We are Ambassadors of service: socially merciful, globally responsible, compassionately hospitable, intellectually creative, and reflectively aware.
~Mercyhurst University Core Values
Mercyhurst University announces a search for Vice President for Enrollment. A comprehensive university founded in 1926 by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercyhurst offers students excellent undergraduate and graduate educational options coupled with a commitment to engage for life in becoming leaders in justice and service. The new Vice President for Enrollment will bring deep experience, an understanding of enrollment challenges facing prospective students, knowledge of student behaviors across a complex set of markets, and solutions for strong enrollment results and the ability to offer a compelling vision of the caring community that is Mercyhurst. The Vice President will invite the Mercyhurst community to join in the implementation of innovative, data-driven initiatives to recruit and retain students as well as advance the university’s reputation.
Reporting to President Kathleen Getz, the Vice President for Enrollment will be a collaborative colleague and leader within the President’s Cabinet. As the university’s chief enrollment and chief financial aid officer, the Vice President will motivate and manage a professional team of 37 full-time staff which includes undergraduate, graduate, and professional admissions; Student Financial Services; Marketing and Brand Management; International Student Office; and Veterans Services Office. The Vice President will create and implement strategic enrollment and marketing plans that support the strategic goals of the university. The Vice President will also lend support and insights to the university’s retention efforts. The Vice President will join Mercyhurst at a notable and exciting time, as the community acknowledges its rich history and remarkable legacy during Mercyhurst’s centennial celebration in two years.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Vice President for Enrollment will be responsible for the following duties and priorities:
Strategic Enrollment Leadership
- Lead the community in developing and implementing an integrated, compelling strategic enrollment plan that allows Mercyhurst to reach institutional enrollment goals including headcount, discount, net revenue, and profile benchmarks.
- Encourage and coordinate the collective participation of the campus community including alumni, faculty, staff, and students in strategic enrollment activities.
- Direct and ensure optimum levels of enrollment growth across each of the university’s populations, academic programs, and disciplines.
- Supply the Cabinet, Board of Trustees, and community with accurate information regarding changing demographics and the highly competitive landscape; educate the campus community in understanding challenges and impact on the community and its programs; and lead in designing and launching programs and initiatives that meet the evolving needs of the marketplace and desires of today’s students.
- Recommend strategic actions and policy to the President and fellow members of the Cabinet to leverage Mercyhurst’s undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in attracting and enrolling qualified students.
- Provide motivational leadership for the Enrollment Management team, fostering their knowledge of the profession, use of best practices, and professional growth in support of the university’s mission, vision, and core values.
- Communicate with regularity and transparency to the university community on enrollment management initiatives, progress toward benchmarks and goals, and outcomes of enrollment efforts.
- As liaison to the Enrollment and Revenue Committee of the Board of Trustees, provide regular and transparent communication to board members, educating and informing trustees on the nuances of enrollment management practices, market behavior, and progress toward goals.
- Act as an advisor to the President in all enrollment management matters, serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet, and other administrative committees as assigned by the President. Serve on university committees related to enrollment, retention, student life, marketing, financial aid, and other initiatives.
Recruitment, Operations, and Management
- Provide leadership and direction for Undergraduate Admissions, Graduate and Professional Admissions, the International Student Office, the Office of Veterans Services, Student Financial Services, and Marketing and Brand Management.
- Cultivate leaders within each department and support their ability to develop successful professionals and effective teams. Provide formal and informal support in the development of skills and retention of staff within Enrollment Management.
- Strengthen all aspects of the recruitment funnel across pipelines, including development of the prospect and inquiry pools, conversion and application processing, review, and yield initiatives.
- Maximize the use of Slate, Mercyhurst’s CRM, for funnel management, analytics, reporting, communications, and student engagement; lead evaluation and implementation of new features and tools; and leverage solutions in meeting the evolving needs and expectations of students.
- Lead the Enrollment Management team, leveraging their passion for Mercyhurst, to respond nimbly with informed and creative solutions to the evolving educational desires of students, families, and the Mercyhurst community.
