Centre College’s mission is to prepare students
for lives of learning, leadership, and service.
Centre College, a selective liberal arts and sciences college in Danville, Kentucky, is seeking a collaborative, dynamic, and strategic Director of Admission. This experienced leader will bring a history of demonstrated success in undergraduate recruitment, a commitment to diversity, and an appreciation of the liberal arts. Reporting to the Vice President of Enrollment Management, the Director of Admission will lead and manage the daily operations of the Office of Admission. The director will serve as a senior advisor to the vice president on all admission matters and help to guide planning and implementation efforts for the recruitment and admission of a diverse and academically exceptional class.
In partnership with the vice president, the director will oversee the strategic direction of the admission office and be an exceptional team leader, a collaborative campus and community partner, and an experienced enrollment management professional with an understanding of national and international trends and markets. They will coordinate strategic initiatives, student recruitment, and the selection processes. This position is fully engaged in all the components of the admission program, including recruitment travel, interviewing, evaluating applications, and public speaking.
Duties, Responsibilities and Priorities
The essential duties, responsibilities and priorities for the Director of Admission include the following:
- Plan and implement innovative and prudent admission practices, policies, and initiatives, as well as new approaches to enrollment goals, technology, publications, communications, and partnerships across campus.
- Provide education regarding changing demographics and the highly competitive landscape, building effective recruitment and engagement activities.
- Evaluate and analyze current admission operations and data.
- Recommend admission programming changes and provide leadership in the development and implementation of programs, standards, and goals for the Admission Office.
- Oversee the consideration of domestic and international applications, including first-year and transfer applicants, each year for enrollment of 420 new students.
- Maintain and manage an application reading load and travel territory.
- Sustain and enhance Centre’s excellence in liberal arts education; communicate the goals and value of the liberal arts in today’s environment to a wide range of audiences, sharing the spirit of Centre’s culture of intellectual engagement with prospective families, secondary-school counselors, community-based organizations, and other college partners.
- Develop further systematic ways to assess, improve, and renew programs, benchmarking them against best practices.
Partnership, Collaboration and Communication
- Act as a liaison to campus partners including advancement, financial aid, career and professional development, and athletics departments as well as the Registrar’s Office and Dean of Students Office on admission matters.
- In partnership with the Office of Strategic Marketing and Communication, plan, develop and revise publications and communications outreach for prospective students.
- When required, represent the vice president on campus with many constituencies including the Board of Trustees; off campus with professional and educational groups; and in the press.
- Attend and contribute to national and regional meetings of professional organizations such as the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the College Board, and state and regional organizations.
Commitment to Diversity at Centre
- Demonstrate keen interest and experience in assuming a leadership role on campus in assisting the college to reach goals related to enhancing the diversity of the student population.
- Introduce students to a campus that values diversity, respect, collective engagement, accountability, and personal growth in a community of extraordinary talent.
- Exhibit a sincere commitment to building a diverse, equitable and inclusive community and a willingness to continue to foster personal learning on these important issues within the office.
- Inform internal and external constituencies about selective admission policies that also maintain a commitment to educational access for a diverse population of students.
- Demonstrate an appreciation of and commitment to further an inclusive culture for those of diverse backgrounds such as ability, age, class, ethnicity, faith, gender, neurodiversity, race and sexual orientation.
- Directly supervise an ambitious and hardworking team of admission professionals.
- Organize workflow and ensure that employees understand their responsibilities.
- Ensure staff have professional development plans in place and develop training opportunities.
- Communicate key issues and information to staff members and student workers.
- Effectively provide fair, constructive, and timely feedback and coaching to staff to drive performance and work toward established goals.
Qualifications, Skills, Abilities, and Characteristics
The successful candidate must have a bachelor’s degree, with an advanced degree preferred. Additionally, this role requires a minimum of seven years of progressively responsible admission experience at the post-secondary level.
The Director should demonstrate the following skills, abilities, and characteristics:
- Experience supervising, managing, developing, and motivating a diverse team of admission officers and administrative support staff.
- Familiarity with and support of the mission of a selective liberal arts college along with the ability to speak persuasively about the value of the liberal arts in today’s context.
- Ability to evaluate applicants within a holistic review process, chair admission committees, and make appropriate admission decisions.
- Strong verbal, written, technical, fiscal, interpersonal, and collaborative skills.
