“The world is rapidly changing. We cannot stand still. Like the river that flows through our campus, we must move with the current while honoring the shore around us.”
President Laurie A. Carter,
Inauguration address, May 15, 2022
Lawrence University seeks an experienced, strategic, and data-savvy leader to serve as its next Dean of Admission. The Dean of Admission will be charged with furthering the University’s positive momentum and advancing a collaborative campus culture. The Dean will inherit a well-established admission operation that has a high-touch approach to recruitment. In addition to providing strategic direction, organizational leadership, and professional mentorship to the highly dedicated staff within the Offices of Admission, the Dean will report to the Vice President of Enrollment, and be a part of the enrollment leadership team. Lawrence’s strong sense of community, deep commitment to student success, and willingness to go the extra mile for students and for each other have enabled the University to successfully navigate a shifting landscape and work together toward the future.
Reporting directly to the Vice President for Enrollment Management, the Dean of Admission leads a team of 10 professionals to include the domestic recruiters and the visit team in the Office of Admission. The Dean serves on the enrollment division’s leadership team with the Director of Financial Aid, the Director of Conservatory Admission, and Director of Admissions Operations, and is an important partner in guiding Lawrence’s enrollment strategy. In collaboration with the Vice President, the Dean will work to shape the development of communication, recruitment, and retention strategies; lead intentional diversity initiatives; create admission policies and procedures; and manage the day-to-day operations of the admissions office.
The Dean of Admission will play a critical role in addressing the following opportunities:
- In partnership with the Vice President for Enrollment Management and the divisional leadership team, serve as an important voice in the development and execution of a strategic enrollment management plan that aligns with Lawrence’s mission and strategic direction.
- Partner with the Vice President in bringing fresh ideas and new approaches for engaging the entire campus, including the Conservatory, in the effort to recruit and retain excellent, diverse classes.
- Grow, develop, and inspire a talented and loyal Admissions team; work to optimize the skills of each individual team member and foster a culture of individual growth and professional development.
- Champion the work of the admissions team and inspire an environment of shared institutional responsibility for enrollment across campus; provide leadership and model national best practices to evaluate staffing needs, hire, mentor, develop, and retain a strong team.
Technology and Data
- Lead the admissions team in evaluating, implementing, and leveraging technology to innovate, increase operational efficiency, and meet the expectations of students and families.
- Foster a culture of excellence in appropriately leveraging data and sharing of information including best practices in data collection, analysis and reporting.
- Collect and analyze data to inform and refine efforts that identify, recruit, enroll, and retain a diverse student body representing a variety of racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and first-generation backgrounds, as well as a diverse mix of international students who bring a global perspective to campus.
- Expand the top of the enrollment funnel and increase the University’s visibility; assess past efforts and utilize data to develop aggressive new approaches to ensure Lawrence powerfully conveys its message in established and new recruitment territories.
Strategic Recruitment and Marketing
- Guide progressive practices and policies that align with regional, national, and international demographic trends with the goal of attracting exceptional students who will succeed and persist through graduation.
- Partner closely with the Office of Communications and skillfully evaluate the effectiveness of efforts to increase Lawrence’s national and international visibility among prospective students; develop a stronger social media presence, continuing to draw upon alumni, faculty, and current students as recruiting resources, and experimenting with new platforms and strategies for reaching today’s students.
- Ensure that Lawrence effectively communicates its impact and value to undergraduate students, parents, and key influencers through clear, creative, and consistent messaging and that all interactions and communication reflect Lawrence’s culture and core values with consistency and integrity.
Commitment to Diversity
- Continue Lawrence’s efforts to attract and retain students from underrepresented backgrounds and to ensure that they feel a strong sense of belonging and an ability to thrive; work to recruit students and their families from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences and to ensure that Lawrence is a place where all students feel included and supported.
- In partnership with the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, ensure that the University is sustainably positioned to support and retain the talented students it admits.
Partnership, Collaboration and Communication
- Leverage the talents and resources of campus partners in a University-wide effort to attract and retain Lawrence students; nurture connections across the University, collaborating with students, faculty, staff, and alumni, in order to work as a team toward the University’s enrollment goals.
- Develop an even stronger partnership between admissions and Lawrence’s NCAA Division III athletics and work to foster the continued success of this critical partnership.