- Implement targeted recruitment initiatives that account for changing technology and consumer expectations, and reflect a deep knowledge of unique markets and populations.
- Apply analytical skills and leverage technology using institutional and external data to understand enrollment dynamics and develop opportunities for recruitment strategy and activities; immerse team members in analysis and application of data within the scope of their positions; and establish a culture of access and transparency in the appropriate sharing of information and data.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice
- Accelerate the university’s successful recruitment of students from diverse populations, leading the Enrollment team in further developing their own cultural awareness, competence, and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Identify opportunities and implement initiatives that advance the enrollment of a diverse student body.
- Actively participate in the university-wide movement to be an equity-minded and inclusive community of belonging, opportunity, empowerment, and success for an increasingly diverse array of students, faculty, and staff. Partner with the Vice President for Mission and the inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice to maximize the collective efforts of the division and community in fostering a just and inclusive culture.
- Partner with faculty, staff, coaches, alumni, trustees, donors, and community organizations to develop pathways for a diverse community of students, to enhance Mercyhurst’s stature and reputation among regional, national, and international communities, and best utilize resources to support and retain students.
- Possess experience and provide a progressive, contemporary approach to merit awards and need-based financial aid that is responsive to the overall financial picture of the institution.
- Possess knowledge of, and strong practical experience in:
- Pricing strategies for both undergraduate and graduate students.
- Strategies for modeling and leveraging financial aid with the ability to forecast enrollment, discount, and net tuition revenue.
- The impact of pricing on diverse populations.
- The effective balance of merit and financial assistance for attracting and retaining students.
- Management of student loan debt.
- The importance of financial literacy and customer service.
- Oversee the responsibility of Student Financial Services in serving both current and prospective students, while maintaining critical compliance with federal and state funding sources.
- Ensure a high level of culturally responsive customer service to students and families as defined by Mercyhurst’s values.
- Develop, manage, and maintain an Enrollment Management budget that effectively balances divisional priorities with the fiduciary responsibilities of the university; respond effectively to changes, opportunities, and challenges; maximize the effectiveness of all resources.
Partnerships & Relationships
- Partner with all campus stakeholders, including alumni and trustees, in expanding the recruitment reach in developing territories, events, and populations.
- Possess an understanding of NCAA regulations for Division II athletics and the ability to build partnerships with coaches and athletic administrators to facilitate the strategic recruitment of student athletes.
- Collaborate institutionally to increase retention and graduation rates among all students; support the work of all campus partners in the retention of students, collection of data, sharing of information, and development of programs, and enhancement of the student experience and outcomes.
- Partner in and network with local, regional, and national organizations and associations to facilitate recruitment initiatives, establish relationships, and enhance the position and reputation of Mercyhurst University.
- Lead the Enrollment team in developing successful collaborations with corporate partners, schools and colleges, community partners, and organizations, which enhance the reputation of the university and support enrollments.
Marketing and Branding
- Lead the Marketing and Brand Management team in collaborating with campus partners to develop bold marketing strategies that reach, influence, and illustrate a compelling story for prospective students, families, and counselors as they consider Mercyhurst.
- Design and implement innovative communications and engagement opportunities to address the specific needs of unique populations and articulate the value of a Mercyhurst education to students and families pursuing both liberal arts and professional degrees.
- Develop engaging recruitment and yield campaigns to elevate the reputation of the university and increase the university’s reach among diverse, talented students domestically and internationally.
- Leverage multiple sources of data and intelligence, both quantitative and qualitative, in considering student needs and interests to develop opportunities for recruitment activities and messaging that authentically represent the Mercyhurst experience.
- Lead the institution in executing and analyzing survey data to better understand the choices made by prospective students and their perceptions of Mercyhurst, its offerings and its reputation.
- Lead marketing and brand efforts, educating on the assets and articulation of the Mercyhurst brand, and partner with community members to identify and address their needs.
- Represent the university regionally and nationally, enhancing institutional reputation and increasing institutional outreach.
