Elon University, the premier student-centered environment for experiential learning, seeks a collaborative and knowledgeable Associate Dean of Admissions for Diversity and Access. The Associate Dean will embrace Boldly Elon, the strategic plan for 2030, that will advance the University as a leading residential institution and will sharply define Elon’s position as a top-100 national university. Founded in 1889 and located in the college town of Elon, North Carolina, Elon University has built a reputation as a university like no other, a school that transformed from a small North Carolina liberal arts college to become a prestigious national university with 7,000 students from around the world.
The Associate Dean of Admissions for Diversity and Access will report to the Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and is responsible for planning, leading, and executing a diversity recruitment program to meet the university’s enrollment goals. While the position has a focus on recruitment of Black-identified students, the role includes attracting qualified students from diverse backgrounds, as well as developing new geographic recruitment areas for the university. In addition, the candidate will provide mentorship and supervisory leadership to the assistant director of admissions for diversity and access and is also responsible for admissions counselor responsibilities for a specific region, territory management, application review and decision making.
Responsibilities, Duties and Priorities:
In their responsibilities relating to Diversity and Access, the chosen candidate will be responsible for the following duties and priorities:
• Enhance and implement Elon’s five-year diversity recruitment strategic plans for African American/Black, Latino/Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, Alaskan Native and Multiracial (ALANAM) recruitment to meet university enrollment goals.
• With the Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Vice President for Enrollment Management, set a yearly enrollment strategy for historically underrepresented students at Elon. Research inquiry, application and enrollment trends for historically underrepresented populations; identify and plan travel in new areas and evaluate success of previous years’ travel.
• Identify and recruit students who are highly interested in Elon or whose academic and extracurricular profiles suggest a strong match for engaged learning; determine students interested in special programs or activities and take necessary steps to ensure that they receive information.
• Plan a program of travel to significantly increase the number of visits to high schools with a high percentage of students of color; schedule and attend in-person college fairs and face-to-face and virtual high school visits during September through May.
• Build and foster strong relationships with high school counselors, independent counselors, Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and other outreach organizations; consult high school counselors and students as needed to complete files for evaluation.
• Maintain planning of college day programs, individual visits and financial reporting.
• Direct office initiatives to develop staff and strengthen cultural competencies; meet with staff and students at least once each semester to provide education, encourage dialogue and review specific recruitment plans.
• Collaborate with the Associate Director of Admissions for Campus Visit to ensure ongoing, substantive, and appropriate training of all University Guides around diversity and inclusion priorities and to assess the campus visit experience for students and families from diverse backgrounds.
• Plan and implement a program of communication with students from diverse backgrounds and their families with the goal to increase the number of applications and matriculants; assist with the development of appropriate publications to meet these goals.
• Collaborate with University Communications to ensure all admission publications and websites dedicated to diversity recruitment are up-to-date, relevant, and innovative.
• Plan and implement special events for prospective underrepresented students, including Phoenix Fusion Weekend, Game day, The Black Advance, diversity focused receptions and other campus recruitment events; host groups of ALANAM students and individual students on campus.
• Oversee the recruitment and training of an admissions staff member and a student intern, along with infusing all members of the admissions staff with energy and focus regarding diverse populations.
• Serve as the advisor of the Elon Diversity Ambassadors, a student group created to support university diversity recruitment efforts.
• Lead and serve as a member of the Odyssey Program selection committee.
• Serve as primary liaison to partnering offices across campus, including working in collaboration and support with the vice president and associate provost for inclusive excellence.
In addition, as the Associate Dean of Admissions, the selected individual will also be responsible for admissions counselor responsibilities including:
• Recruit from and increase yield in primary and tertiary travel territories.
• Prepare an independent travel schedule to include high school visits and college fairs, during a 6-8 week period, including fall and spring; organize and host information sessions and yield events in travel territories.
• Advise and counsel students about their college search while highlighting the benefits of a residential and academic experience grounded in the liberal arts and that prioritizes experiential learning.
• Evaluate applications; consult high school counseling offices and students to complete files for decisions.
• Access completed files from assigned territory and complete the initial review of the application.