- Maintain strong relationships with college counselors at targeted high schools, with a focus on reaching students who may not be aware of or be traditionally acculturated to consider a university like Lawrence.
DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS
As a member of the Enrollment leadership team, the Dean of Admission will be a creative, compassionate, and data-informed leader with a demonstrated track record of success in college admissions. The successful candidate must have a bachelor’s degree, with an advanced degree preferred. Additionally, this role requires a minimum of eight years of experience in positions of progressively increasing responsibility in admission. The ideal candidate will also bring many of the following complementary abilities and experiences to the position:
- A strong commitment to the power and possibilities inherent in Lawrence’s distinctive approach to liberal arts education;
- A keen understanding of best practices in admissions for small, private colleges today as well as the foresight to see how the landscape will change in the coming years;
- Evidence of a commitment to contributing to a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion and a high degree of experience, comfort, and expertise in creating a more equitable and inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds and identities;
- Demonstrated successes in leading complex strategic initiatives and translating high aspirations into achievable and measurable goals and accomplishments;
- Experience developing data-driven recruitment strategies as well as the ability to persuasively and clearly present quantitative information to administrative colleagues, faculty, staff, students, the Board of Trustees, and others;
- A genuine interest in connecting with people on behalf of Lawrence, whether prospective students and parents, faculty, fellow administrators, or admissions/financial aid staff;
- The ability to effectively balance high-level strategic thinking with hands-on engagement in daily activities, in keeping with Lawrence’s culture and ethos;
- Outstanding communication skills, including the ability to persuasively convey Lawrence’s academic distinctions and community differentiators to a diverse range of audiences through multiple formats (in person, in writing, in marketing materials, via social media, etc.);
- Proven ability to develop rapport and work collaboratively with faculty to bring forward the best of Lawrence in the shared effort of recruiting and retaining students; and
- A readiness to embrace the Lawrence community and work collaboratively with its friendly and talented faculty, staff, and students in pursuit of its mission.
Lawrence University, founded in 1847, currently provides nearly 1,500 engaged and creative learners with a quality of education that stands out among its peers. The intersection of a nationally ranked liberal arts college, reputation for creativity, and a first-tier Conservatory of Music ensures that students benefit from challenging academics and quality arts education in a vibrant, welcoming, and supportive residential campus setting. Small classes and a four-year residential requirement create a close-knit community where students live, study, and thrive in an environment that nurtures creativity, shared discovery, and enrichment. Lawrence’s student-faculty ratio is one of the lowest in the nation at 8:1, and 60 percent of its courses offer one-on-one teaching environments – delivering a highly personalized learning experience for students. This intensive faculty engagement opens minds and changes lives.
Located in the heart of Appleton, Wisconsin, Lawrence University is the second institution in America to be founded as a coeducational college, and diversity, equity, and inclusion remain core values. Current students come from 49 states and 38 countries, and 26 percent of the student body are domestic students of color. Together, the entire University is living its commitment to build and enhance an equity-minded campus culture and antiracist community.
The University values excellence in teaching combined with distinguished scholarship and creative activity. Lawrence offers three degrees: the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Music, and the innovative new Bachelor of Musical Arts. Students are also able to pursue a B.A./B.Mus. dual degree. With an average class size of 15, students excel in a diverse learning community of scholars and artists with unparalleled opportunities to collaborate closely with professors. The University offers many interdisciplinary areas of study, promotes student research, and supports extensive programs of off-campus study and community internships. Unique opportunities include the University’s London Centre, which acts as an extension of the Appleton campus for sophomores, juniors, and seniors who wish to live and study in downtown London, as well as living and learning opportunities at the 425 acre Björklund campus on Lake Michigan in Door County, Wisconsin. All students begin their program with a nationally lauded First-Year Studies seminar and experience and culminate their four years with the Chandler Senior Experience.
In addition, the University recently announced a new major – designed to address the needs of students pursuing careers in business, entrepreneurship, and innovation based upon the Lawrence University liberal arts foundation. The new business and entrepreneurship major was developed through the lens of the liberal arts with a focus on preparing future innovators who will bring social, global, and environmental context to business leadership. The Business Entrepreneurship (BEUN) major (new in the 2023-24 academic year) takes an interdisciplinary approach as it centers on global entrepreneurship and the broader impact of business on communities. Constructed within the existing Innovation & Entrepreneurship (I&E) program, the business major will open new doors for students attending one of the nation’s leading liberal arts institutions, with focused study across the business spectrum. Additional new majors include environmental science and international relations.