- Ability to work jointly with the administration and faculty in promoting the mission of the College.
- Confident leadership in matters regarding staff, training, budget, operations, and project assignments.
- Expertise in current national best practices in admissions and experience with strategic planning and implementation efforts, including those that relate to the use of technology, improving publications and communications, and enhancing the student visitor experience.
- Knowledge of current trends and issues in the national landscape of admission and financial aid.
- Excellent communication skills with a wide range of audiences including students, parents, and counselors and the ability to adeptly manage both external and internal relationships.
- Exceptional analytical and planning skills and, importantly, a sense of humor.
- Ability to work under pressure, balancing problem solving and time-management skills; competency in prioritizing among the multiple and often competing needs of an active office.
- Exceptional organizational, and superior judgment skills to complete work with accuracy and attention to detail.
- An excellent understanding of the power of technology in admission work, including a knowledge of and experience maximizing a CRM; (familiarity with Slate Technolutions preferred).
Founded in 1819 and named for its location in the middle of the state, Centre College opened its doors in the fall of 1820 with a single building, a faculty of two, and a student body of five. Today, there are approximately 1,400 students, 148 full-time faculty members and more than 50 majors, minors, pre-professional and dual-degree programs, and graduate partnerships in three academic divisions: Arts & Humanities, Social Studies, and Sciences & Mathematics, each chaired by a member of the faculty under the general oversight of the Dean of the College. The work of each division is carried out through separate program committees representing the various academic disciplines.
The Centre Experience
Centre College students earn an extraordinary liberal arts and sciences education, put their education into practice in real-world settings, and explore their future in our Career Exploration Communities. The Centre Experience ensures study abroad, participation in hands-on research and career internships around the world, and the chance to engage with alumni and industry leaders. The Centre Commitment guarantees students who meet the College’s academic and social expectations an internship or a research opportunity, study abroad, and graduation in four years. If a student is unable to secure the components of the Centre Commitment within four consecutive years of enrollment, the College will provide up to an additional year of study tuition-free. Centre is proud to offer significant financial aid to make a premiere education accessible and affordable, including several competitive scholarship programs that cover the full cost of college as well as funds for enrichment experiences.
Centre is one of the nation’s premiere institutions for study abroad, with programs stretching from Merida, Mexico to Bhutan to France, as well as study away programs in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Lake Tahoe. More than 85% of Centre students currently study abroad. The College will buy a passport for every student who doesn’t have one and provide funding and support for study abroad and internships for first generation students or those with financial need.
On campus, students live and learn as a community, with more than 98% living in the residence halls. Residence directors and residence life staff provide fun, convenience, and safety in an environment that promotes respect and responsibility. There are more than 100 student clubs on campus. Forty-two percent of students participate in the arts, 40% of students belong to a fraternity or sorority, nearly half participate in a varsity sport, and nearly three-quarters of students participate in intramural and club sports. There are dozens of campus performances each semester in the renowned Norton Center, including Broadway shows, concerts, and presentations from eminent guest speakers.
Centre’s brand-new and recently upgraded athletic facilities are remarkable, with new fields or facilities for baseball, football, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, and lacrosse, indoor and outdoor facilities for track and field, including a 200-meter indoor track, an aquatics center with an Olympic-size pool, an upgraded gym for basketball and volleyball, and a multipurpose field house. Home to 25 NCAA Division III men’s and women’s sports teams, Centre teams compete successfully for conference and national titles, and new facilities make participating and watching these competitions even more exciting. They also provide opportunities for the nearly three-quarters of students who participate in intramural and club sports.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Centre College pledges to continue efforts to build and strengthen a community enriched by differences and founded upon common humanity. Centre respects the right of all members of the community to express their individuality in a manner that is consistent with the dignity and welfare of others. Centre strives to create an environment where differences are celebrated rather than discouraged, where individuals have the opportunity to exchange ideas and share in the richness of mutual experience. By valuing the individual’s total character over any single characteristic, Centre will maintain its unique community.
Centre embraces the values of diversity, inclusion, and equity as integral to the college mission. Diversity, inclusion, and equity are central to teaching, learning, service, scholarship, and community and help stimulate creativity, critical thinking, leadership, discovery, love, and global citizenship. Centre established the following goals to continue to foster diversity, inclusion, and equity
- Build a diverse and equitable community: Recruit and retain a diverse community of students, faculty, staff, administrators and stakeholders that represent and support a broad spectrum of identities, abilities, interests, expressions, cultures and world views. Identify and remove barriers and exclusions in structures, policies, practices, decisions and norms that hinder or deny equitable access to opportunities and resources.
