Cedar Crest College seeks an authentic collaborator and strategic-minded leader to serve as its next vice president for enrollment management. This is an on-site and in-person role, and the anticipated start date is December 2022/January 2023.
ROLE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT FOR ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT AT CEDAR CREST COLLEGE
Reporting to President Elizabeth Meade, the vice president for enrollment management (VPEM) is responsible for strategic enrollment planning, recruitment, and admissions for the undergraduate women’s college and the School of Adult and Graduate Admissions (SAGE). Serving as a member of the president’s cabinet, the VPEM works collaboratively with all members of the cabinet to ensure that admissions, enrollment, and student success efforts are well-integrated and mutually supportive. The VPEM will ensure a seamless student experience from recruitment through enrollment. They will develop, manage, and monitor predictive models, data trends, forecasts, and reports for each area of enrollment. This senior leader is responsible for developing, communicating, and executing a sustainable enrollment strategy that aligns with and supports the College’s mission, vision, and goals.
Additional duties and responsibilities of the VPEM include the following:
- Develop, document, and assess processes, policies, technologies, and resources for a successful recruitment and enrollment operation, to ensure that they are well-structured, data-driven, and effectively managed.
- Lead the successful operation of all aspects of recruiting, application-processing, and data management.
- Provide creative approaches to the promotion of campus programs and leveraging of resources to maximize net tuition goals.
- Work collaboratively with the office of Marketing & Communications to develop branding and materials to successfully market the college to prospective students.
- Manage allocated budget resources to maximize reach, recruitment, and funnels necessary to achieve targets.
Cedar Crest’s next vice president for enrollment management will join a community that is eager to partner with the admissions team and committed to helping achieve the College’s enrollment goals. Cedar Crest is seeking a collaborative and community-minded leader of high integrity who will embrace and extend the distinct character of the College in the work of the division. As such, the vice president will be one who can engage the entire campus in innovative marketing, recruitment, and enrollment strategies to ensure the long-term sustainability of the College.
QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS
A bachelor’s degree is required, along with a minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in higher education admissions; experience across the range of Cedar Crest’s student populations is strongly preferred. The ideal candidate will be a strategic and highly collaborative individual, well versed in undergraduate and graduate enrollment strategy, financial aid leveraging, and the utilization and deployment of analytics and metrics-based enrollment systems, processes, and technologies.
The next vice president will be an exceptional leader of people and programs with proven talents and expertise in enrollment management. Candidates will possess the ability to conceptualize and implement a dynamic and data-informed vision for the enrollment management division, the ability to inspire and motivate a highly dedicated team, and the interpersonal skills and desire to partner with all areas across campus.
Additional knowledge, capabilities, and experiences needed for success in the position include:
- Readiness to be part of the College’s senior leadership team, including the ability to lead community-wide conversations about enrollment strategies and working collaboratively to execute the College’s mission and vision.
- Excellent understanding of strategic pricing and financial aid leveraging strategies.
- The ability to lead and perform at a high level in a fast-paced environment.
- Knowledge of national and regional trends in strategic enrollment management.
- Strong data analysis skills and the capability to mine and utilize key demographic and market data.
- An appreciation for and the ability to articulate the unique identity and distinctive values of the Cedar Crest experience.
- Demonstrated ability to facilitate partnerships among academic programs and other divisions of the College.
HISTORY OF THE POSITION
Lisa Bunders is currently serving as the interim vice president for enrollment management via Dutcher LLC. Bunders is on contract with Cedar Crest through December 2022. The previous VPEM held the position from 2020 – 2022.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE ROLE
The vice president for enrollment management must possess a broad and deep understanding of current and emerging trends with regards to recruitment, admission, access, and affordability. It is important that the vice president be an experienced leader with the capacity to manage complex situations, committed to customer service at the highest level, and equipped to contribute at both a strategic and operational level at a regional private women’s liberal arts institution.
Within this context, there are several aspects of the role of the vice president in which the successful candidate will need to be prepared to lead after a period of acclimatization and relationship building. These include:
- Collaboration with the executive team: The new vice president is joining a strong and collegial cabinet, each of whom are respected and experienced executives in their own right. The president and all colleagues on the president’s cabinet are looking for a thought partner to engage with them in strengthening Cedar Crest’s market position and enrollment by partnering on an integrated enrollment communications and marketing plan, developing realistic medium- and long-term strategic enrollment plans with accompanying financial models, engaging College alumnae, and enrolling students who will in turn become proud alumnae.
- Enrollment Planning and Growth: Prior to the COVID -19 pandemic, Cedar Crest has had impressive success in growing its enrollment through several strategies: introduction of new undergraduate and graduate academic programs, adding new athletics programs, introduction of experiential learning initiatives for traditional undergraduate students, and launching online programs for working professionals. Additionally, Cedar Crest has engaged with Human Capital Research Corporation (HCRC) for enrollment modeling and financial leveraging analysis for ten years. The new vice president will be expected to fully leverage the critical work of HCRC and extend and build on the College’s previous enrollment successes with a keen eye on growing enrollment, maximizing net tuition revenue, and managing the College’s tuition discount rate.