QUALIFICATIONS, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES
A bachelor’s degree is required, as is a minimum of 7-10 years of experience in enrollment management within higher education, specifically in admissions, financial aid, financial services, retention, or marketing. Exceptionally strong leadership skills and an advanced degree are strongly preferred. In addition, candidates for this position should demonstrate the following characteristics, skills, abilities, and understanding:
- Demonstrated commitment to higher education in the tradition of the liberal arts while serving a diverse community of learners in undergraduate and graduate programs.
- Knowledge of national trends and developments in recruitment, retention, financial aid, technology, and marketing.
- Experience in developing and implementing comprehensive strategic enrollment plans reflecting the university’s institutional goals and mission.
- Experience establishing annual enrollment goals, benchmarks, and assessment of outcomes.
- Analytical and outcomes-orientation with the ability to gather and interpret data; ability to make data-informed decisions in collaboration with institutional stakeholders; specific experience in forecasting, goal setting, and revenue enhancement.
- Proven track record in the successful enrollment of students including undergraduate first year, transfer, graduate, international, professional, and historically underserved populations.
- Success in partnering across a community in developing and implementing innovative tactics, programs, and initiatives to meet enrollment headcount, credit hour, discount, net revenue, and profile goals.
- Experience in the evaluation and adjustment of pricing strategies, understanding of how pricing impacts enrollment decisions, and ability to articulate pricing changes effectively and compellingly to prospective students and families.
- Knowledge of budget preparation, monitoring, and administration with an institutional view of shared resources and responsibility.
- Visible and approachable leader with the ability to rally a community and foster engagement and enthusiasm in enrollment, retention, and institutional reputation.
- Ability to build positive, respectful, and trusting relationships with a diverse group of campus partners, students, and families demonstrating equity-mindedness, an inclusion approach, and a growth mindset.
- Unflappable demeanor, excellent listener, and a highly effective communicator, able to connect with a wide array of audiences including prospective students, parents, high school representatives and administrators, community-based organizations, adult learners, international students, distance-learning students, graduate students, alumni, faculty, trustees, and staff within the entire university community.
- Effective change agent, able to demonstrate respect for individual and institutional experiences while providing a compelling and inclusive vision for the future.
- Demonstrated expertise in and commitment to recruiting students from underrepresented groups and to fostering a community of equity and inclusion in which all students can thrive and be successful.
- Ability to develop and create market-penetrating messages and communications that are energizing, authentic, and effective in influencing students and families.
- Strong understanding of systems and technology and the ability to lead others in evaluating and maximizing technology to increase efficiency and support the student experience.
- Experience leveraging CRM technology in communicating with students, gathering and leveraging data, and sharing information.
- Ability to foster a future-oriented team that can translate goals, strategies, and aspirations into tactical plans.
- Proactive and well-informed educator with a commitment to fostering the knowledge and growth of others.
- Demonstrated history of supporting student development and a sincere commitment to the student experience.
- Ability to inspire, motivate, and lead a hard-working, energetic team; recognize the skill sets and talents of the staff; and provide professional development opportunities to enhance their work and professional growth.
- Ability to be bold, creative, and visionary, while also being collegial, collaborative, and inclusive.
- Ability to work with energy and humility in a team environment valuing shared, creative problem solving focused on the needs of the institution and its students.
- Passionate commitment to Mercyhurst’s institutional mission, an optimistic vision for the future, and the drive to respond enthusiastically to a rapidly changing environment.
- Charismatic and engaging with boundless energy tempered by wisdom and experience, and a sincere belief in the importance of higher education.
- Exceptional creative and problem-solving skills with the ability to prioritize tasks and best utilize resources.
Mercyhurst University is a fully accredited, Catholic, comprehensive institution founded in 1926 by the Sisters of Mercy. Located in Erie, Pennsylvania, Mercyhurst is an academic community of 2,900 students and 500 dedicated faculty, administrators, and staff. The university educates students for purposeful lives and careers through academic programs of national and international distinction; unique cultural, extracurricular and athletic programs; and opportunities for service. In keeping with its liberal arts heritage, Mercyhurst emphasizes the dignity of each person and is committed to an examination of values as well as to quality academic, professional, and career training, all within a climate of inquiry, collegiality, diversity, and achievement. Mercyhurst has emerged as one of the leading regional universities in the North and continues to achieve top-tier recognition in U.S. News & World Report’s annual college rankings. With its successful history and a promising future, Mercyhurst pursues the dream of its founders, to achieve academic greatness high on the hill overlooking Lake Erie.
