Vice President for Enrollment at Susquehanna University

Susquehanna University is the future-ready institution for today, invested in cultivating intellectual grounding, active learning and global citizenship for all students. Renowned as one of the finest U.S. national liberal arts colleges, Susquehanna inspires and challenges 2,200 enterprising, bright-minded students studying the arts, business, humanities and sciences. Our students seize opportunities through exceptional worldwide internships, expert-guided research and an acclaimed study-abroad program, leading to a transformative education that empowers each graduate to realize their unique potential and lead a successful and meaningful life.

THE POSITION
Susquehanna University seeks an energetic and courageous Vice President for Enrollment to lead an innovative, bold, and comprehensive enrollment program and provide enrollment leadership strategy guided by the mission and vision of the University.

Reporting to President Jonathan Green, the Vice President for Enrollment serves as a member of the President’s Senior Leadership Team. Overseeing approximately 25 individuals, including four direct reports, in the offices of admission and student financial services, the vice president will lead the University’s strategy and policy on matters relating to enrollment.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
The primary duties and responsibilities of the Vice President for Enrollment are as follows:

  • Build on a comprehensive strategic enrollment management plan that aligns with the University’s strategic initiatives, ensuring a strong link between student demand, University-wide priorities, and financial planning. Enhance, articulate, and evaluate the plan as time goes on to ensure success of reaching enrollment targets.
  • Ensure the delivery of quality, student-oriented financial aid and enrollment services by developing and implementing efficient, effective, and integrated policies, procedures, and systems.
  • Manage the overall marketing communications plan for enrollment with ongoing review to ensure optimal results, understanding the power of digital recruitment and collaborating with the University Marketing and Communications Office.
  • Foster and maintain strong, collaborative relationships with leadership across the University, partnering collegially with the Academic Deans, the Board of Trustees, other senior leaders, the Innovation Center, REACH Scholars (TRiO and ACT 101 programs), faculty, marketing & communications, athletics and others to develop and implement short- and long-term enrollment plans. Collaborate with the Provost and others to promote persistence and retention strategies.
  • Focus on increasing net tuition revenue each year within the context of academic ability and Susquehanna’s broad commitment to serving diverse populations.
  • Establish strategic direction, priorities, and goals for the enrollment management team by making data-informed decisions and linking budgets and expenditures to measurable outcomes while seeking both standard and creative ways to achieve enrollment goals.
  • Develop and effectively administer departmental budgets, including budget forecasting, planning, and monitoring of expenditures.
  • Engage the entire university community in discussions about enrollment vision and strategy, fostering a culture of openness and inclusion.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of policies/practices, management systems, programs, and services through quality improvement benchmarks.
  • Utilize technology and innovation to enhance enrollment and admissions/recruitment processes and deliver enrollment in a manner that reinforces efforts to recruit and retain students.
  • Provide effective leadership of staff by strengthening a trusting and transparent environment that encourages ideas and values opinions; possess a willingness to motivate and empower a strong and highly motivated team and lead with creativity, integrity, inclusiveness, sound judgment, wisdom, passion, and energy.
  • Analyze business intelligence and analytics results and modeling to direct positive/negative performance trends and develop action plans to increase/correct those trends.

Experience, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
The successful candidate should have significant proven experience in higher education. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required; and an advanced degree is strongly preferred with at least 10 years relevant experience in admissions, financial aid and/or recruitment. In addition, candidates for this position should demonstrate the following experience, knowledge, skills and abilities.

  • Knowledge of the competitive challenges, technology opportunities, and highly effective enrollment management practices in the rapidly evolving higher education landscape.
  • Demonstrated success in recruiting and enrolling students from historically underrepresented and marginalized or minoritized populations; ability to recruit BIPOC students and international students.
  • Possession of outstanding oral, written, and interpersonal skills with the ability to listen and collaborate with diverse stakeholders as a team player in support of the University.
  • Skilled in data analysis, effective planning, decision making, problem solving, creativity, and innovation in strategy formulation, including state-of-the-art enrollment strategies that support the entire University.
  • Ability to mentor, coach, and direct the professional staff and prepare to meet high expectations of colleagues and co-workers who understand that enrollment is a top priority.
  • Appreciation for the characteristics of honesty, pragmatism, transparency and the highest integrity as well as an innovative, creative and flexible spirit with personal warmth and approachability.
  • Knowledge of best practices in admissions and financial aid in order to consistently and reliably achieve annual new-student enrollment and net revenue, including an understanding of price and perceived value.
  • Commitment to an organizational culture of trust, integrity, ethics, professionalism, inclusiveness, and respect for diversity and inclusion in all its forms.
  • Experience in using enrollment databases and a strong understanding of current and emerging technologies, techniques, and strategies including optimization of CRM, performance marketing, research optimization, lead acquisition, digital media etc.
  • Demonstration of an understanding and commitment to promote Susquehanna’s mission to educate global leaders prepared to achieve, lead, and serve.
  • Deep appreciation for a transformative liberal arts education and an ability to communicate this effectively to prospective students and their families.
  • Knowledge of NCAA Division III regulations and a demonstrated ability to partner with athletics in the recruitment of student-athletes.
  • Experience in using predictive modeling, financial aid leveraging, and the effective use of enrollment software.