• Participate in admissions committee meetings to finalize admitted students from Early Decision, Early Action and Regular Deadline pools.
• Assist with the implementation of weekend events including Open House, Rising Phoenix Weekend and Fellows Weekend.
• Manage a personal expense report online via Elon’s procurement card site.
• Serve as the Counselor of the Day on a rotating basis, responsible for fielding and following up on incoming calls from prospective students, parents and guidance counselors; support campus visit program by conducting campus interviews/information sessions with prospective students and their families (including Saturday rotation).
Qualifications, Abilities and Desired Characteristics:
It is expected that the Associate Dean of Admissions for Diversity and Access will have a bachelor's degree (advanced degree is preferred) as well as three to five years of admission experience, particularly with a demonstrated ability to recruit diverse student populations, including African American/Black, Latino/Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, Alaskan Native and Multiracial (ALANAM) populations and other areas of identified diversity on Elon’s campus.
The successful candidate will also possess the following abilities and characteristics:
- Clear competency of diversity and its values as it relates to higher education and in organizations.
- An understanding of legality as it pertains to higher education and recruitment.
- Ability to manage multiple responsibilities and meet deadlines.
- Outstanding communicator who possesses strong interpersonal and presentation skills for speaking confidently and engagingly with prospective students from diverse backgrounds, their families, campus colleagues, counselors, and alumni.
- Ability to meet and work well with the public and to represent the institution with understanding, professionalism, confidence, and knowledge.
- High level knowledge of national and international market demographics, demands, and trends to help inform recruitment strategy.
- Proficiency in appropriate software systems including Microsoft Office, email, and Ellucian Colleague; experience with Slate is preferred.
- An appreciation of Elon and a deep respect for the University’s mission, as well as the ability to build out and advance the mission, especially by partnering with others.
- Desire to make immediate contributions to an ambitious, forward thinking and quickly moving culture.
- Demonstrated commitment to and success in recruiting and enrolling students from diverse and underserved populations.
- Ability to mentor, motivate, and inspire peers and colleagues and be a part of a talented and hardworking team.
- Exude positivity in a professional setting.
- An understanding and respect for balancing professional goals with university resources.
Led by Elon’s 9th president, Connie Ledoux Book, Elon’s rigorous curriculum is grounded in the arts and sciences and complemented by nationally accredited professional and graduate programs. The 447 full-time faculty members teach in more than 60 undergraduate majors, along with master’s programs in business administration, management, accounting, education, higher education, interactive media and physician assistant studies; and doctoral programs in physical therapy and law. Elon’s four-year graduation rate of 79 percent ranks #35 among the U.S. News National Universities.
The university includes Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences; the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business; the School of Communications; the School of Education; the School of Health Sciences; and the School of Law, which is located on a campus in downtown Greensboro, N.C. Elon’s 6,291 undergraduate and 826 graduate students hail from 46 states and 49 other countries. About 24 percent are from North Carolina, with strong enrollment numbers from the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and other states across the country.
Global engagement is central to Elon’s experience and the Institute of International Education has ranked Elon #1 in the nation for study abroad for 15 straight years. Eighty percent of students have at least one international study experience, often combined with internships, research or service. In addition, Elon’s Study USA program includes opportunities to study in Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Alaska and other locations.
Elon earns top rankings for community service by the federal government’s Corporation for National and Community Service, with 88 percent of students participating in service-learning. In addition, 87 percent of students complete internships, 58 percent of students hold at least one campus leadership position, and 22 percent of students work with faculty mentors on undergraduate research projects.
Inclusive Excellence at Elon celebrates and values the diverse backgrounds, cultures, experiences, and perspectives of the Elon community. Diversity is embraced in the broadest sense and is the shared responsibility of Elon University members to act deliberately toward equitable outcomes. Central to Elon’s mission of transforming mind, body, and spirit, Inclusive Excellence requires addressing systems in ways that achieve equity and help individuals thrive.
Elon’s engaging intellectual climate is distinguished by supportive and collaborative human relationships that promote personal growth. More than 200 student organizations flourish, providing a rich array of opportunities to get involved. Student Professional Development Center counselors work with students to create personal development plans, resumes and strong networking skills. The robust Elon Network of employers, alumni and parents provides connections to internships and career opportunities.
