Vice President for Enrollment Management
“Marymount Manhattan College is the nation’s premier destination for students seeking a contemporary, small-college experience that combines a versatile liberal arts education with limitless opportunities for professional preparation and social engagement in one of the greatest cities in the world.”
— President Kerry Walk
Marymount Manhattan College, a dynamic urban institution located on New York’s Upper East Side, seeks a Vice President for Enrollment Management with proven strengths in strategic enrollment planning, collaborative leadership, and research-based decision-making to serve as the College’s chief enrollment officer. A re-established position at MMC, the Vice President for Enrollment Management will report to the President and serve as a member of the Cabinet, the executive leadership team led by the President.
The VPEM will oversee the Office of Admission and the Center for Student Services, which includes financial aid, registration, and student accounts, and will provide collaborative leadership on retention efforts and enrollment marketing. The VPEM will work closely with a wide variety of offices and departments across campus, including Academic Affairs and the faculty on program differentiation and academic advisement; Communications on marketing strategies and materials; the Business Office on financial modeling and analysis, and financial aid awarding strategy; Career Services on CityEdge, MMC’s signature college-to-career initiative; Marymount Muscle on community engagement; other areas within Student Affairs, such as Residence Life and Student Activities and Development, on enhancing the student experience; and Institutional Research and Planning on historical enrollment trends and student body demographics.
MMC seeks candidates with proven strengths in strategic enrollment planning, enrollment marketing, research-based decision-making, and college-wide implementation of effective strategies for recruitment, retention, and enrollment management. The successful candidate will be an innovative and highly collaborative leader who will be able to work exceptionally well with colleagues on new and existing initiatives aimed at providing a distinctive, high-quality educational experience; promoting persistence, completion, and strong alumni outcomes; and creating and implementing a comprehensive marketing plan.
With the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, the VPEM will co-chair a newly constituted Committee, to consist of key enrollment and data stakeholders. In addition, the VPEM will serve as staff to standing and special committees of the Board of Trustees as assigned, and will attend all meetings of the full Board.
Marymount Manhattan College is a private, coeducational, nonsectarian liberal arts college located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. MMC combines a liberal arts education with professional preparation and social engagement in the rich mosaic of an urban environment. It offers a wide range of study options in arts and sciences, business, communication and media arts, and the visual and performing arts. New York City is key to MMC’s identity and its curricular and co-curricular programs because of the unique opportunities available in this global capital, including the broad array of experiential learning venues, research possibilities, and attractive career options. Regardless of their specific course of study, all students experience the liberal arts and sciences taught in a manner that is both contemporary and compelling.
MMC was established in 1936 by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary (RSHM) and began as an urban extension of Marymount College, in Tarrytown, New York. In 1948, the “city branch” moved to East 71st Street, its current location. In 1961, it became independent of its parent college and officially named Marymount Manhattan College when it was granted an absolute charter by the New York State Board of Regents.
Today, MMC has over 2,000 students, approximately 1,850 of whom attend full time. Full-time enrollment in fall 2016 was at an all-time high. Students hail from 46 states and over 47 countries. The College offers 29 undergraduate majors and over 40 minors and special programs, and will soon offer its first master’s program, in Speech-Language Pathology. MMC has a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1 with an average class size of 17 students. Ninety-six percent of the faculty hold terminal degrees. MMC also offers a college program at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women, enrolling more than 130 part-time students per semester in both associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs.
Students are taught by an outstanding cadre of faculty, for whom teaching is their primary commitment. Faculty members closely mentor and guide students throughout their years at MMC, and frequently include students in their research or invite them to engage in off-campus professional activities. During MMC’s 2012 reaccreditation review, the accrediting team praised the faculty for their passionate dedication to their students. A complement of excellent adjunct faculty drawn from New York City’s incomparable talent pool of professionals in all disciplines adds immeasurable richness to MMC’s academic programs.