History and Centennial
In 1926, the Sisters of Mercy in the Diocese of Erie founded Mercyhurst College. Leading the effort was Mother M. Borgia Egan, whose determination and supervision made the venture a success. The Sisters of Mercy believed strongly in the education and empowerment of women, and accordingly, Mercyhurst College was a women-only institution for its first several decades. The Mercyhurst community enjoys a 75-acre contiguous campus, featuring manicured lawns, stately gothic architecture, the peaceful and historic Grotto, and the iconic iron gates that welcome all who visit campus.
From its earliest days, Mercyhurst has been a trailblazing institution, taking considerable pride in creating signature programs that are unlike offerings anywhere else in the nation, such as the nationally recognized Carpe Diem Academy, the innovative Intelligence Studies program, and the award-winning Autism Initiative at Mercyhurst.
Since its founding nearly a century ago, Mercyhurst has undergone significant changes. From welcoming its first male students in 1969 to offering its first graduate program in 1978 to gaining university status in 2012, the institution has proven time and again its ability not only to adapt to changing times but also to put change in motion. Mercyhurst has emerged as a major force in the educational landscape of the region, while remaining true to its mission as a private Catholic comprehensive university in the Mercy tradition.
As Mercyhurst approaches its centennial in 2026, the university is taking steps to enter a new era that simultaneously embraces the future while honoring the past. For example, the university has officially applied for recognition through the National Register of Historic Places. As envisioned, the Mercyhurst National Historic District would be anchored by institutional cornerstones Old Main and Christ the King Chapel and will extend across much of the campus and include buildings erected into the late 1960s. Once listed, Mercyhurst would join a select group of institutions in Pennsylvania with expansive historic districts, led by the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to the National Historic Register project, the university’s Centennial Task Force is also conducting oral histories and creating a series of interpretive markers at various points on campus to augment the university’s historical significance.
In 2021, Dr. Kathleen Getz became the 13th president of Mercyhurst, ushering in a new era of university leadership in advance of the Mercyhurst centennial celebration. A mission-driven servant leader with 18 years of senior university leadership, Getz is also an enthusiastic and successful fundraiser, experienced with capital campaigns, annual and planned giving, cultivation, and stewardship. She has expertise in identifying new revenue streams, reducing overall costs, and redirecting resources to achieve better results. She is also known for her influence in bringing together diverse efforts and populations toward common goals, such as accreditation and implementing new curricula.
The President’s Cabinet features experienced and collaborative university leaders committed to actively partnering to achieve a high level of enrollment success. As Mercyhurst moves strategically toward its centennial in 2026, the university is committed to fortifying institutional vitality, enhancing the student experience, and supporting an organizational culture grounded in inclusion and collaboration.
The current university strategic plan, titled “Ingenuity, Energy, and Perseverance, 2022-2025,” was developed through a comprehensive evaluation of the Mercyhurst mission and core values. The plan serves as a guide for making key institutional decisions and allocating resources, with metrics to determine progress that are shared with key stakeholders.
Through engaging in self-appraisal in this integrated and meaningful way during both the Self-Study and Strategic Plan processes, Mercyhurst has identified the following institutional priorities:
- Fortify our institutional vitality across all dimensions.
- Enhance the Mercyhurst student experience through mission-grounded programming, experiential learning, and the personal, academic, spiritual, and civic development of each student.
- Support an organizational culture grounded in practices of inclusion and inquiry.
Mercyhurst received an accreditation reaffirmation in 2022 from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. (MCSHE self-study documents can be found here.) The next round of university self-study evaluation is scheduled for 2029-30.
Mercyhurst University seeks to be a leading higher educational institution that integrates excellence in the liberal arts, professional and career-path programs, and service to regional and world communities.