- Nurture a thriving community: Create and sustain an environment that acknowledges, celebrates and supports the full spectrum of differences and identities. Deepen belonging within the community; further accessibility to all arenas of the community. Provide opportunities, resources and spaces for individuals to explore, grow and flourish.
- Provide skills for an inclusive culture: Implement and make available campus-wide diversity and inclusion training, programs and events. Promote courses, curricula and learning opportunities that contribute to the practice of diversity and inclusion. Encourage collaboration toward and provide opportunities for individuals, groups and offices to increase their understanding of a diverse array of people, ideas and areas of intellectual inquiry.
- Advocate for Justice: Confront words and actions of harmful discrimination, marginalization and alienation. Provide protections from and remedies for assaults on the dignity and safety of individuals and groups. Address and correct social injustices. Intentionally engage the principles of equity, recognition and inclusion.
- Achieve Inclusive Excellence: Develop and sustain a comprehensive and collaborative approach that embeds diversity and inclusion practices into every effort, aspect and level of the college. Recognize, as a matter of habit and principle, that the college’s success is dependent on how fully it values and engages the rich diversity within the community; and how deeply it configures inclusivity into the curricula, policies, procedures and organizational structures.
2022-2025 Strategic Plan
Centre College graduates will have the intellectual knowledge, applied experience, and professional competencies to excel in their education and their careers, lead lives of meaning and purpose, and positively impact their communities. Based upon the College’s mission, statements of purpose, and community, the work of the Seven Pillar Subcommittees, comprehensive market research, and cross-campus engagement, Centre College identified three strategic priorities for immediate action: Experiential Learning and Community Engagement; Career Readiness; and Community Wellness. The efforts outlined in the strategic plan all contribute to the overarching goals to grow enrollment and retention, enhance student experiences and outcomes, support career readiness and the success of alumni, and raise the College’s public profile while preserving its academic character and distinction.
Nestled in the heart of Kentucky and the state’s central Bluegrass region, Danville, Kentucky has plenty to explore — much of it just blocks from campus. A safe, friendly city, Danville is home to a world-class performing arts center, as well as shops, cafes, parks, galleries, breweries, and plenty of events and festivals. Surrounded by rolling hills, scenic state parks, and national forests, the Centre campus is also near canoeing, kayaking, biking, hiking, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities.
Located in the center of Kentucky, there is much to explore nearby. The city of Lexington, home to regional sports teams, museums, a vibrant brewery district, horse farms, and Keeneland Racetrack, is 30 miles away. Frankfort, the state capital, is less than one hour while Louisville, home to Churchill Downs and the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, is just over an hour from campus. Finally, American treasures like the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are within an easy driving distance.
Danville, a town of about 16,000, was the first capital of Kentucky (among its many firsts) and is full of small town charm, historic architecture, and a thriving main street. Listed in National Geographic Traveler’s “50 Best Places of a Lifetime,” Kentucky’s famed Bluegrass region is not to be missed; Danville is a distinctive blend of tradition and Southern hospitality with just a touch of formality in a casual, friendly atmosphere.
The expected compensation range for this position is based on the skills and experience of the selected candidate; reach the NES search consultants to discuss the expected range of compensation. The selected candidate will need to locate in or near Danville, Kentucky.
Centre College is partnering with NES to identify a well-qualified professional to fill the position of Director of Admission. To arrange for a confidential conversation or to nominate someone for this position, please contact Mary Napier or Laura Robinson or Robin Reynders. To apply, send 1) a resume, 2) a detailed letter of interest regarding your interest in Centre College, and 3) contact information for five professional references by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. For best assurance of full consideration, interested individuals should submit application materials no later than October 16, 2023. Resumes will be reviewed until the position is filled. All applications and nominations will be considered confidential, and notice will be given before references are contacted. Anticipated start date is January 202. Inquire with NES regarding questions about the position requirements and compensation.
As a fundamental policy and in compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and all other applicable non-discrimination laws, Centre College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, age, disability, veteran’s status, or genetic information in the administration of any of its education or employment policies. Centre College hires and promotes its employees and admits its students on the basis of merit, qualification, and character.