Many MMC students receive scholarships or competitive awards for academic merit, talent, and co-curricular activities. These include internal awards made available by MMC, as well as funding provided by external resources. For example, MMC students have benefited as Boren scholars, Watson fellows, and Fulbright recipients. Outside the classroom, students have ample opportunities for involvement and leadership on campus. There are about 40 student-run clubs and organizations funded by the Student Government Association, including the student newspaper (The Monitor), the Global Citizens Society, the Psychology Club, the Black and Latino Students Association, the Social Sciences Assembly, and a comedy sketch team called Dead Rabbits Society, to name a few.
The SGA, which is the main governing body for student concerns and representation, comprises an Executive Board, Student Senate, and Divisional Representatives. The Campus Activities Board, which is also run by students, organizes many events for recreation and enrichment both on and off campus, including outdoor street festivals and free attendance at Broadway shows. There are rich opportunities for students to attend on-campus lectures, readings, performances, exhibitions, and showcases, which are presented by accomplished students and notable guests.
Staff and Administration
MMC employs more than 200 full-time and part-time talented staff members, who are committed to serving the College in a professional manner and furthering its mission. The College offers staff a range of activities geared toward their professional development, wellness, and financial self-improvement. MMC also recognizes the dedication of faculty and staff by honoring members who have been with the College for more than ten years during its annual Charter Day celebration.
The president, Kerry Walk, Ph.D., joined MMC on July 1, 2015. She came to this position with more than twenty years of experience as a higher education leader. Before taking office, Dr. Walk served as Provost and Interim President of Otis College of Art and Design, in Los Angeles, where she advanced the institution through highly collaborative enrollment and fundraising efforts, a transformative campus expansion project, and a new five-year strategic plan. She also led major efforts to promote student learning and success, including a revamping of college curricula and establishment of an international education center. Prior to joining Otis, President Walk held academic leadership positions at Harvard University, Princeton University and Pitzer College, one of The Claremont Colleges.
In addition to the VPEM, the President’s Cabinet includes four vice presidents: the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty; the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students; the Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance; and the Vice President for Institutional Advancement. All members of the Cabinet are seasoned professionals, who bring extraordinary knowledge, experience, and vision to their roles, and who work closely together to advance the educational mission of the College.
MMC has approximately 14,000 alumni, many of whom have gained national and prominent distinction in a wide range of fields. The College’s alumni include the first female U.S. vice presidential candidate to represent a major political party; winners of Tony, Emmy, and Academy Awards; an internationally renowned fashion designer; an entrepreneur whose start-up company grew into an acclaimed multi-million-dollar business; and the founder of a widely recognized nonprofit organization concerned with human trafficking. Having benefited from their years at MMC, with its small-classroom environment and individualized instruction, many MMC graduates have excelled in academic careers. College alumni have also become psychologists, business owners, scientists, physicians, lawyers, bankers, dancers, religious leaders, writers, actors, politicians, civil servants, and nonprofit leaders.
MMC’s main campus is located in Manhattan on 71st Street, between Second and Third Avenues. The main campus consists of three buildings: the adjacent Carson Hall and Nugent Hall, and the Faculty Center, located a few doors away in a renovated brownstone. In addition to classrooms, science labs, and performance studios, the main campus houses the Hewitt Gallery of Art, the Great Hall (one of the largest dance spaces in New York City); the Theresa Lang Theatre (a professionally equipped 250-seat proscenium theatre); the J. William Bordeaux Box Theatre (a 50-seat studio theatre); the Nugent Lounge (“the Nuge”) with a Starbucks café; the Thomas J. Shanahan Library; and the Theresa Lang Center for Producing, which features a state-of-the-art digital media production center.
Over 40% of students live in MMC’s residence halls, which are located a few subway stops away from the main campus. The residence hall at 55th Street and Third Avenue is the tallest in the country, and the Cooper Square residence hall, which opened in 2015, is located in Manhattan’s dynamic East Village. The College leases studio and performance space around the city, including at the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance, the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, Ballet Hispanico, Pearl Studios, National Dance Institute, the York Theatre, and The Theater at Saint Jean.
MMC recently made significant improvements to the physical plant to support the College’s mission and to increase and enhance spaces devoted to students. These improvements include the construction of the Lowerre Family Terrace in 2008, which created a large space for the campus to congregate and enjoy the outdoors on an otherwise indoor campus. In 2009, the College created The Commons, an indoor meeting place in Carson Hall adjacent to the Lowerre Family Terrace. The College also completely renovated the food servery above The Commons.