Elon is ranked among the top-100 National Universities by U.S. News & World Report, with a #2 ranking for excellence in undergraduate teaching and #10 for innovation. In addition, Elon is the leader in the “Focus on Student Success” feature – the only college or university ranked in the top-20 in all eight categories of high-impact academic programs. Included are #1 rankings for study abroad and learning communities and #2 rankings for first-year experiences, senior capstone and service learning.
Princeton Review ranks Elon the nation’s #1 “Best-Run” college, with the #1 “Most Popular Study Abroad” program, the #4 “Most Beautiful Campus” and the #4 “Best Career Services” program. The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education ranks Elon #16 in the nation for student engagement. Poets & Quants ranks Elon among the nation’s top undergraduate business, marketing and MBA programs. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine names Elon one of the nation’s top-30 “best value” private universities.
Elon’s historic 656-acre campus in central North Carolina is designated as a botanical garden and includes the 56-acre Elon University Forest, a land preserve and natural area for scientific research; and the Elon Environmental Center at Loy Farm, a center for environmental research and sustainability that includes a solar farm.
A member of the Colonial Athletics Association, Elon’s Phoenix athletics program includes 17 intercollegiate men’s and women’s sports in NCAA Division I (FCS football). In addition, Elon offers 18 intramural and 21 club sports.
Elon is an academic community that provides a calibrated balance of challenge and encouragement, helping students discover the ambition to seek something great and the courage to achieve it. Elon is a university with a powerful trajectory—ever on the rise and always striving to achieve higher levels of excellence.
To learn more about Elon University, go to https://www.elon.edu/.
Elon University is located in the beautifully historic Alamance County. The Town of Elon, with a population of approximately 10,000, is home to a number of businesses envisioned, developed and run by Elon University alumni including Pandora’s Pies, The Oak House, The Root and Simply Oak Boutique all of which are located in Downtown Elon. Downtown Elon is also home to the first MaGerk’s Pub in the South and is the second location in North Carolina for the Mediterranean Deli & Grocery. The Town of Elon also offers two parks with walking trails and programming five minutes from campus. Downtown Elon hosts a variety of events throughout the year open to the community.
Just ten minutes from campus, the city of Burlington (population approximately 53,000), features Alamance Crossing, a large outdoor shopping mall, a variety of restaurants and the beautiful Lake Mackintosh, an 1100-acre lake with canoeing, paddleboats and outdoor picnic facilities, just minutes from campus.
The first phase of the Burlington Greenway and Bikeway was completed in summer of 2020. Connecting downtown Elon and downtown Burlington, the Greenway creates a convenient and safe way for bikes and pedestrians to travel from campus to Burlington, enhancing the quality of life. Three of the public elementary schools in the county offer Spanish language immersion programs. With the help of Splash! Language Immersion, several schools have been established where all instruction is given in Spanish by native speaking teachers.
Just off the I-40 corridor, Elon’s location provides access to some of North Carolina’s largest metropolitan areas, as well as numerous outdoor and leisure activities. A short distance from Elon are the triad cities of Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point, and to the east Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh, the anchors of the triangle. With populations of 1.6 million and 1.7 million respectively, these areas contain renowned furniture factories, top golf courses, shopping opportunities and historic sites, as well as hiking, swimming and skiing opportunities.
Napier Executive Search is assisting Elon University with this search for Associate Dean of Admissions for Diversity and Access. For more information or to nominate someone for this position, contact Mary Napier ([email protected]) or Laura Robinson ([email protected]) for a confidential conversation. Interested candidates should submit a résumé along with a cover letter expressing interest in this position. Candidates should provide the names and contact information of at least three professional references; references will not be contacted without permission. All application materials should be submitted electronically to [email protected] as soon as possible. Materials will be reviewed beginning July 26 and the search will remain open until the position is filled. The anticipated start date is Fall, 2021.
Elon University is an equal employment opportunity employer committed to a diverse faculty, staff and student body and welcomes all applicants.