The Opportunity

Reporting to the president, the vice president for enrollment management (VPEM) provides vision and strategic leadership across a portfolio of functions, advising senior leadership on the best path forward in an ever-changing landscape. The VPEM is responsible for providing oversight and direction for undergraduate and graduate admissions, financial aid, and the student services center. The VPEM will lead the creation, articulation, and implementation of a new era in enrollment management strategy that produces even greater coordination and analytical rigor in each phase of the enrollment process. An innovative enrollment leader, the new vice president will grasp and leverage Wentworth’s distinctions to enhance the university’s ability to attract, recruit, select, and enroll a talented and diverse population of students. While developing a forward-thinking portfolio of functions, the VPEM will be a visible leader who will help the university build on past successes while forging an ambitious future.

The Position

Role of the Vice President for Enrollment Management

The vice president for enrollment management is expected to bring analysis, transparency, visibility, thought partnership, campus-wide collaboration, and energy to the undergraduate and graduate admissions and financial aid operation. Within the enrollment division, the vice president will provide leadership to approximately 45 staff members, engaging them in the shared goals of enrollment management and the university as a whole. Some of the roles and responsibilities of the VPEM will include the development of a detailed, comprehensive plan for enrollment management based on the recruitment and retention goals of the university for graduate, undergraduate, transfer, and international programs. In collaboration with the provost, the new VPEM will support the collection and analysis of retention data and metrics to inform and coordinate the development of intentional programmatic initiatives, interventions, and services that positively impact the recruitment and retention of students. The successful candidate will engage in strategic planning, data, and trend analysis and develop a workable plan, both short- and long-term based on this analysis, to admit and enroll students who will succeed and complete at Wentworth while increasing the diversity and selectivity of the student body and maintaining the discount rate, quantity, and quality of students necessary by program.

Additional roles and responsibilities of the vice president will include the following:

  • welcome families in their search to obtain the Wentworth education and encourage prospects and applicants to seek further knowledge of academic programs and outcomes experienced by alumni;
  • report to the president in a consistent, thoughtful and transparent manner the key metrics related to the enrollment funnel and strategic innovative initiatives to solve enrollment challenges and model best practices;
  • co-lead the Strategic Enrollment and Marketing Committee (with the director of marketing) in a campus-wide effort to integrate enrollment marketing strategies. Build upon successful marketing relationships to promote the institution to all the cultural populations of the university. Enhance the long-term plan for diversity and inclusion for minority populations and women;
  • build a strong, cohesive team effective in advancing enrollment within the organization. Promote challenge and opportunity within the enrollment management team and develop leaders to promote implementing change;
  • collaboratively develop, recommend and actively monitor divisional operating budgets to ensure operations are fiscally responsible; and
  • remain current, interpret, and comply with all federal, state, and university rules and regulations pertaining to compliance and other related best business practices.

History of the Position

Following a lengthy tenure at Wentworth, the previous vice president for enrollment management left the institution during the fall of 2019. An interim vice president has been contracted to work with Wentworth Institute of Technology through November of 2020 to review staffing, roles of staff members, as well as processes and polices while the search is being undertaken to find a permanent vice president.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

This is an exciting time to join Wentworth Institute of Technology and the successful candidate will be expected to navigate change adroitly. The interim vice president has been tasked with reorganizing the enrollment management division to enhance collaboration across the institution, address staff retention issues and begin to develop a strategic focus while addressing structural inefficiencies. It has been indicated that there will be institutional support for enhancing procedures and developing technology in order for the enrollment management staff members to become more efficient and to improve customer service to students.

The University seeks to bring a high level of university-wide collaboration, analysis, and strategic decision making to the enrollment management division. The VPEM will have the opportunity to make a significant impact and will be expected initially to assess the enrollment landscape and challenges for Wentworth Institute of Technology, and conduct an institution-wide and rigorous conversation about vision, goals, strategy, and enrollment communication.

As a leader, the VPEM will be a highly visible and collaborative partner to internal and external stakeholders of the university. The VPEM must build and maintain excellent relationships across the university to ensure that there is transparent communication about, and support for, a realistic and sustainable enrollment plan. The VPEM will be expected to embrace a team environment and to work with academic and administrative colleagues in a spirit of collegiality and transparency.