MMC is easily accessible from the New York metropolitan area by car/taxi, bus, and train/subway. The 72nd Street “Q Line” subway stop is across the street from Nugent Hall; the 68th Street “6 Line” subway stop is an eight-minute walk away. Two Citi Bike stations, part of a city-wide bike-sharing program, are within a block. MMC’s neighborhood is family-oriented and replete with world-class restaurants, stores, services, and cultural institutions, including Central Park and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, both just a few blocks away.
Finances and Enrollment
MMC has an annual operating budget of approximately $60 million; its endowment is approximately $18 million. The recent Middle States Commission on Higher Education accreditation team commended the College for conservative budgeting and rigorous fiscal management. MMC’s investment-grade rating from Moody’s was recently reaffirmed.
MMC is a tuition-dependent institution. Tuition for 2017-18 is $30,458, and fees are $1,492, for a total of $31,950—considered to be a “value price point” in comparison with MMC’s peer institutions. Approximately 90% of MMC’s full-time students receive institutional support in the form of scholarships, fellowships, or grants, resulting in a relatively low average full-time net price. The discount rate, which has been intentionally increased over the last five years, continues to be significantly below the national average. MMC also participates in federal and state financial aid programs.
Opportunities and Challenges
The last decade has been one of enormous transformation for MMC. The College strengthened its academic profile by adding faculty lines and recruiting outstanding new faculty to fill them. The faculty also designed a new general education curriculum that was implemented in fall 2010. That same year, the College introduced a Liberal Studies Program to provide structured and specialized advisement for incoming students who had not yet decided upon a major. In fall 2011, MMC began its College Honors Program. Also that fall, the faculty’s teaching load was reduced from eight courses per year to seven so that faculty members could devote more time to their scholarly and creative activities, as well as to student mentoring and advising. In 2013, a strategic plan was approved that affirmed MMC’s identity as an institution committed to integrative learning and creative endeavors within a liberal arts context. The plan called for the restructuring of several major programs, out of which emerged several interdisciplinary programs, such as Politics and Human Rights. The following year, the faculty completed a major revision of Faculty Governance as well.
Between fall 2010 and fall 2013, MMC experienced a steady and significant Recession-related enrollment decline, which was reversed between fall 2014 and fall 2016. As noted above, overall enrollment in fall 2016 is the highest on record. The enrollment increase can be attributed to several factors: a productive relationship with the enrollment management consulting firm Ruffalo Noel Levitz; a change in the awarding strategy, including an intentional increase in the discount rate (which continues to be significantly below the national average, as noted above); the use of predictive modeling and other retention indicators; the implementation of new anti-melt programs; improved marketing and communications; and the enhancement of the first-year experience. One additional factor, with significant personnel, budget, and space impacts, was the decision to increase enrollment in the performing arts. In fall 2010, performing arts students made up approximately 30% of the student body; currently, approximately 50%.
In 2015-16, with the arrival of a new president, a new college-to-career initiative called CityEdge was launched. Led by the faculty in partnership with Career Services, and supported by foundation funding, CityEdge seeks to deeply immerse students in New York’s vibrant learning and career landscape while distinguishing MMC as a small college at the intersection of a high-quality liberal arts education and professional preparation in the heart of a world-class city. An update of MMC’s visual identity, reflecting the energy and openness of the MMC experience, and sharper messaging have strengthened the College’s value proposition. Auxiliary education programs that serve the community and take best advantage of MMC’s programs have been launched, thanks to a $1 million gift, and will increasingly make an array of educational experiences, delivered in a variety of modes, available to the New York community and beyond.
In spring 2017, a new strategic plan for 2017 - 2021, Contemporary and Compelling: Envisioning MMC’s Future, was unanimously approved by the faculty, the Cabinet, and the Board of Trustees. The VPEM will closely partner with all college constituencies to implement the plan, which is focused squarely on advancing the College mission. The plan provides a flexible blueprint for differentiating an MMC education through innovation, communicating the College’s unique value proposition through a strong marketing plan, taking a data-driven, ROI approach to enrollment management, investing in the physical plant and technology-based systems in order to enhance the student experience, developing new mission-centric revenue streams, and enhancing fundraising.