THE UNIVERSITY
History
Founded in 1858, Susquehanna offered a classical liberal-arts curriculum from its inception. Later, it became a pioneer in coeducation with the admission of women in 1873 and was renamed as a university in 1895. It has offered degree programs in the liberal arts, business, and music since 1900. Well known for its scenic 297-acre campus and Georgian architecture, two of the more than 80 campus buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. For most of its history, Susquehanna’s academic program was modest in size and scope, with a total student body of around 500. In the early 1960s, the University grew to around 1,200 students and significantly expanded its liberal-arts component. Today, Susquehanna University is nationally known as a comprehensive, selective, private residential university enrolling 2,200 primarily traditional-aged students.

Academics
Boasting a strong liberal-arts curriculum enhanced by equally robust professional programs, the University enrolls students in the School of Arts, School of Humanities, School of Natural & Social Sciences and the Sigmund Weis School of Business. Susquehanna is a national leader in independent undergraduate research and student creative work. Susquehanna’s commitment to inclusiveness was acknowledged by the American Talent Initiative for its success in meeting its goals in enrolling more students from low- and moderate-income households, thereby providing greater access to opportunities for a transformative education.

Susquehanna offers more than 100 majors and minors and has a 12:1 student-faculty ratio, which facilitates close relationships with professors and a personalized learning environment. In recent years, the University has prioritized a culture of assessment in both academic and administrative work and now has a strong foundation and structures in place for continuing success.

Susquehanna’s innovative Central Curriculum spans all academic programs and provides the means for all students to achieve the Institution’s learning goals. The Central Curriculum is organized in five main areas: richness of thought, natural world, human interaction, intellectual skills, and connections. A capstone experience, while not formally a part of the Central Curriculum, is also a key requirement for all students. Distinctive elements of this curriculum include its approach to diversity studies, ethics, teamwork, writing, interdisciplinary work, sustainability and the development of intellectual skills.

The Central Curriculum also includes the cross-cultural Global Opportunities “GO” Program requirement to study abroad. Susquehanna is among a mere handful of schools to mandate a study-away experience for all students and is the only institution that requires a post-travel perspectives course in which students reflect on how that experience changed them. As an award-winning program, GO provides students with semester-long opportunities, shorter (two-week minimum), faculty-led programs and Go-Your-Way opportunities for students to design their own programs. About 95% of Susquehanna students complete their off-campus study outside the United States. Typically, 98% of each graduating class is employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months. Approximately 21% of students enter graduate or professional school immediately after graduation from Susquehanna University.

Susquehanna is an accredited, not-for-profit institution which means its programs are both certified and recognized for their excellence. Accreditations include the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), American Chemical Society, and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Susquehanna is also a member of the Annapolis Group, an organization of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges.

Student Life
A residential campus, Susquehanna University provides a nurturing college home environment that fosters individual growth and lasting connections with others. Within our community of dedicated faculty and supportive staff, students are embraced by a second family that encourages exploration and rewards learning from failure. Our nurturing environment — where nobody goes unnoticed, and everyone stands out — enriches a profound sense of belonging. As a result, each student’s journey is marked by fulfillment and memorable experiences that help them create their path to success.

With nearly 120 student organizations, students have numerous options to choose from when exploring life beyond the classroom, where much of the learning occurs. From Greek life, campus ministry and honor societies to academic clubs and volunteer organizations, students can find their place. In addition, there are numerous music and theater performances, concerts, lectures, barbecues, festivals and more offered throughout the year. Finally, Susquehanna offers 23 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports in the Landmark Conference, active intramural and club sport programs, as well as 26 acres of grass and turf playing fields, a sports complex with a swimming pool, a fitness center and more.

Susquehanna received the Campus Prevention Network Seal of Prevention for showing commitment to prevention programs tied to student safety, well-being and inclusion.

