The Opportunity

Reporting directly to the New College of Florida (NCF) president, the vice president for enrollment management (VPEM) is the chief enrollment officer for the institution, serving on the president’s senior leadership team and playing a critical role in shaping the college’s future. The VPEM will oversee the offices of Admissions, Admission Operations, and Financial Aid and is expected to actively interact and collaborate with all of the college’s administrative areas and with the faculty. The VPEM will lead the creation, articulation, and implementation of a new era of 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 NCF’s distinctions to enhance the college’s ability to attract, recruit, enroll, and retain a talented and diverse population of students. While developing a forward-thinking portfolio of functions, the VPEM will be a visible leader who will build on past successes while forging an ambitious future as NCF strives to increase its enrollment.

The Position

Role of the Vice President for Enrollment Management

The new VPEM will be expected to:

  • develop a detailed and comprehensive integrated enrollment and communications plan based on recruitment and retention goals of the college, which will include goals, defined targets, and follow-up steps;
  • identify new populations of prospective students, particularly those currently underserved, and develop new marketing strategies to address and attract these students;
  • initiate, maintain, and refine data collection and analysis processes that will advance the college’s strategic enrollment plan and assist in evaluating recruitment, admission procedures, leveraging financial aid, and maximizing net tuition revenue;
  • report to the president’s senior leadership team, 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;
  • collaborate with the office of communications and marketing on data and trend analysis to develop a short- and long-term strategic plan to admit and enroll students who will succeed and complete at NCF;
  • work with the academic divisions and other campus offices to strengthen recruiting and retention of students;
  • enhance customer services in all enrollment management areas in order to provide students and their families the financial awareness and education necessary to successfully finance their educational pursuits;
  • remain current, interpret and comply with all federal, state, and institutional rules and regulations;
  • provide leadership on policies, procedures, and regulations relevant to enrollment management best practices; and
  • oversee all hiring, training, supervision, professional development and evaluation of staff to ensure a climate of collaboration and teamwork.

History of the Position

The position has been retitled as a vice president for enrollment management following the departure of the former dean of enrollment in the summer of 2019. With the departure of the dean, an interim dean of enrollment was hired. The interim dean recently left in April of 2020 to accept a permanent position. Currently, Sonia Wu, a 30-year member of the NCF admissions team and an NCF alumna, is serving as interim dean of enrollment.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

A decline in new student enrollments over the last two years played a role in legislative discussions this February and March about merging NCF with a larger university and, though ultimately abandoned, these discussions may have an impact on the number of new students who enroll in the fall of 2020.  Up until these discussions, Fall 2020 deposits for new students had been running ahead of 2019 deposits.

Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic may ultimately have an impact on the number of both new and continuing students who enroll this fall at New College. NCF has moved to an online format for all class instruction through the spring of 2020.  It has necessarily moved all on-campus admissions yield events to an online virtual format in an attempt to increase personal communication with all admitted students to ensure that the traditional “summer melt” with deposited students does not greatly impact the incoming class numbers at New College. Given New College’s mandated challenge to grow its enrollments, coupled with very uncertain national economic and health-related concerns, it will be expected that the new vice president will take immediate action to assess the staffing structure, current practices, and the potential to achieve the ultimate enrollment goal. An immediate, deliberate and strategic deep dive into current national enrollment market trends and economic factors that could impact NCF’s ability to increase its enrollment will be necessary in order to quickly develop an aggressive and strategic recruiting, communications, and enrollment plan at NCF.

The leadership changes have certainly not helped enrolment growth. Providing stability in leadership to the enrollment management team will be one of the keys to success for the new vice president. Leadership stability, consistency, and a strategic enrollment plan will propel the staff to work toward achieving the aggressive enrollment goals of the institution.

The new vice president will be expected to do a thorough evaluation of the staffing and policies and procedures in each of the enrollment management areas to evaluate past successes and to determine a strategic plan in line with the institution’s strategic plan for the future. Communication with prospective and admitted students must be closely coordinated with the communications and marketing department to ensure that messaging is consistent and scheduled appropriately. A thorough review of the functionality and current usage of the Slate CRM may also assist the departments in this collaborative effort.