- Collaboration with faculty and staff: There are high expectations that the new vice president will exemplify a culture of collaboration and partnering, as well as clear and transparent communication, across campus for maximum effectiveness. It will be crucial that the new vice president quickly reach out to all campus constituencies, with a special focus on colleagues in student financial services, athletics, student success and engagement, housing and residence life, and academic program leadership, to build solid and mutually beneficial relationships that support a seamless and quality experience for prospective and enrolled students, support the president and her leadership agenda, and act as a “chief connector” of the division. These connections are essential to accurately assessing the real needs of constituents, providing transparent and timely information and exceptional services, and ensuring that the admissions team is known for its customer- and student-centered approach at all times.
- Admissions Leadership: The vice president will find a dedicated and mission-focused admissions team that has experienced staff turnover in the last two years and has many new members. The VPEM will be expected to form a cohesive admissions unit that has a shared understanding of strategic enrollment management; operational best practices; and the individual contributions, accountabilities, and responsibilities of each of the teams within the division. The admissions team is ready to support their leadership and looking forward to professional development and coaching.
- Data informed decision-making: The vice president will be charged with moving the division into a data-driven entity that uses technology resources, market data, and financial aid leveraging practices in a sophisticated and nimble manner. To this end, the vice president will have to quickly assess the utilization and efficacy of the division’s technology infrastructure, including the Enrollment RX CRM, and integration with the student information, financial aid management, and athletics systems.
- Engagement with Students: The vice president for enrollment management must actively engage with prospective and current students in an authentic manner, be highly visible throughout the campus, and learn the many strengths and unique value propositions of the Cedar Crest experience. As with many institutions, the retention of students continues to be a top priority, and therefore holistic attention must be paid to the experience of students not only during their time in the admission cycle, but well beyond as they enroll, acclimate, and progress through their academic program at Cedar Crest.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS
The vice president will work with President Meade to determine specific measures of success and related timetables upon joining Cedar Crest. The search committee and stakeholders offer the following general metrics for success in the position.
- The vice president will have partnered with their colleagues on the president’s cabinet to spearhead a college-wide, collaborative effort to formulate a strategic enrollment plan that will serve as the College’s roadmap for continued growth and revenue enhancement. This plan will be supported by accompanying student retention, alumnae engagement, financial, and integrated enrollment marketing and communication plans. The vice president for enrollment management will be expected to demonstrate transparency, a willingness to collaborate with all internal and external stakeholders, and provide vision, leadership, and accountability in this process.
- The vice president will have reviewed operational strengths and weaknesses and will have outlined the strategic direction and long-term plan for the admissions office consistent with the College’s mission and goals.
- Relationships with colleagues in student financial services, athletics, student success and engagement, and academic units are viewed as collaborative and mutually beneficial; communication is timely and transparent; student athlete enrollment planning and roster management functions are strengthened; and sustainable systems of collaboration have been implemented.
- The vice president will have assessed the skills and knowledge of the admissions staff, developed a strong sense of teamwork among staff, and built working relationships with academic affairs, marketing and communications, institutional advancement, faculty, staff, students, and external vendors that emphasize an engaging and collaborative work environment.
- The vice president will have maintained a proactive, highly visible, well-respected, and established leadership presence on and off campus that is credible, collegial, and highly effective.
- The admissions office will be defined as a strong, highly functioning, well-regarded, and resilient team that works with synergy and shared purpose, readily collaborating across departmental and division lines with a demonstrated commitment to enrolling students who will thrive at Cedar Crest College, graduate, and become engaged alumnae.
- The vice president will have built effective partnerships and consensus across the College to develop a data-informed framework that will inform the College’s strategic enrollment plan.
OVERVIEW OF THE OFFICE OF ADMISSIONS AT CEDAR CREST COLLEGE
The vice president for enrollment management will lead the admissions functions for the following student populations at Cedar Crest College:
The VPEM directly supervises the director of enrollment management and a ½-time administrative assistant. The director oversees the associate director of SAGE enrollment, the assistant director of traditional admissions, four admissions counselors, and the communications & events specialist. The associate director of SAGE Enrollment oversees the assistant director of transfer admissions, two admissions counselors, a database manager, a data reporting specialist, and an office coordinator.
Enrollment Management Organizational Chart
2020-22 Enrollment Data (as of September 1, 2022)
Cedar Crest admits students for seven terms per year. The chart below provides admission cycle data for Fall 2021 and Fall 2022.
Since its founding in 1867, Cedar Crest has taken a bold approach to education – creating an environment and a curriculum designed for women who want to achieve at the highest levels. One of the first women’s colleges in the nation, Cedar Crest remains an independent, comprehensive liberal arts college primarily for women that combines excellence in scholarship and traditional undergraduate education with a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and online programs that serve adult women and men in the surrounding region and around the world.