In the Conservatory of Music, students take full advantage of coursework in the liberal arts and sciences, often pursuing double-degree programs and benefiting from the opportunity to work directly with senior faculty members across the disciplines. The Conservatory offers the Bachelor of Music in performance, education theory or composition; the Bachelor of Musical Arts; and, in conjunction with the
College, the Bachelor of Arts with a major in music. Conservatory students constitute approximately 25 percent of total University enrollment.
Three 10-week terms (Fall, Winter, Spring) comprise the academic calendar, spanning mid-September through mid- June. A full-time course load for students is three six-unit courses each term (18 units) or a minimum of 15 units.
Lawrence attracts students who thrive in a residential community environment and enjoy close relationships with faculty, staff, and administrators. The Lawrence University Community Council (LUCC), comprised of elected and appointed students of all classes, is the University’s official student council, whose decisions shape the campus experience for faculty, staff, and students.
More than 95 percent of Lawrence’s approximately 1,500 undergraduate students live on-campus, making for a vibrant and integrated academic and social life. With dozens and dozens of student organizations to choose from, each dedicated to a specific interest and activity, students can easily find their niche.
As an institution, Lawrence University offers prospective students the opportunity to compete in 22 intercollegiate sports. Student-athletes represented about 30 percent of the incoming class of 2023. The University has added men’s and women’s lacrosse for the 2024-25 academic year.
Looking to the future
Two major developments launched in the summer of 2023 that will strengthen the academic programs and enhance career discernment for students across campus. The Fox Commons development to house nearly 180 Lawrence students in modern living-learning communities, is expected to open by fall of 2024 in the heart of Appleton’s downtown; and the new four-story mixed-use building at 315 E. College Avenue in partnership with Trout Museum of Art, is expected to open a year later, transforming the western edge of campus.
President Laurie A. Carter has shared “These projects speak to the future. Our faculty and students will have state-of-the-art teaching and learning spaces, our students will have modern living environments, and they have partners who can connect them with careers.”
Faculty and Staff
The University is supported by a dedicated and talented faculty and staff. With 198 faculty members, 85 percent are full-time, 48 percent are female, 18 percent are domestic faculty of color, and three percent are international. Ninety-two percent of full-time faculty hold a Ph.D. or other terminal degree. Strongly committed to teaching and advising, Lawrence faculty also compete for a variety of external grant funds in support of academic research, artistry, and community projects. Recent faculty grants have been awarded from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and National Endowment for the Humanities. In addition, Lawrence faculty lead major institutional grant projects. Over the last five years, external grant funding at Lawrence has averaged $3.8M with 33 awards annually.
This includes faculty funding averaging $407K in support of an average of 12 faculty project awards per year. Faculty members author scholarly books with major publishers and have earned national recognition for their scientific research, photography, poetry, and music. Lawrence University’s committed 405 full- and part-time staff participate in shared governance through two groups, the Senior Staff and Staff Connections. Both groups gather regularly for discussion, updates, and to provide feedback to University leadership. Committees are populated based on assignments from the Faculty Committee on University Governance.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Lawrence University community is working to create an environment that welcomes the world to contribute to and benefit from the liberal arts education we provide. They aspire to be a diverse and inclusive community, stemming from the very founding of our institution.
As one of the first institutions in the nation to be founded as co-educational, the ideal of inclusivity at Lawrence stretches back to its earliest days. In the nearly 175 years since its founding, a shared understanding of diversity and inclusion has grown and changed, and efforts to enhance the learning environment and community experience have strengthened. The long and rich history of Lawrence University has informed a variety of traditions that infuse campus life and events throughout the year. Whether time-honored traditions like class colors and The Rock, or newer events like LUaroo, students find Lawrence traditions an ideal way to connect with classmates and the alumni community – creating a life-long connection beyond graduation.
Lawrence University’s mission statement affirms that they are “committed to the development of intellect and talent, the pursuit of knowledge and understanding, the cultivation of sound judgment and respect for the perspectives of others.” Diversity is central to this commitment, and to the objective of preparing all Lawrentians for lives of engaged citizenship in our global society.