The development of both short (one year) and long-range (up to five years) enrollment management plans to be shared with the entire enrollment management and communications teams will be another priority for the new vice president. The plans should include both first time first year as well as transfer and international student enrollment goals. Central to the enrollment plan will be an accompanying communications plan to be agreed upon and coordinated with the director of communications and marketing.

There is tremendous, palpable energy, loyalty, and passion to be found at New College of Florida among the faculty and staff members. This is a unique institution which currently serves a niche market of full time honors-level students with very individualized academic programming and individual opportunities to excel. While it draws students primarily from the region, there appears to be great potential for drawing honors students nationally and internationally. There have been several recent hires on both the academic and administrative sides who exude this energy and who are reviewing the curriculum vis-à-vis students’ career and employability options, by creating internships to develop work relationships and marketing the institution in a much more modern way.

At this time, a $5 million appropriation from the state of Florida has been assigned to NCF to assist the institution in increasing new enrollments as well as supplementing faculty and staff hires. There is an expectation by the Florida legislature of positive annual progression toward the state’s mandated enrollment goal of 1200 students by 2024.

The new vice president will be tasked with collaborating in the collection and analysis of data regarding current trends in higher education, which will include an analysis of the projected demographics regarding the traditional first time freshmen that NCF has historically targeted and enrolled as well as potential new markets, such as transfer, out of state, and returning adult populations. It has been indicated throughout conversations with the NCF stakeholders that NCF’s recruitment efforts have primarily been focused on the state of Florida, so a review of the out of state and international landscape and recruitment opportunities will also be a priority for the new vice president. Realistic enrollment growth goals to be achieved by all stakeholders at NCF must be collectively agreed-upon by the academic and administrative areas in order to meet the ultimate enrollment goal of 1,200 students by 2024. However, enrollment growth cannot be achieved without a complete and accurate review of the institution’s historical data as well as enhanced collaboration with, and utilization of, faculty and staff in recruitment and retention efforts. Stakeholders indicated their willingness to be involved in all such efforts, and with collaborative efforts and a minimal amount of training, extremely beneficial relationships could be developed and cultivated across campus that will not only enhance the recruiting and enrollment experience for students, but will also positively impact the retention of students at NCF.

Further opportunities and challenges for the vice president may include:

  • continually reviewing and enhancing efficiencies in processing and effective communication between the admissions and financial aid areas and the office of communications and marketing;
  • striving to greatly enhance collaboration and engagement with the faculty in the recruitment and enrollment processes;
  • reviewing and enhancing all services provided to students to achieve the desired level of superior customer service all students and parents expect;
  • assessing procedural efficiencies and overseeing admission decisions that further the college’s enrollment goals and best practices in the enrollment process;
  • working with internal colleagues in the development and promotion of initiatives that will advance enrollment goals with the various types of students served by NCF, including first time first year students, transfer, online, certificate programs, and community partnerships;
  • initiating, maintaining, and refining data collection and analysis processes that will advance the college’s strategic plan and assist in evaluating recruitment, admission procedures, leveraging financial aid, and increasing enrollments; and
  • creating a warm, inviting and professional environment where collegial collaboration is the basis for all interactions with colleagues, faculty and students.

Measures of Success

At an appropriate interval after joining New College of Florida, the following will initially define success for the vice president for enrollment management:

  • the vice president is a visible and engaged leader and colleague throughout campus and is collaborating with all constituents on recruitment and enrollment initiatives;
  • the vice president has assessed the entire enrollment team as well as reviewed all existing policies and practices of the reporting offices, to develop plans that will further the college’s progression toward the state mandated enrollment goals;
  • the vice president has initiated the creation and implementation of a new era in enrollment strategy and has begun to leverage NCF’s distinctions to enhance the college’s ability to enroll and retain a talented and diverse population of new first year and transfer 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 college who has strategically worked to increase the enrollment at NCF; and
  • the vice president has remained current in the oversight and interpretation of all federal, state and college rules and regulations pertaining to compliance and other related best business practices.