Opportunities and challenges for the vice president will include:

  • reviewing and enhancing efficiencies in processing and effective communication between the admissions and financial aid areas; the implementation of the Slate CRM last fall will offer a technological solution to communication gaps;
  • striving to greatly enhance collaboration with the academic divisions;
  • reviewing all current recruitment plans with an eye to expanding into different geographic regions;
  • carefully reviewing the recruitment strategy to increase enrollment of women and non-traditional students, with a focus on diversity;
  • reviewing and enhancing all services provided to students to achieve the desired level of superior customer service all students expect;
  • assisting the registrar and the provost in expanding the number of articulation agreements with community colleges in the Boston area and in New England for enhanced transfer recruitment;
  • creating a friendly and customer service-oriented team to serve the students from prospect to graduation through connections with program deans and chairs, student services, athletic coaches, financial aid counselors, and student financial service professionals;
  • assessing enrollment efficiencies and overseeing admission decisions that further the university’s enrollment goals and institute best practices in the enrollment process;
  • leading the department in developing an effective program for promoting and marketing admission programs that will advance enrollment goals across the various groups of students served by Wentworth, including first-generation, transfer, online, and community partnerships;
  • initiating, maintaining, and refining data collection and analysis processes that will advance the university’s strategic plan and assist in evaluating recruitment, admission procedures, leveraging financial aid, and maximizing net revenue. The VPEM will create dashboards that provide relevant data to on-campus constituents in a concise, accurate, and immediate format;
  • in conjunction with the director of financial aid and EAB, developing, overseeing, and refining the university’s financial aid leveraging model and implementing strategies for the optimum utilization of financial aid institutional funds to maximize net tuition revenue and student yield and minimize the tuition discount rate;
  • coordinating communication within the Student Services Center (SSC) through a review of messaging, procedures, and communication in an effort to enhance standardization and staff training;
  • thoroughly reviewing all interdepartmental policies within the SSC for concise, consistent messaging; and
  • serve as a leader across the university to create change and advance the institution based upon data driven trends in higher education.

Qualifications and Characteristics

A bachelor’s degree (master’s degree preferred) along with significant progressively responsible experience in higher education, including supervisory experience in admissions, financial aid and/or enrollment management and evidence of superior communications skills are required. A strong commitment to achieving Wentworth’s vision for inclusive excellence will be expected of the VPEM. The ideal candidate will be a strong leader with deep knowledge of emerging trends and promising practices in recruitment, admissions, financial aid, marketing, and retention as well as a proven track record of creating a conceptual framework for enrollment management that can respond to the changing landscape of higher education and the institution’s needs. Evidence of a proven track record in enrollment management as well as leading with integrity, inclusiveness, energy, optimism, and a team-oriented philosophy will be important. The new VPEM will possess the skills to shape a culture that supports and makes possible innovative thought—a culture where creative solutions are valued. It will be important for the vice president to possess strong analytical abilities and an aptitude for enhancing systems and structures to harness data and technology and facilitate enrollment planning in order to meet institutional goals.

President Thompson charged the search committee with putting forward candidates who would:

  • have a proven track record in higher education;
  • evaluate current market trends and opportunities; and
  • engage in strategic planning, data, and trend analysis and develop a workable plan, both short- and long-term based on this analysis, to admit and enroll students who will succeed and complete at Wentworth while increasing the diversity and selectivity of the student body and maintaining the discount rate, quantity, and quality of students necessary by program.