Lawrence has made a commitment to socio-economic diversity; in the 2023-24 academic year, 99 percent of undergraduates received some form of financial aid with 75% of them receiving need-based scholarships and/or grants. . In 2014, efforts were jump started by a historic matching challenge of $30 million, the Full Speed to Full Need initiative has raised a total of $92 million in new endowment for need-based scholarships. By closing the financial aid gap for a growing number of students, Lawrence has decreased the average student debt at graduation and increased the college’s four-year graduation rate. The Lawrence Advantage was created to meet the full demonstrated need for all admitted students from Wisconsin and Illinois.
Laurie A. Carter joined the Lawrence community as its 17th president July 1, 2021, bringing more than 25 years of leadership in higher education to the position. Her student-centered focus is the foundation for the University’s decision-making philosophy and strategic initiatives.
Carter, a first-generation student, is leading Lawrence during a time of dynamic change throughout the higher education environment. Since July 2021, President Carter has brought a sense of urgency and vision to the Lawrence community. Recognizing the need for Lawrence to be well-positioned in an ever-changing higher education landscape, she implemented student-centered Guiding Coalitions to facilitate more effective change implementation at the University. Additionally, President Carter has spearheaded community-wide engagement to identify focused initiatives that will position Lawrence to meet the needs and challenges of the future. Prior to arrival at Lawrence, she was the president of Shippensburg University beginning in 2017; she also served as executive vice president and university counsel for Eastern Kentucky University, where she provided leadership to 33 departments and oversaw a budget of more than $71 million. President Carter also has extensive leadership experience in the performing arts, holding various inaugural leadership positions during her 25 years of service at The Juilliard School in New York City, considered the nation’s premier performing arts college. President Carter serves as a commissioner for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, is past chair of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission President’s Council and is a member of the ThedaCare Healthcare System Board and Millennium Leadership Institute steering committee. She is a graduate of Clarion University of Pennsylvania (BS), William Paterson University (MA), and Rutgers University (JD). She is married to Gary Robinson, and they have one son, Carter, who recently graduated from college.
Located 35 minutes from Green Bay, 90 minutes from Milwaukee and three hours from Chicago, Lawrence’s 84-acre campus sits on a bluff overlooking the historic Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin, a city of 74,000 residents with a distinctive downtown district and community where culture, history, business and residential intersect in a vibrant community. Nestled between a bustling historic downtown and residential neighborhoods, Lawrence’s campus has ample green space and distinguished architecture. The Fox Cities region (population of over 200,000), especially downtown Appleton, has the cultural liveliness of a metropolitan location with the state-of-the- art Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, a rich mosaic of international cuisines, and highly regarded schools. Appleton International Airport is five miles from campus and is served by four airlines (American, Delta, United, and Allegiant) with non-stop flights to 10 destinations. Appleton’s vibrant downtown district is at the front door of campus where residents can live, work, experience cultural venues or grab a meal. The area includes income-based to luxury living or Victorian and mid-Century homes in the contiguous historic district. Throughout the area there are stately parks and riverfront escapes. Faculty, staff, alumni, residents, and visitors enjoy unique shopping; a diverse array of restaurants, pubs, artistic experiences, salons, and spas; as well as seasonal events and holiday attractions. Each November more than 80,000 individuals and families attend the largest nighttime Christmas parade in the Northern Central states in the City of Appleton.
To learn more about Appleton, Wisconsin, visit appletondowntown.org/get-to-know-one-great-place.
Lawrence University is partnering with NES to identify the best professional to fill the position of Dean of Admission. To arrange for a confidential conversation or to nominate someone for this position, please contact Mary Napier or Laura Robinson or Suzi Nam. To apply, send 1) a resume, 2) a detailed letter of interest regarding your interest in Lawrence University, and 3) contact information for five professional references by email to: email@example.com. For best assurance of full consideration, interested individuals should submit application materials no later than December 1, 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 2024; the selected candidate will be based on the Lawrence University campus. The NES team can speak to a salary range which is commensurate with experience.
Lawrence University is committed to providing equal access and opportunity to qualified individuals of all backgrounds. In accordance with this policy and with applicable federal and state law, the University prohibits discrimination in admissions, its programs and activities, employment and advancement on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, disability, military service, protected veteran status, political affiliation, arrest record or conviction record.