Qualifications and Characteristics

A bachelor’s degree (master’s degree preferred) plus significant documented progressive experience in enrollment management operations and staff management will be expected of the vice president. Successful experience in higher education enrolling and matriculating a diverse student population, including budgetary and personnel responsibilities, strategic planning, data collection/analysis and program development; demonstrated experience with current best practices in enrollment management/admission processes; a record of visionary, collaborative, proactive, ethical, and dynamic leadership, resulting in meeting or exceeding enrollment targets; and substantial senior leadership experience demonstrating excellent interpersonal, communication, collaboration, management, problem-solving, and decision-making skills will be expected of the vice president.

The successful candidate must maintain a forward-looking vision, possess an unwavering commitment to superior customer service, and be dedicated to developing a cohesive and resourceful team within the context of NCF’s mission. Extensive knowledge of, and expertise with, student information systems and engagement technologies, along with demonstrated experience in developing and utilizing that technology will also be expected of the VPEM.

Institutional stakeholders indicated that the following personal characteristics would be beneficial to ensuring the opportunity for success and stability for the new vice president:

  • strong, experienced manager with the willingness to review all staff, positions and current workflows with an eye to increasing efficiency and customer service;
  • team builder who will reach across offices to build collaborative efforts;
  • strong communicator who can focus on the “big picture;”
  • strong manager who will insist on superior customer service for all constituents, including all internal academic and administrative departments;
  • very strong data retrieval, analysis and reporting skills;
  • one who is culturally astute;
  • a strong and confident leader who can balance the sometimes competing institutional priorities;
  • one who will have credibility with faculty;
  • one who will be accountable and transparent in reporting data;
  • a thoughtful change agent who can inspire the institution’s constituents to “come into the 21st century,” by meeting students where they are, not necessarily where they want them to be;
  • a relationship-builder who will strive to enhance relationships and continuity with internal stakeholders as well as with high school counselors;
  • a seasoned enrollment professional who understands the higher education landscape, has documented experience in recruitment and who can communicate the uniqueness of NCF;
  • one who understands the NCF academic product and who will proudly and passionately promote the “magic of NCF and its product;”
  • one who is assertive and a strong mentor for the team;
  • one who is nimble with change and has a clear sense of the enrollment goals and the urgency of meeting those goals;
  • one who is willing to partner with faculty to promote NCF;
  • one who is technologically savvy and can lead the enrollment team in utilizing existing technology to streamline processes;
  • one who is flexible and a positive thinker;
  • one who will utilize the engaged base of alumni as well as current faculty in the recruiting/yielding processes;
  • one who has extremely high energy along with the willingness to institute a positive, collaborative work environment within enrollment management; and
  • one who has a sense of humor as well as a passion for the uniqueness of New College.

Overview of the Division of Enrollment Management

The division of enrollment management at New College of Florida (New College) currently includes the offices of admissions (recruiting), admissions operations and financial aid.

Current Leadership of the Division

Sonia Wu, associate dean of enrollment management, is serving as the interim dean of enrollment management. Wu is an alumna of NCF and has worked in a variety of progressive roles during her 30-year tenure at New College. Currently reporting to Wu are the director of admissions operations and the director of financial aid as well as all of the team members in the admissions and admission operations areas. Future plans for the enrollment management division will include the hiring of an assistant dean of enrollment management and a redirection of the current reports in the admission area to the assistant and associate deans of enrollment management. The current structure includes 21 staff members in addition to the interim dean of enrollment management:

  • Financial Aid: 5 staff members
  • Admission Operations: 4 staff members
  • Admission Recruiting: 11 staff members
  • Administrative Assistant

Institution & Location

Institution: An Overview

The history of New College of Florida dates back to the late 1950s when, at the behest of the local Chamber of Commerce, citizens banded together to create a local college to complement the growing city’s art museum, symphony orchestra, and theaters. The private new college was designed by a group of educators who believed in the power of the mind and wanted to free both students and faculty from the limits of a lock-step curriculum, a focus on credit hours, and a GPA.

