meet the needs of faculty and staff. Benefits are competitive and are an important component of the total compensation package. Iowa State offers a robust choice of health and welfare plans, including medical, dental, vision, flexible spending, disability, and life insurance plans. Benefits include the following:

  • Medical insurance (PPO and HMO plans and prescription drug coverage)
  • Avesis vision plan insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Long-term disability insurance
  • Retirement plans
  • Will preparation services
  • Health care flexible spending account and dependent care assistance program
  • Sick leave
  • Vacation and holidays
  • Tuition and development grant program

For more detailed information about Iowa State benefits, including eligibility, please 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.

Visit the Iowa State University website at

Iowa State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, marital status, disability, or protected Veteran status and will not be discriminated against.