Stakeholders at Wentworth Institute of Technology further indicated that the following characteristics would be sought in candidates for the position:

  • excellent communication skills;
  • ability to represent the entire enrollment management team;
  • be skilled in predictive analysis;
  • be flexible and innovative;
  • be a creative thinker;
  • display cultural competence and a record of improving/supporting equity and diversity in previous higher education positions;
  • have documented experience in retention initiatives, programming and analysis;
  • be focused and driven;
  • be transparent and honest;
  • having experience with athletics would be helpful;
  • work to understand the “Wentworth way” and how to manage expectations vis-à-vis the institutional reputation;
  • be a relationship builder who has the ability to say “no” as needed
  • be a good listener;
  • be a mentor for the staff members;
  • understand federal, state and institutional compliance regulations regarding financial aid;
  • be approachable and accessible;
  • be collaborative with all internal constituents, particularly with academic colleagues;
  • have the ability to “get into the weeds,” but also maintain a big picture institutional view;
  • understand the importance of collaborating closely with the marketing team on telling the Wentworth story;
  • be a strong manager and a leader;
  • display a quiet confidence with the ability to gather data to justify decisions/recommended plans;
  • have a drive and energy for the role;
  • be nimble and strategic;
  • be accountable to the president, senior leaders, the staff and students;
  • know current best practices in enrollment and the ability to implement them at Wentworth;
  • be student-centered, strive to incorporate superior customer service in all enrollment management areas; and
  • be pragmatic and hard-working.

Enrollment Management Division

The organization of the enrollment management division is currently being reviewed by the interim vice president for enrollment management. As the enrollment operation at Wentworth evolves and progresses, the new VPEM will lead the next phase of its development, providing an inspirational, strategic, and statistically supported vision for short- and long-term enrollment goals.

The VPEM will be tasked with conducting a review of each of the areas within the division to improve performance, build capacity, and strengthen organizational effectiveness to renew and drive change. The VPEM will focus on leading the department in developing an effective program for promoting and marketing admission programs that will advance enrollment goals across the various groups of students served by Wentworth, including first-generation, transfer, and online students. Important for the new VPEM will be building community partnerships and creating a vibrant work environment while focusing staff on the core mission of being student centered as they implement new foundational procedures and technology. Encouraging staff to adhere to the culture of the university with kindness, innovation, collaboration, integrity and honesty will be integral to the success of the VPEM who will directly over see the following individuals and the accompanying teams:

  • Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Admissions – seven direct reports and 23 staff
  • Director of Graduate Admissions – three direct reports
  • Director of Operations – one data specialist and five staff
  • Associate Vice President for the Student Services Center (SSC), whose oversight includes directors in the following areas:
  • International Student Services – director and two staff
  • Financial Aid–director and eight staff
  • Student Services Center—director and three staff

MEASURES OF SUCCESS

At an appropriate interval after joining Wentworth Institute of Technology, the following will initially define success for the vice president for enrollment management:

  • the vice president is a visible and engaged leader throughout campus and is collaborating with all constituents on enrollment and retention initiatives;
  • the vice president has assessed the entire enrollment team as well as existing efficiencies of the reporting offices, to develop plans that will further the university’s goals vis-à-vis best practices;
  • the vice president has begun the creation and implementation of a new era in enrollment strategy and has begun to leverage Wentworth’s distinctions to enhance the university’s ability to enroll and retain a talented and diverse population of students;
  • the vice president has developed and initiated plans for leading the next phase of the enrollment management’s team in its development by providing an inspirational, strategic and statistically supported vision for short- and long-term enrollment goals;
  • the vice president will have become a recognized leader across the university who has advanced the institution based upon data driven trends in higher education;
  • the vice president has remained current in the oversight and interpretation of all federal, state and university rules and regulations pertaining to compliance and other related best business practices; and
  • the vice president has collaborated with academic affairs on the collection and analysis of retention data and worked collaboratively to assist in the development of intentional programming initiatives, interventions, and services to positively impact the recruitment and retention of students.

Institution & Location

Institution: An Overview

Institutional Background/History

Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT), a recognized leader in STEM and design and management education, was founded in 1904 and is known for its co-operative education opportunities for students and focus on career and resume building through hands-on learning in the field. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, the nationally ranked institute offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees aligned with the needs and demands of the 21st-century workforce.