These founders were half a century ahead of their time in promoting “active, hands-on-learning” to achieve “competence” and “real mastery.” The concepts of New College’s educational philosophy, developed over time by Philip Hiss, John Gustad, John Elmendorf, and Douglas Berggren, appealed to the very best students across the country. Such was New College’s unique role in the world of academia that a full-page article in Time magazine was devoted to the matriculating class of 1967.

With a total enrollment of about 837 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1, New College offers a personal and collaborative learning environment, where faculty and students engage in in-depth exploration of ideas and subject matter, and where students have the freedom to chart their own academic course.

As the State of Florida’s legislatively-designated “honors college for the liberal arts,” New College is the only public college or university in the state whose sole mission is to provide an undergraduate education of the highest caliber to leading students from around the country. Located on a beautiful 110-acre campus on sunny Sarasota Bay, New College provides an ideal learning environment for intellectually curious, motivated students who thrive on active learning and are drawn to an intellectually rigorous curriculum.

About Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota’s first real estate developer, J.H. Gillespie, arrived in Sarasota in 1886 to assist the failing ‘Ormiston Colony’—a colony of approximately 60 Scottish families sent to settle 50,000 acres of land acquired by the Florida Mortgage and Investment Company (FMIC), which was partially owned by Gillespie’s father. Though FMIC promised a tropical paradise, settlers were dismayed to find an unruly, inhospitable Florida wilderness. Sir John Gillespie Sr. sent his son to manage the colony as the disillusioned Scots began to disband, just a few short months after their arrival.

Under J.H. Gillespie’s leadership, Sarasota cleared the land to build its first roads, and eventually established the first railroad service. Gillespie also created 40 acres of experimental farmland and a wharf on Sarasota Bay, which established a vital commercial livelihood for the emerging fishing village of Sarasota in the early 1890s. In 1902, the town of Sarasota was incorporated, and J.H. Gillespie was named its first mayor.

Gillespie is not only the ‘Father of Sarasota’ but the visionary founder of the tourism and leisure industry that thrives today. His legacy can be found at the modern core of downtown Sarasota, known as ‘Five Points,’ where he constructed Sarasota’s first hotel, the DeSoto Hotel, in 1887. J.H. Gillespie’s greatest legacy, perhaps, is his introduction of the sport of golf to Florida. In 1904, Gillespie built the first golf course in the state; just the second golf course in the United States. Today there are over 50 courses in the Sarasota area.

When Chicago banker Owen Burns arrived in Sarasota in 1910—attracted largely by J.H. Gillespie’s successful efforts to brand the fledgling city as a winter holiday for the wealthy elite—he immediately purchased a massive 75 percent of the land from Gillespie for $35,000 and settled in to make Sarasota his permanent home. Burns helped to organize the Sarasota Board of Trade—which would later become the Chamber of Commerce, established the first locally-owned bank—the Citizens Bank, and is responsible for creating the city as it’s known today.

Pioneering real estate developers J.H. Gillespie and Owen Burns are primarily responsible for creating Sarasota’s civic infrastructure but circus mogul John Ringling receives credit for the artistic vibrancy that characterizes modern Sarasota. Charles and John Ringling, the brothers behind the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus, began purchasing land in Sarasota in 1911, and beginning in 1912, John and his wife Mable made Sarasota their winter home. Ringling moved the circus’ winter headquarters from Bridgeport, Connecticut to Sarasota in 1927, establishing the city’s lasting title as Florida’s ‘Circus City.’ Today, John Ringling’s permanent art collection in the estate galleries serves as the State Art Museum of Florida, and the Ringlings’ elaborate 1920s Mediterranean revival-style mansion, Ca’ d’Zan (‘House of John’), resides on the Ringling estate.