  • The Burke Hawk Hub is a one-stop-shop that helps all students connect with resources and find answers to any questions they may have about academic support; accommodations and disability services; dietary needs and meal plan options; financial support; mental health, physical health and safety; technology needs and more.
  • There is an on-site Geisinger medical clinic, around-the-clock psychological counseling services and varying disability services.
  • Susquehanna places a high priority on student safety, with 24-hour campus safety officer patrols, 90 blue-light safety phone locations throughout campus, electronic access to campus residence halls, closed circuit television cameras throughout campus, late night transportation and individual campus safety escorts when requested. Campus Safety specialists follow up with each student following every incident.
  • The University has an alumni-supported Student Care Fund, which allows students with significant financial need to receive additional assistance. Some examples of requests that could be funded include textbooks, meals while the university is closed for break, winter clothing, transportation to and from home and campus, conference attendance, pre-orientation activities or the initial fee to join a fraternity or sorority.
  • SU maintains an active CARE Team that meets weekly to assess and manage students exhibiting behaviors that could disrupt their educational progress or potentially pose a risk to themselves or others. This team coordinates resources to intervene and, when necessary, connects students with university or community services for extra support.
  • Also, SU operates a robust VIP Center, which serves as the heart of violence prevention and response on campus and provides intervention services to survivors of sexual misconduct and gender-based violence.

Mission and Strategic Plan
Susquehanna University’s mission is to educate students for productive, creative and reflective lives of achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, dynamic and interdependent world. As a living and learning community, Susquehanna is committed to being an engaged, culturally inclusive campus that does not exclude or marginalize individuals and groups because of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, social class, marital and parental status, disability, age, religion, geography or national origin. SU seeks a campus community that reflects the rich diversity of humanity with the full participation of people who represent the breadth of human differences. These commitments are necessary to be a viable and competitive institution of higher learning in the 21st century. They are indispensable in achieving our mission of educating “undergraduate students for productive, creative and reflective lives of achievement, leadership and service in a diverse and interconnected world.” 

Academic excellence is the lifeblood of the University and the driving force that leads to life changing experiences for students. Students benefit from a global education, student-faculty research, internships and practicums, creative work, service learning, and volunteer work. A Susquehanna education comprises the experiences students need to determine the lives they wish to lead, and the knowledge, skills, values, and networks to achieve their full potential. Faculty members are dedicated scholars and teachers who make close connections with students as they inspire them intellectually and creatively, expanding their knowledge, skills, and understanding of their place in the world. Staff members serve as caring mentors whose work bolsters our academic mission. These collective experiences help students to thrive personally and professionally. The institution’s 2026 Strategic Plan reaffirms the core academic principles, ethics, commitment to each other, and the importance of engaging all voices in pursuit of new, equitable ways to creatively solve the challenges of our world.

In implementing its strategic plan, the University has made significant enhancements to learning spaces, for example: the expansion of a trading room, ensuring Bloomberg certification for all business students; renovation of a state-of-the-art recording studio; and improvements to spaces for student performances, classes, and gatherings. The University was gifted a 55-acre retreat center for academic, co-curricular, and research activities. The University also created new majors, expanded community-college transfer agreements from one to eight, and increased cooperative education agreements for students’ further studies.

Notably, Susquehanna achieved historical highs in student retention and strengthened its collaborative workforce as outlined in the strategic plan, which earned the University recognition, with The Wall Street Journal naming Susquehanna among the 400 Best Colleges in the U.S. for 2024, and Forbes including it in its 2023 inaugural list of 300 of America’s Best Small Employers.

Human and Financial Resources
Susquehanna is a strong and financially healthy institution and has been in the enviable position of continuing to invest in its programs, people and campus. Susquehanna has a long history of maximizing its position at the intersection of mission and the market and strong financial management allowed the institution to maintain its position. The quality of the educational programs is high, and facilities are among the best in the nation among liberal arts colleges. Susquehanna has a strong balance sheet with $233 million in financial assets (cash and endowment investments) compared to a debt level of $43 million with under $3 million of the debt being variable. Susquehanna’s annual operating budget is $88 million, its endowment is approximately $190 million and total University assets are valued at $350 million. Susquehanna has also been steadily building additional resources through the Advancement division’s fundraising and alumni engagement initiatives. Susquehanna exceeded its recent capital campaign goal, by $25 million, to raise over $185 million. Nearly 16,000 gifts brought the Give Rise campaign to its history-making conclusion, with a remarkable 40 gifts of $1 million or more. The substantial total funding facilitated 158 new student scholarships, supported 21 capital improvement projects, and bolstered Susquehanna’s endowment by $100 million.