Consistent with its Catholic identity and Mercy heritage, Mercyhurst educates diverse persons in a culture where faith and reason flourish together, where the beauty and power of the liberal arts combine with an appreciation for the dignity of work and a commitment to serving others. Confident in the strength of its student-faculty bonds, the university community is inspired by the image of students whose choices, in life and work, will enable them to realize the human and spiritual values embedded in everyday realities and to exercise leadership in service toward a just world.
Core Values “We are Ambassadors of service.”
- Socially merciful – Mercy restores human dignity, expands our social relations, and empowers us to reach out in compassion to others.
- Globally responsible – Globalization challenges us to learn how to steward the resources of the Earth wisely and to act in solidarity with its diverse peoples.
- Compassionately hospitable – Mercy hospitality begins with self-acceptance, welcomes peoples of different faith, ethnic, and cultural traditions, and thus builds communities that transcend mere tolerance.
- Intellectually creative – Generous, inquiring, and critical habits of mind, which support the aspirations for excellence manifested within the academic community, encourage us in our lifelong search for what is true, good, and beautiful.
- Reflectively aware – Our Christian environment encourages self-reflection and contemplation of human behavior, promotes balance of mind, body, and spirit, and ultimately offers the opportunity to develop a moral compass for a life of integrity.
A Mercyhurst education provides students with hands-on experiences in and outside the classroom that are essential to career success, while remaining committed to fostering ethical graduates with a social justice orientation. Mercyhurst features 80 undergraduate majors across four academic colleges (Hafenmaier College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, the Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences, the Walker College of Business, and the Zurn College of Natural and Health Sciences. Among these offerings the university features flagship programs in Applied Forensic Sciences, Business, Cyber Security, Education, Intelligence Studies, and Nursing. Mercyhurst also offers a variety of programs through both on-campus and online formats as well as several 4+1 dual-degree programs. All courses are taught by our award-winning faculty, and students receive highly personalized, one-on-one support through small class sizes. Through vibrant programming in experiential learning, including numerous venues for study abroad, internships and co-ops, clinical placements in allied health and education, and research, Mercyhurst remains on the cutting edge of higher learning. While teaching remains at the historic heart of the Mercy tradition, the university supports many research and advocacy institutes including the Mercyhurst Institute for Applied Behavioral Studies and the Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics.
Consistent with the Mercy tradition of honoring the whole person, Mercyhurst provides its students with an environment that supports their intellectual, spiritual, and social development. The university offers meaningful opportunities for student engagement in service, work, study abroad, extracurricular activities, and non-academic experiences.
With hospitality central to the university’s Mercy Mission, Mercyhurst fosters a campus culture that insists on respect for all people and recognizes that diversity is nearly limitless in scope. The university seeks to be sensitive toward and supportive of a range of diversities, including age, ability, neurotypicality, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship status, ethnicity, race, religion, educational status, socioeconomic status, marital status, and veteran status. Additionally, the university currently enrolls international students from 50 countries.
A residential campus, Mercyhurst offers a variety of housing options for students, including apartments and townhouses. The newest residence hall, the $25 million suite-style Ryan Hall was built in 2018. Mercyhurst also maintains sophisticated science and research laboratories and three performing arts centers.
Life at Mercyhurst is vibrant and engaging, offering students various diverse opportunities to enrich their collegiate journey. The Campus Involvement Center connects Mercyhurst students with over 80 student organizations, allowing students to pursue their interests, engage in community service, participate in cultural events, or enjoy some of Mercyhurst’s most beloved traditions like Hurst Day. Service and community are at the heart of the Mercy tradition. At the end of New Student Welcome, new Lakers spend a day out in the community engaged in hands-on service with their peers. Students experience a variety of service opportunities in Erie including cleaning up litter on Presque Isle beaches, stocking shelves in food pantries, and visiting local nursing homes. Often termed “the weekend you didn’t know you needed,” Mercyhurst Carpe Diem (CD) retreats allow students to get off campus, build connections, and develop their relationship with their faith. This weekend experience is the perfect way for students to make new friends and step outside their comfort zone. CD retreats are open to students of all backgrounds and religious affiliations. As the home of the Lakers, Mercyhurst features 26 Varsity sports teams (Division I in men’s and women’s ice hockey, all others Division II), which are popular with students and the surrounding community.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice
Consistent with its core values of hospitality, compassion, and acceptance, Mercyhurst seeks to honor the Sisters of Mercy with a continued commitment to their five critical concerns: caring for women, caring for immigrants, caring for the Earth, promoting nonviolence, and combating racism. Formed in 2021, the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (PAC-DEIJ) regularly advises the President and Cabinet while advancing strategic DEIJ goals for the university. Recent DEIJ events held at Mercyhurst include: the Mercy March for Antiracism, MLK Day Week of ComMUnity Student and Faculty & Staff Panels, and the Moral and Ethical Issues Facing 21st Century Policing program hosted by the Evelyn Lincoln Institute for Ethics and Society.