The College has invested in ongoing improvement and expansion, including $18.5 million on renovations in recent years centered on the student experience. The College fields eleven teams in NCAA Division III sports, and students can participate in over 30 clubs and organizations, including nationally recognized community service and civic engagement programs, performance opportunities through active theatre and dance programs, and residential living opportunities in four residence halls. One of the first of its kind, the Student Employment Center guarantees on-campus employment for any interested student, and is intentionally supported to ensure professional development and job readiness for student employees. Equally distinctive is the Sophomore Expedition, a guaranteed study abroad program which gives each full-time, traditional student in good standing the opportunity to spend from seven to ten days abroad with her sophomore class with nearly all costs covered by the College.
Cedar Crest is nestled on a beautiful 84-acre campus in the western residential section of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Allentown is part of the Lehigh Valley region, the third-largest metropolitan area in Pennsylvania. Cedar Crest is conveniently located approximately 55 miles from Philadelphia and 90 miles from New York City. The College grounds are adorned with more than 140 species of trees that comprise a nationally registered arboretum. The College borders an extensive park system, and Allentown offers cultural activities ranging from theaters to art museums and recreational opportunities from minor league sports teams to concert venues that attract national acts.
Institutional Overview as of August 31, 2022
- Fall 2022 headcount: 1327
- Traditional undergraduate enrollment: 620
- SAGE undergraduate enrollment: 336
- Graduate enrollment: 371
- Fall to fall traditional UG retention rate: 78 percent average over the last seven years
- Four-year graduation rate (Fall 2018 cohort): 51%
- Total faculty (full and part-time): 188
- Endowment: $42,375,000
Elizabeth R. Meade – President
Elizabeth M. Meade became the fourteenth president of Cedar Crest College on July 1, 2018. Meade, who has been a member of the Cedar Crest faculty since 1993, was named interim president in July 2017. Prior to that, she was the College’s provost for a five-year period and previously served as acting provost and chair of Cedar Crest’s Department of Humanities.
During her tenure as president, Meade has been instrumental in leading the implementation of the College’s recently concluded strategic plan, advancing programmatic areas, and showing a commitment to disciplined fundraising that is refreshing. She has overseen a $5.2M renovation of the student center and a residence hall and a 1.1$M dining facility renovation, along with a branding initiative for the College to proudly declare its identity as a 21st century women’s college.
Meade earned her master’s degree in philosophy and PhD in philosophy from Boston College and earned a bachelor’s degree with distinction in German language and literature from Bryn Mawr College
The President’s Cabinet
Cedar Crest Mission, Vision, and Values
Cedar Crest’s most recent strategic plan, the Aspiration of Others, was approved by the Board of Trustees in 2017, and includes the following four major themes: Academic Excellence, Transformational Student Experience, Investment in Tomorrow’s Education and A College of Greater Impact. The current plan has come to a successful close, and a number of initiatives have been accomplished, including the establishment of the School of Nursing, new distinctive graduate programs, the Sophomore Year Expedition, Student Employment Center, Student Success Center, Closing the Gap, and the FalconPlex.
The final assessment report on the 2017-2022 strategic plan can be found here, and its success is evident in the College’s increasing standing in reviews and ratings, including U.S. News & World Report’s Best Value, Best for Colleges for Veterans, and Top Performers on Social Mobility. Planning is underway for the College’s next three-year strategic plan.
Institutional Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Founded under the mission to expand women’s access to higher-education, Cedar Crest College values difference in a diverse, inclusive, and equitable learning environment. The College is committed to educational excellence, leadership, and civic engagement in a pluralistic society. The student body has diversified in the last ten years, and 35 percent of students now identify as a student of color. 98 percent of first-year students receive financial aid, and 37 percent identify as first-generation students.
Cedar Crest’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) works with students, faculty, and staff to ensure equality and acceptance through programming and advocacy. CDI partners with the Gender and Sexuality Diversity (GSD) student group, Out There, and faculty and staff to provide support to all members of the Cedar Crest community. Cedar Crest also supports transgender students through a transgender admissions policy, campus resources, and gender-neutral housing. More information about the CDI can be found here: https://www.cedarcrest.edu/cdi/index.shtm.
Comprehensive and competitive benefits are available to Cedar Crest staff employees:
- Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance
- Life and Accident Insurance
- Retirement Benefits
- Time Away and Disability Leaves
- Educational Benefits
For detailed information, please visit Benefits Summary – 2022
Cedar Crest College has retained the services of Spelman Johnson, a leading national executive search firm, to assist with this search. Review of applications will begin on Monday, October 10th, 2022, 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 Michel R. Frendian, Senior Consultant, at email@example.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the Cedar Crest College website at www.cedarcrest.edu.
Cedar Crest College values difference in a diverse, inclusive, and equitable learning and working environment. The College provides equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, age, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, veteran status, disability, or any other status protected by law. All decisions regarding terms and conditions of employment will be made on the basis of ability and competency to perform the services required. This applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to recruitment, selection, placement, transfer, promotion, training, compensation, benefits, and termination.
History of Cedar Crest College
About Allentown, PA
Virtual Tour of Campus