Susquehanna’s greatest resource is its people. From its humble beginnings, the commitment of founders and earliest faculty was essential to nurturing and sustaining the institution. Today, Susquehanna’s board, in collaboration with a committed faculty and staff, is critical to the future of the University and the accomplishment of the mission. Susquehanna has a strong tradition of disciplined planning efforts. This is a place where resources have been stewarded well. This tradition of discipline and stewardship has created the resource base that permits Susquehanna to thoughtfully consider the future and adapt intentionally rather than be overwhelmed by circumstances or resistant to change. These efforts allowed the institution to weather the pandemic crisis without cutting benefits or altering the 9% pension matching program. Susquehanna has adopted a strengths-based approach to develop and support its administrative leaders thanks to a $1 million gift from Board Chair, Signe Gates (Susquehanna Class of 1971). The Gates Fund for Excellence in Leadership provides resources to develop and maximize the leadership skills of the senior team so that Susquehanna is prepared to deal effectively with the challenges of the coming decades. This initiative builds on Ms. Gates’ commitment to nurturing Susquehanna’s most important resource, its people. She has also demonstrated that support through her gifts to fund the Gates and WIT (Whatever It Takes) staff award programs she established in 2006.

Leadership
Jonathan Green became president of Susquehanna University in 2017. Since arriving at Susquehanna, he has worked to strengthen the University’s regional business and cultural impact through collaborations with the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce and the launch of the University’s Downtown Center. Susquehanna has taken a leadership role in regional and national diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in partnership with the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way.

President Green is chair of the board of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP), program co-chair and  a board member for the Annapolis Group, chair of the intercollegiate athletic Landmark Conference, a member of the Tax Policy Committee of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), and a member of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) of which he is a member of the executive committee and chairs the nominating committee.

In 2022 and 2023, President Green was named to City & State Pennsylvania’s Higher Education Power 100 in recognition of his leadership. In 2020, he was honored with the Arthur V. Ciervo Award by College & University Public Relations and Associated Professionals (CUPRAP) for his exemplary efforts in advancing the understanding of higher education.

Governance
Susquehanna is governed by a Board of Trustees of up to 41 members, including several representatives of the ELCA, two faculty members, and two students. The Board is independent and elects all its own members. Trustee engagement and satisfaction are high as is the Board’s value as a resource to the University’s administrative leadership. Emphasizing the importance of “governance as leadership,” the Board continually examines its structure and practices in ongoing efforts to bring the greatest value to its work. As part of its focus on education and social capital building, the Board holds an annual summer retreat also attended by senior members of the administration and faculty.

Location
Susquehanna University is located in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, approximately 50 miles north of Harrisburg in the scenic Susquehanna River Valley.  The three-county region of the Greater Susquehanna Valley has a population of 180,000 and is characterized by small towns and a hilly, rural, scenic landscape adjacent to the Appalachian Trail. A supportive university community in the picturesque heart of Pennsylvania, Susquehanna takes pride in its namesake, the nearby majestic Susquehanna River. Strong schools at the K-12 level, world class healthcare and cultural opportunities in the area make the region a desirable location to live.

The town of Selinsgrove, characterized by early American architecture, creates
a welcoming, walkable community adorned with shops, eateries and engaging activities. The Susquehanna River Valley, with its fresh air, provides four distinct seasons amidst a backdrop of vibrant autumn foliage, occasional winter snowfalls, flower-filled springs and warm summer evenings illuminated by fireflies. Nearby outdoor recreational areas for hiking, kayaking, fishing and skiing — and the bustling cultural and commerce hubs of New York City, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia are within a three-hour drive.

Fast Facts

  • Susquehanna’s four-year graduation rate at 71%, places it in the top 15% of U.S. colleges, according to the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard 2023.
  • 99% of Susquehanna students receive financial aid through academic merit scholarships and need-based grants.
  • Susquehanna graduates are ranked among the Top 11% of U.S. colleges for career-long earnings, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce 2022 report.
  • 100% of classes are taught by professors, not graduate assistants.
  • Over 90% of faculty hold the highest degree within their academic field.
  • For a decade, The New York Times has placed Susquehanna among the top 100 U .S . institutions for socio-economic diversity.

TO APPLY
NES is assisting Susquehanna University with the search for the Vice President for Enrollment. To arrange for a confidential conversation, please contact Laura RobinsonAnn Salina-Tucker or Mary Napier. For best consideration, candidates who plan to apply should send a resume, a detailed letter of interest, and contact information for five professional references by email to susqu@nessearches.com by February 5, 2024.  Review will begin immediately thereafter and the expected start date will be early summer 2024.  All applications and nominations will be considered confidential, and notice will be given before references are contacted.

As a living, learning and working community, Susquehanna University affirms its commitment to being an engaged, culturally inclusive campus. As we seek to embody the rich diversity of the human community, we commit ourselves to the full participation of persons who represent the breadth of human difference. The university encourages candidates from historically underrepresented groups to apply. Susquehanna University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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