Mercyhurst is located in Erie, Pennsylvania, nicknamed the “Gem City of the Great Lakes.” Erie has an abundance of restaurants, museums, a world-class history center, outstanding schools, the beautiful Presque Isle State Park, and some of the best beaches on the Great Lakes. Home to approximately 260,000 residents, making it Pennsylvania’s fifth-largest city, Erie has the commonwealth’s only commercial port on the Great Lakes. The campus is a short drive from the metropolitan areas of Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Toronto via Interstates 79 and 90 or scenic routes such as Route 5, and Historic Pennsylvania Route 6.
One of the region’s major cultural arts centers is the Warner Theatre, home to several professional and amateur performing arts groups, the most significant of which is the Erie Philharmonic, one of the oldest symphony orchestras in the country. Mercyhurst’s own Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, a vibrant part of the Erie arts community since it opened in 1996, welcomes Broadway stars, internationally acclaimed musicians, and luminaries of stage and screen as part of Mercyhurst Institute for Arts and Culture’s MIAC Live programming.
The Erie Art Museum features a wealth of rotating art exhibits focusing largely on modern and folk art. The Experience Children’s Museum offers a wide variety of interactive displays in the areas of science and the humanities. Presque Isle State Park contains seven miles of beaches and eleven miles of hiking trails, and offers cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and ice skating in winter. Annual events in the city include the Erie Summer Festival of the Arts, the Wine Country Harvest Festival, Celebrate Erie, a large urban arts and entertainment festival that takes place in mid-August, and many more.
Sports fans enjoy a range of local options in Erie. The Erie SeaWolves are the Class double-A affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Detroit Tigers. Also in town are the Erie Otters, a junior community-based hockey team playing in the Ontario Hockey League. Erie is also home to the Erie Freeze, a professional indoor football team, which plays in the American Indoor Football Association.
In addition to its Erie campus, Mercyhurst operates an international academic center in Dungarvan, Ireland.
COMPENSATION & BENEFITS
Mercyhurst offers a competitive compensation package and a salary commensurate with qualifications and experience. In this important leadership role, the successful candidate will have an active on-campus presence. Mercyhurst offers a competitive and comprehensive benefits package, including relocation assistance.
NES, a higher education search firm specializing in enrollment management searches, is assisting Mercyhurst University in its search for a Vice President for Enrollment. To arrange for a confidential conversation or to nominate someone for this chief enrollment officer position, please contact Catherine Capolupo (email@example.com), Thom Golden (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Mary Napier (email@example.com). To apply, send 1) a resume, 2) a detailed letter regarding your interest in the Vice President for Enrollment position at Mercyhurst, and 3) contact information for five professional references by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The search will remain open until the position is filled. The candidate will be expected to start in the fall of 2023. All applications and nominations will be considered confidential, and notice will be given before references are contacted.
Mercyhurst University values diversity and is committed to the goal of achieving equal opportunity for all. For that reason, Mercyhurst abides by federal, state and local law in admissions, employment and all services and programs provided.
Mercyhurst does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, citizenship status, ancestry, national or ethnic origin, age, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical or mental disability, military or veteran status or any other legally protected characteristic or because of any individual’s legally protected activities.
Mercyhurst complies with federal, state and local legislation and regulations regarding nondiscrimination. This policy applies to faculty, administration and staff, applicants for employment, students and applicants for educational programs and activities.