Vice President for Strategic Recruitment and Enrollment

Georgetown, Texas
Jan 20, 2018
Southwestern University
Executive Administration Jobs
Vice Presidents
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Southwestern University has been an educational leader in the state of Texas and our nation for more than 177 years.  Our founders championed the vital role of formal education and its important contributions to the well-being of humanity.  Their early commitment to cultivating academic excellence, lifelong learning, and a passion for intellectual and personal growth laid the foundation for Southwestern’s current reputation as a leader in higher education.


Edward Burger
President, Southwestern University


Southwestern University seeks a collaborative, forward-thinking, bold, data-driven strategist to become the Vice President for Strategic Recruitment and Enrollment. The Vice President will oversee all areas of recruitment and financial aid.  The ideal candidate will be a highly energetic enrollment expert who will pair a deep understanding of enrollment processes with a strategic mindset to establish and meet the recruitment goals of the University.  With an understanding of marketing and recruitment, the Vice President will craft a data-informed enrollment plan that will insure the recruitment of quality students who will succeed in Southwestern’s dynamic and innovative education.  Reporting directly to President Edward Burger, the new Vice President will receive direction from the Board of Trustees in accordance with the Bylaws of the University. 

The Vice President in this newly created role will serve as the chief enrollment officer of the University, and will provide counsel to the President as a member of the President’s Staff.   The successful candidate will be a valued partner in institutional strategic planning, participating in institution-wide collaborative efforts. The Vice President for Strategic Recruitment and Enrollment will direct and develop an enrollment services team of 16 admissions and 6 financial aid professionals. Building on the division’s existing strengths, the vice president will seek opportunities to take enrollment results to the next level.  With primary goals of increasing enrollment and quality, and recruiting successful students who are most likely to persist, the vice president will strategically explore new markets, take calculated risks, and build upon the foundation of existing markets.  Understanding the importance of an enrollment culture, the Vice President will demonstrate an integral ability and willingness to partner with faculty, staff, alumni, and other institutional colleagues in order to meet enrollment goals.  The ability to build trust and rapport through honest and transparent dialog is essential.

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications and characteristics:

  • Demonstrated record of past success in the higher education enrollment arena
  • Documented success managing and meeting financial aid targets while also achieving enrollment goals
  • Strong knowledge and deep experience in enrollment, admissions marketing, and financial aid
  • Understanding of and experience with creative recruiting practices for diverse populations
  • Possess knowledge, understanding, and acceptance of cultural differences and the diversity within the campus and community
  • Knowledge of demographic trends and market forces shaping the college-going population
  • Ability to create and execute a strong strategic enrollment plan and engage in strategic planning for the University
  • Understanding and commitment to a liberal arts education, including the ability to relate to a liberal arts faculty and all other University constituents
  • Ten years or more of progressive experience in enrollment services-related positions, with multiple years of management experience
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree in a related field preferred
  • Experience serving on or working with a senior leadership team
  • Experience in territory development and management
  • Successful experience with financial aid and predictive modeling, and net tuition revenue forecasting
  • Collaborative marketing experience, including the development of consistent and effective messaging consistent with institutional messaging
  • Excellent computer and software skills, including student database systems and CRMs; experience with Slate and Ellucian/Datatel Colleague is preferred
  • Ability to make difficult decisions with demonstrated intellectual integrity and honesty
  • Ability to be creative and engage others in creative conversations
  • Charismatic with a competitive spirit dedicated to the success of enrollment and of the institution
  • Strong leader with an open, collegial management style, able to unite the various constituencies represented within the University community.
  • Credible, honest, and unafraid to communicate with transparency
  • Responsive and flexible
  • Respectful supervisory and management skills, with skillfulness to lead by example
  • Demonstrated leadership skills, including a strong work ethic and ability to perform well in stressful situations
  • Possess excellent verbal and written interaction and communication skills
  • Tremendous amount of intellectual curiosity and a life-long learner

Southwestern University:  Situated on 701 beautiful Central Texas acres, 100 of which is known as the academic campus, Southwestern was the first institution of higher learning in Texas, chartered in 1840.  Southwestern is a selective, independent, four-year undergraduate national liberal arts college consisting of The Brown College of Arts and Sciences and the Sarofim School of Fine Arts.  With the theme of “Think, Create and Connect,” the new strategic vision of Southwestern University is based on the commitment “to empowering students to think, create, and make meaning through intentional connections, innovative academic pursuits, and a vibrant residential community. This ongoing commitment to the rich experiences essential to intellectual, personal, and professional success in the 21st century requires institutional financial sustainability achieved through collaborative innovation and creativity.”

Southwestern enrolls 1,400 undergraduate students from 35 states and 28 countries. Students and faculty agree that what makes the Southwestern experience unique are an engaged community of thinkers and learners, and a cutting-edge curriculum that combines the development of intellectual practices and exposure to real-world experience, while enhancing the ability to see across multiple disciplines. All of Southwestern’s tenured faculty hold the highest degree in their respective fields. With a student to faculty ratio of 12:1, a Southwestern education is personal, challenging and supportive.

Students participate in over 90 student organizations, and 20 varsity teams competing at the NCAA Division III level.  At a rate that is twice the national average, Southwestern students give nearly 22,000 service hours annually.  Proud to be one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges, Southwestern shows its commitment to sustainable practices throughout campus with student-led initiatives, grant-funded projects, and the participation of the entire Southwestern community.

Location:  Southwestern University is located in Georgetown, Texas, an idyllic college town with a population of 65,000 that quickly feels like home.   With the beautiful town square, its coffee-houses, eateries, farmers markets, year-round outdoor recreation and pleasant weather, Georgetown provides an ideal college setting for its Southwestern students, and a great place to live and thrive for Southwestern families.  Situated only 15 miles north of the Austin city limits, Georgetown, Texas was chosen as one of Southern Living’s “15 Affordable Towns We Love.” Huffington Post claims, “This small town in Texas is packed with history and charm.” Georgetown residents enjoy smaller town living while capitalizing on the opportunities available within the vibrant, innovative state capital city of Austin, Texas.  Known as the “Live music capital of the world” centering on country, blues and rock music, Austin is recognized for its creative and entrepreneurial spirit.  Its many parks and lakes are popular for hiking, biking, swimming and boating.

To Apply: Napier Executive Search is assisting Southwestern University to identify the experienced professional who will become the new Vice President for Strategic Recruitment and Enrollment. For more information, or to nominate someone for this position, contact Robin Reynders ([email protected]) or Mary Napier ([email protected]). All conversations will remain confidential unless otherwise stated and agreed.

Interested candidates should submit a resumé along with a letter of interest describing their unique qualifications for the Vice President for Strategic Recruitment and Enrollment. Candidates should also provide the names and contact information of at least three professional references.  For confidentiality, references will not be contacted without permission. All application materials should be submitted electronically to [email protected] by February 21, 2018.  The preferred start date will be in late Spring, 2018.

Southwestern University is committed to fostering a diverse educational environment and encourages applications from members of groups traditionally under-represented in academia.  EEO/M/F