The VPEM will collaborate with a highly motivated and collegial Cabinet, faculty, and staff to further develop and implement a Strategic Enrollment Plan (SEP). Recruiting new students and promoting student success have been vigorous and coordinated college-wide efforts. The new SEP is expected to enable the College to optimize its enrollment portfolio and to continue the upward trend in persistence and completion rates. As part of the SEP, the VPEM will be intimately involved in campus planning to enhance learning across the College, whether in classrooms, galleries, studios, laboratories, or performance spaces.
Duties and Responsibilities
The VPEM primary duties and responsibilities are as follows:
- Collaboratively develop and implement a Strategic Enrollment Plan, which establishes appropriate, nuanced and strategic enrollment goals.
- Supervise and coordinate the functions of the Office of Admissions and the Center for Student Services, and partner with other offices and departments to effectively and strategically manage enrollment.
- Deliver student-centered enrollment services by coordinating the efforts of multiple departments, and ensure efficient, effective, and integrated policies and procedures.
- Develop strategies to achieve enrollment goals by developing an effective marketing plan, retention plan, and appropriate leveraging of financial aid.
- Partner with various committees and groups responsible for planning and developing enrollment strategies, such as the Cabinet, the Student Success Committee, and the Academic Policy Committee.
- Provide ongoing support and guidance to the campus community as it relates to the enrollment management effort.
- Meet regularly with the President, providing day-to-day analysis and insight to support institutional decision-making regarding enrollment.
Qualifications and Experience
The successful candidate must possess the following:
- A bachelor’s degree, with a minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible experience in enrollment management and/or related areas;
- Experience leading, managing, and motivating a professional staff, and working collaboratively and effectively with multiple constituencies and across divisions and departments;
- Propensity to engage and utilize faculty and others in the recruitment, marketing, and selection process of students on a program-by-program basis;
- Experience developing a collaborative enrollment environment and furthering the institution’s commitment to diversity and inclusion;
- Experience in the development and implementation of multi-year strategic enrollment plans, including effective and contemporary recruitment, retention, awarding, and marketing strategies;
- Experience in the design and implementation of enrollment management systems, student information systems, and other institutional databases;
- Extensive knowledge of enrollment data collection, analysis, and reporting;
- Knowledge of strategic enrollment management theory, including recruitment and retention planning, as well as national trends and current best practices in the field;
- Deep understanding of the evolving higher education environment;
- Knowledge of applicable laws and regulations pertaining to not-for-profits and institutions of higher learning;
- Energetic and creative approach to work, and superb verbal and written communication skills;
- Desire to embrace the urban energy and lifestyle of the College’s vibrant New York City location.
In addition, the following attributes are preferred:
- An advanced degree;
- Experience with enrollment and revenue forecasting and predictive modeling;
- Knowledge of the student management system Colleague, the comprehensive CRM Slate, and other tools for strategically managing enrollment; and
- Experience working with Ruffalo Noel Levitz.
The salary range for this position is competitive and will depend on experience and qualifications. The benefits package is generous.
How to Apply
Napier Executive Search is assisting Marymount Manhattan College with this search. For more information or to nominate someone for the position, contact Mary Napier (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nancy Benedict (email@example.com) for a confidential conversation. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. For full consideration, application materials should be submitted electronically to MMC@napiersearch.com by September 18, 2017. Applications should consist of three documents in PDF format: (1) an in-depth cover letter that addresses the candidate’s qualifications and accomplishments in the areas identified in the position profile, (2) a detailed résumé, and (3) a list of five professional references with titles, contact information, and a sentence describing the nature of each professional relationship. References will not be contacted without the candidate’s knowledge and permission.
For more information about Marymount Manhattan College, please visit www.mmm.edu.
Women and people of diverse racial, ethnic, cultural backgrounds and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Marymount Manhattan College is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity employer.