Sarasota is a strong city with a rich and diverse history, beautiful natural scenery, and an abundance of culture, arts, and entertainment. With under 58,000 residents—and just over 820,00 in the greater Sarasota metropolitan area, life is easy to enjoy all year long with this city’s breathtaking sunsets, museums, operas, ballets, plays, golf, tennis and water sports

Mission, Goals, Principles, and Values

Mission Statement

“New College of Florida prepares intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement. It offers a liberal arts education of the highest quality in the context of a small, residential public honors college with a distinctive academic program which develops the student’s intellectual and personal potential as fully as possible; encourages the discovery of new knowledge and values while providing opportunities to acquire established knowledge and values; and fosters the individual’s effective relationship with society.”

Goals

“To maintain our mission, New College of Florida focuses on—

  • Providing a quality education to students of high ability who, because of their ability, deserve a program of study that is both demanding and stimulating.
  • Engaging in undergraduate educational reform by combining educational innovation with educational excellence.
  • Providing programs of study that allow students to design their educational experience as much as possible in accordance with their individual interests, values and abilities.
  • Challenging undergraduates not only to master existing bodies of knowledge but also to extend the frontiers of knowledge through original research.”

Principles

“Four principles define our educational philosophy. These principles serve as guideposts along each student’s educational path.

  • Each student is responsible in the last analysis for his or her education.
  • The best education demands a joint search for learning by exciting instructors and able students.
  • Students’ progress should be based on demonstrated competence and real mastery rather than on the accumulation of credits and grades.
  • Students should have from the outset opportunities to explore areas of deep interest to them.”

Values

New College of Florida subscribes to the following values—

  • An intellectually rigorous curriculum
  • An innovative academic program
  • A collaborative learning environment
  • A place to chart one’s own course

Strategic Plan

“In 2016, the Board of Governors and the state of Florida invested in New College, pledging to support a multi-year plan to increase the number of students to 1,200 and the faculty proportionately to ensure the maintenance of our student to faculty ratio. The ultimate goal of the New College of Florida Strategic Plan (2018-2028) is to raise our four-year graduation rate above 80%. Our aspirations are higher yet; eventually we want that rate to exceed 90%, which will put us on par with the top twenty national liberal arts colleges, public or private.”

To read the Strategic Plan for New College of Florida (2018-2028):

https://www.ncf.edu/about/strategic-plan/

Leadership

Donal O’Shea — President

Donal O’Shea has been president of New College of Florida since 2012, where he has increased academic excellence and enhanced diversity and student life. He secured funding and oversaw planning for a new science building and for a cutting-edge master’s program in Data Science, New College’s first graduate program. O’Shea aims to increase the enrollment of New College by 50 percent, with commitments from the state to fund proportionate increases in faculty, staff and facilities.

A firm believer in collaboration, O’Shea has helped develop a consortium of local colleges and universities to expand opportunities for all students. He is the immediate past president of the Southern University Conference, the president of the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities, and a member of the strategic planning committee of the national Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. Prior to joining New College, O’Shea was the dean of faculty and vice president of academic affairs at Mount Holyoke College, the world’s oldest women’s college, for 14 years. While there, he was instrumental in founding Women’s Education Worldwide, a consortium of women’s colleges and universities around the world.

O’Shea earned an AB from Harvard University and an MS and PhD from Queen’s University, all in mathematics. An internationally known mathematician, he continues to work with collaborators around the world. His research interests center around singularities of higher dimensional algebraic surfaces, work which mixes algebraic geometry and differential topology and geometry. He also has published in a number of applied areas, including medical imagining, phase transitions, and mathematical physics. He has won numerous awards for his work, most recently in January of 2016, when a groundbreaking, now classic, book he wrote with two colleagues was awarded the coveted Steele prize by the American Mathematical Society.