WIT enrolls approximately 4,516 students, of which 4,341 are undergraduates, in three dynamic colleges: Architecture, Design and Construction Management; Arts and Sciences; and Engineering and Computer Science. The institute is one of five colleges forming the Colleges of the Fenway. This collaboration with the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Emmanuel College, and Simmons College expands academic opportunities and choices through cross-registration, and enhances the student and faculty environments of the individual institutions while retaining the unique and special qualities of each of the five colleges.

Wentworth was launched at a time when American society was in transition. Post-civil war industrial expansion, urbanization, and immigration created both the need for new economic and employment opportunities and the means of fulfilling that need. In that context, the institution’s founder Arioch Wentworth perceived a gap in the educational opportunities available to clever and ambitious young people for whom a traditional education was impractical and uninteresting. A mechanic by trade, Mr. Wentworth attributed his own professional success to knowing how to use his hands, and he wanted others to follow in his footsteps. To implement his vision at scale, he resolved to launch a school based on honesty, energy, economy, and systems that would prepare graduates to excel and advance in their chosen fields of endeavor.

Mr. Wentworth predicted that the institute would someday prove of greater value than schools that sought to teach their students solely through classroom lecture—which indeed it has. And while hands-on, action-oriented learning is a relatively recent addition to many college curricula, it has been the powerful, pervasive, and professionally relevant core of Wentworth’s programs for more than a century. Today WIT:

  • offers the educational programs for which there is strong labor market demand;
  • integrates applied learning through curricular and co-curricular engagement;
  • serves as a school of opportunity for first-generation college students, men and women from lower-income and working-class families, veterans of war, urban youth, and women breaking barriers in technical fields;
  • attracts and retains highly dedicated faculty and staff; and
  • creates and sustains strong institutional and community partnerships.

All these factors enable Wentworth to produce graduates who consistently bring extraordinary value to their organizations and to the world.

About Boston, Massachusetts

Wentworth Institute of Technology is one of 35 colleges and universities in Boston, the capital and largest city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, which was home to about 4.9 million people in 2018 and ranks as the tenth-largest such area in the country. The wider commuting region contains about 8.3 million people, making it the sixth most-populous in the United States.

Boston is one of the oldest municipalities in the United States, founded on the Shawmut Peninsula in 1630 by Puritan settlers from the English town of the same name. It was the scene of several key events of the American Revolution, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston. Upon gaining independence from Great Britain, Boston continued to be an important port and manufacturing hub as well as a center for education and culture. The city’s rich history annually attracts millions of visitors from around the world. Boston’s many firsts include the United States’ first public park (Boston Common, 1634), first public school (Boston Latin School, 1635), and first subway system (Tremont Street Subway, 1897).

Boston today is a thriving center of scientific research as well as the port of entry for commerce and international immigration. The Boston area’s many colleges and universities make it a world leader in higher education, including law, medicine, engineering, and business, and the city is considered to be a global pioneer in innovation and entrepreneurship, with nearly five thousand startups. Boston’s economic base also includes finance, professional and business services, biotechnology, information technology, and government activities.

Mission, Vision, and Values

Mission

“Wentworth’s core mission is to empower, inspire, and innovate through experiential learning.”

Vision

“Wentworth envisions a future in which it is nationally recognized as the University of choice for externally collaborative, project-based, interdisciplinary learning.”

Fundamental Values

“At Wentworth, our core values reflect that we are student-centered, that we are passionate for hands-on teaching and learning, and that innovation and creativity are at the center of what we do. We express these three core values as:

  • students first;
  • the world is our classroom; and
  • thinking without a box.”

Strategic Plan

Wentworth’s strategic plan is being developed around four focus areas: inclusive excellence; high-value learning; a transformative student experience; and next-generation partnerships with alumni, industry, and the community.

While many colleges and universities are struggling to identify a path forward in this shifting higher-education landscape, Wentworth is well-positioned to build on its strengths. Wentworth’s programs are in high demand; the institution has expanded offerings and achieved university status while updating and adding facilities; and the continued successes of Wentworth’s alumni have enhanced the university’s reputation in Boston and beyond. The emerging strategic plan will allow the university to further differentiate itself and stand out in today’s competitive higher-education market.

