Vice President for Enrollment Management at Hamilton College

Hamilton College, a pre-eminent, residential, private liberal arts college in Upstate New York, invites applications and nominations for its next vice president for enrollment management. Reporting to the president, and serving as a senior officer of the College, the vice president for enrollment management will provide strategic direction and exceptional, forward-thinking leadership in student recruitment, financial aid, and enrollment management. The vice president will join Hamilton at an exciting time in the institution’s more-than-200-year history following a highly successful fundraising campaign and remarkable enhancements to the College’s academic offerings and facilities. The vice president will assume leadership of a division with a commitment to an ethical and access-oriented approach to enrollment management. For the past 20 years, the Enrollment Management Division has found great success under the deft and capable leadership of Monica Inzer, who will retire in June 2024. A national search is underway to identify Hamilton’s 21st president. The College expects to announce the president-elect early in the second semester and have that person start on July 1, 2024.

The Opportunity
The vice president for enrollment management will lead Hamilton in sustaining and improving the College’s success in removing barriers, attracting talented students from across the globe, and prioritizing the academic quality, diversity, and retention of the institution’s student body. In addition to serving as an exemplary manager of people, data, and resources, the vice president will assess all aspects of the enrollment funnel to maximize efficiency, performance, and desired outcomes. As a visible spokesperson for the College, an advocate for the liberal arts, and an active voice in promoting access to higher education, the vice president will lead the division in establishing and cultivating relationships with prospective families, faculty, staff, school counselors, community partners, alumni, trustees, parents, and other key constituents.

 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
The essential duties and responsibilities for the vice president for enrollment management include the following:

College Leadership

  • Advise the president and the Board of Trustees in all matters related to recruitment, enrollment, financial aid, and strategic positioning of the College amid the rapidly evolving landscape for highly selective liberal arts colleges.
  • Serve as a collaborative partner in a team of deeply committed senior staff members.
  • Guide, support, and implement institutional strategic plans and initiatives, and lead the development of strategic enrollment plans to support institutional goals.
  • Articulate the College’s strategic, immediate, and long-term goals to the larger community, fostering active engagement and partnerships.
  • Educate and prepare the Hamilton community for changes in financial aid regulations, legal and normative changes in admission practice and policy, demographic changes and market trends, and the evolving needs and expectations of student populations.
  • Provide vision, strategy, and oversight for all aspects of admission recruitment, selection, and student financial aid.
  • Work closely with the Faculty Committee on Admission and Financial Aid, serving as an ex officio member of this faculty-elected committee, to involve and educate faculty about admission and financial aid policy and practices, and to take on key research projects or initiatives.
  • Assist with financial aid fundraising and stewardship, and make clear the case to sustain and likely increase Hamilton’s generous financial aid promise.
  • Provide regular reports to trustees, faculty, staff, new employees, and divisional partners, encouraging understanding and engagement in enrollment management functions and the appropriate and transparent dissemination of data and information.
  • Represent Hamilton with wisdom and insight through presentations and conversations, attending conferences, meeting with heads of schools, engaging with partner programs, responding to media requests, and leading key media placements.
  • Lead Hamilton’s valued partnerships with important organizations (NESCAC, QuestBridge, Posse Foundation, American Talent Initiative, etc.) and cultivate new strategic partnerships.
  • Actively participate in alumni and donor engagement and Hamilton’s fundraising efforts.
  • Contribute to Hamilton’s master planning process, including a new strategic plan.

Strategic Enrollment and Retention

  • Lead the assessment of all aspects of the admission funnel, from prospect to matriculant, to optimize results and achieve key objectives.
  • Implement changes to admission and financial aid policies and practices to meet state and federal compliance regulations, and in a manner that is consistent with Hamilton’s values and mission.
  • Chair Hamilton’s Student Emergency Aid Society (SEAS), composed of individuals from across campus and managed by financial aid, in providing support for non-billable expenses for students whose financial barriers are extraordinary, and collaborate with campus partners to ensure that all students have equal access to all Hamilton offers.
  • Chair Hamilton’s Enrollment Committee, composed of representatives from the budget, residential life, registrar, dean of students, admission, financial aid, off-campus study, facilities, and institutional research offices, in monitoring, assessing, and projecting enrollment, retention, student support, housing, and related budget impact.
  • In collaboration with key campus partners, assess student success metrics, utilizing retention and graduation data to inform admission selection objectives, and intentionally plan for and facilitate preparation for shifting student demographics.
  • Identify, explore, and cultivate new student application sources aligned with the College’s values and strategic goals.
  • Regularly assess the College’s market position, explore ways to enhance the College’s reputation, and ensure vendor partnerships and resources are strategic, appropriate, and productive.
  • Provide strategic vision and guidance for the College’s website, recruitment publications, social media and digital marketing campaigns, and assess and explore strategic vendor relationships to support goals.