Barbara Feldman — Provost, Vice President of Academic Affairs

Barbara Feldman, a professor of sociology and an experienced higher education administrator, became provost and vice president for academic affairs on July 1, 2017. Feldman served as Bridgewater State University’s provost from August of 2014 to August of 2016, and previously was dean of the Maxwell College of Arts and Sciences at New Jersey City University. She also has held teaching and administrative roles at Montclair State University and Seton Hall University.

Feldman’s academic research has examined the community response to natural disasters. She teaches courses including the sociology of women, gender, family and work. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology from University of Delaware, and her doctorate in sociology from University of Pennsylvania.

The Student Body

Student to Faculty Ratio: 8 to 1

2018-2019 Enrollment

Total Student Body: 837

Undergraduates: 808       

Female: 504 (62%)

Male: 304 (38%)

Graduates: 29   

Female: 19 (66%)

Male: 10 (34%

Ethnicity:

  • White: 575
  • Hispanic/Latino: 145
  • Two or More Races: 28
  • Asian: 27
  • Black or African-American: 25
  • Nonresident alien: 21
  • Race and/or ethnicity unknown :14
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander: 2
  • American Indian or Alaska Native: 0

Academic Programs and Faculty

New College offers nearly 40 undergraduate majors, three certificate programs—Bloomberg Market Concepts (Bloomberg Certification), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Certification, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate Program—and a master’s program in data science. Through an extraordinary education that empowers fearless learning, students pursue goals not grades, chart their own educational course, and acquire the analytical, creative, and communication skills that employers value.

Beyond Grades

Professors at New College provide narrative evaluations instead of grades for each course or project a student completes, based on the premise that detailed feedback on a student’s individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as suggestions for improvement and further study, are much more valuable than a mere letter grade. These narrative evaluations also have proven helpful to faculty for writing strong, detailed recommendation letters for graduate school applications, scholarships and employment. It is no wonder that The Wall Street Journal ranked New College the nation’s No. 2 public feeder school for elite law, medical and business schools.

Seven Contracts

In lieu of credit hours, during their four years at New College students complete seven contracts prior to graduation. Each semester contract is a written agreement between a student and his/her faculty advisor regarding the student’s educational goals, academic activities, and progress toward graduation. Contracts usually include three to five academic activities (courses, tutorials, internships, independent reading projects) that will develop personal educational goals.

Independent Study and Hands-On Research

A cornerstone of the New College experience is students’ ability to work with faculty to design their own independent study and conduct hands-on research. During the four-week interterm each January, students work one-on-one with faculty or in small groups on research projects, lab experiments, or scholarly papers; study abroad; or take part in off-campus internships.

The Senior Thesis

The culmination of the New College undergraduate education is the senior thesis project, in which students produce a major research paper, body of artwork, or other highly developed presentation. With the support of a faculty thesis advisors, students research, write and/or produce substantial, original work in their major during their final two semesters at New College.

As one of the nation’s premier public liberal arts colleges, New College welcomes students with big ideas and grand plans. New College of Florida is for students who relish the fierce pursuit of knowledge, and are ready to turn intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment.

Benefits Overview

  • Medical Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Term Life Insurance
  • Retirement Plans
  • Employee Education Assistance Program
  • Onsite Fitness Center
  • Onsite Child Care Center
  • Work Life Balance Benefits
  • Additional Benefits

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will continue until the position is filled; complete applications received by May 22, 2020 will be assured full consideration. 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 Dane at ked@spelmanjohnson.com or Michel Frendian at mrf@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants with questions or needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the New College of Florida website at www.ncf.edu

NCF actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world. NCF is committed to the principles of equal educational and employment opportunities for, and nondiscrimination towards applicants and employees with respect to race, color, religion, age, disability, sex, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and veteran status, as provided by law, and in accordance with NCF’s respect for personal dignity. It is NCF’s goal to create and maintain a work and study environment that is positive and free of unlawful discrimination. Further, NCF encourages the recognition of diversity of its population and seeks to promote delivery systems, curricula activities, and programs that reflect this diversity in all facets of life at NCF.