To read more about WIT’s Strategic Plan:

https://wit.edu/strategic-plan

Leadership

Dr. Mark A. Thompson — President

Mark A. Thompson, PhD, became the fifth president of Wentworth Institute of Technology on June 1, 2019. His career in higher education spans more than 25 years—from teaching and advising students at Marshall University and Morehouse College to serving in senior administrative roles at Quinnipiac University.

Thompson was at Quinnipiac for 21 years (beginning in 1998) before accepting the presidency at Wentworth. He served as associate dean of the school of business and later as executive vice president and provost. Among other accomplishments at Quinnipiac, Thompson led the establishment of engineering and medical schools. He earned a reputation as a popular advocate for students and a valued, progressive member of the university community. Earlier in his career, Thompson directed the Center for Business and Economic Research and was an assistant professor of economics at Marshall University’s Elizabeth McDowell Lewis College of Business.

Thompson has a bachelor’s degree in economics-finance from Bentley University, an MBA from Western New England University, and PhD in economics from Georgia State University. His expertise includes urban and regional economics and economic development. He has worked on regional economic initiatives with many private and public constituents and, as part of those efforts, completed more than 100 technical reports—ranging from economic impact assessments and strategic plans, to feasibility studies and business proposals. Thompson’s academic research has focused on the consequences of residential housing segregation, issues related to labor market discrimination, and assessing the impact of intellectual property rights on the economic growth rates of developing countries. His work appears in academic journals including Economic Development Quarterly, Journal of Economic Development, Journal of Enterprising Culture, and Journal of Economics and Finance. Thompson also has written a book chapter under a grant from the Russell Sage Foundation and made numerous conference presentations.

Members of President Thompson’s senior leadership team include:

  • To be determined, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Erik D. Cote, Assistant Vice President for Strategy and Policy
  • Michelle R. Davis, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Rebecca Ekstein, Interim Vice President of Enrollment
  • Dave Fraboni, Interim Vice President of Institutional Advancement
  • Richard Hansen, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Amy Intille, Vice President of Executive Affairs
  • Mary Ellen R. Keeney, Interim Vice President for Human Resources
  • Lynn McCormick, General Counsel
  • Courtney L. McKenna, Assistant Vice President for Strategy and Policy
  • Vish Paradkar, Vice President for Technology Services and Chief Information Officer
  • Bob Totino, Vice President for Finance
  • David Wahlstrom, Vice President for Business
  • Annamaria Wenner, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Academic Programs and Faculty

The university is comprised of three colleges and one department that offer certificate, associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. The student-faculty ratio at WIT is 18:1, and 38.5 percent of Wentworth’s classes have fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors include: engineering, business, management, marketing, computer and information sciences, architecture, and visual and performing arts.

Experiential learning is infused into the academic experience. Wentworth requires a minimum of two co-op semesters prior to graduation. The academic program also provides other hands-on activities such as EPIC Learning projects (interdisciplinary engagements with external parties), opportunities to develop entrepreneurial ventures, and service learning projects with community partners.

Colleges and Departments:

  • College of Architecture, Design and Construction Management
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Professional and Continuing Education

Faculty:

  • Total faculty (full and part-time): 379
  • Number of women faculty: 130

The Student Body

Fall 2019 Enrollment:

Total Enrollment: 4,516

  • Women: 994
  • Men: 3,522
  • Undergraduates: 4,341
  • Graduates: 175

Ethnicity:

  • White: 2802
  • Race Unknown: 638
  • Asian or Pacific Islander: 360
  • Hispanic: 293
  • Black/Non-Hispanic: 263
  • Two or More Races: 157
  • Native American: 3

The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is approximately 83 percent.

Benefits Overview

  • Comprehensive medical plans
  • Dental plans
  • Pension plans
  • Flexible spending account
  • Tuition assistance
  • Life insurance
  • Dependent care
  • Disability plans
  • Leave benefits
  • Employee assistance program
  • Additional benefits

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 ked@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Wentworth Institute of Technology website at https://wit.edu

Wentworth Institute of Technology, an equal opportunity affirmative action employer, is committed to attaining excellence through the recruitment and retention of a diverse work force. Women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.