Financial Acumen

  • Demonstrate fiscal responsibility in evaluating the impact and effective allocation of a $3 million operating budget and a $55+ million financial aid budget.
  • Support the thoughtful allocation of budget resources though a global lens of shared resources and responsibility.
  • Continually evaluate effectiveness and competitiveness of financial aid programs, including consideration of methodology and award components.
  • Facilitate planning for and achieving net tuition revenue models and goals; regularly evaluate econometric modeling to help achieve admission and enrollment goals.
  • Support the executive director and Financial Aid Office in partnering with others to promote the resources available (e.g., financial aid, financial literacy, SEAS, financing options) to support and retain Hamilton’s students.

Supervision and Mentorship

  • Oversee a 25-person team across admission and financial aid with a focus on employee development and retention.
  • Foster a collaborative environment and empower direct reports to lead within and across their teams in a manner that supports division-wide goals and institutional objectives.
  • Demonstrate authentic support of evolving Critical Few Objectives (division-wide goals) with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Enhance professional development through formal and informal opportunities to support employee growth and foster best-in-class admission, recruitment, and financial aid programs.
  • Provide mentorship to team members, assisting with performance plans that promote personal and professional growth.

Skills, Qualifications, and Abilities
The vice president for enrollment management position requires an exceptional leader with unquestionable ethics and integrity, outstanding communication skills, and innovative thinking. The successful candidate will demonstrate inclusive and equity mindedness, excellent managerial experience, and the ability to develop and retain a sophisticated enrollment management staff. The vice president will have a proven record of expertise and achievement in enrollment management, with the competence to successfully lead a team in achieving strategic institutional goals. The vice president will have a genuine belief in Hamilton’s liberal arts mission, substantial experience with effectively using technology and data to enhance and inform decisions, and a sincere desire to partner with all members of the greater Hamilton community. The position requires an advanced degree and at least 10 years of enrollment management experience, with a minimum of five years in a strategic leadership position. In addition, the vice president should demonstrate the following skills, qualifications, and abilities:

  • Experience in strategic research and planning, data analysis, and reporting, budgeting, and supervision.
  • Strong project management, organizational, and analytical skills, and the ability to draw conclusions, develop recommendations, and clearly communicate orally and in written form.
  • Active commitment to advancing diversity, inclusivity, and belonging.
  • Experience leading a team to meet institutional goals; work at a small liberal arts institution is preferred.
  • Advanced level of familiarity with modern marketing and engagement tools (web, social media, retargeting, etc.).
  • Significant skills in database management and analytics; familiarity with Slate is preferred.
  • Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills, with the ability to communicate clearly in both individual and group settings.
  • Ability to develop and communicate a positive, compelling, distinctive vision and related goals to motivate a team to execute actionable, cutting edge, and creative actions toward that vision and related goals.
  • Even-keeled, thoughtful temperament, with impeccable integrity, appropriate transparency, and excellent judgment.
  • Exceptional work ethic and excellent organizational and delegation skills to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and handle highly confidential information.
  • Deep commitment to collaboration and collegiality.
  • Dedication to and embodiment of the highest standards of professionalism and quality, with high standards for accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Self-motivated, critical thinker with advanced problem-solving abilities and creativity.
  • Proven ability to work with diverse constituencies, both on and off campus; propensity to serve as an ambassador for the College and to engage effectively with prospective students and families, current students and families, high school counselors, faculty, staff, alumni, community-based organizations, national admission and financial organizations, and other external audiences on behalf of the institution.

Hamilton’s Commitment to Being “A School of Opportunity”
Hamilton has a reputation for being “prestigious but not pretentious,” and offering a long-standing commitment to access and opportunity. More than a dozen years ago, the College made that commitment even more clear. During an economic recession, and when balancing the College’s budget was a top challenge and priority, Hamilton joined roughly four dozen colleges that pledged to be need-blind in admission (meaning a family’s ability to pay will not be a factor in admission decisions) while still meeting 100% of demonstrated financial need. Since that momentous decision, in addition to attracting classes of unprecedented academic ability and talent, Hamilton has set records for applications and selectivity, increased diversity of all kinds, and improved retention. This stance has helped the College attract and retain excellent leaders and teachers who want to be part of an institution that admits and supports the very best students. To ensure Hamilton sustains this financial aid promise, the largest component of Hamilton’s recent and most ambitious fundraising campaign was allocated to financial aid endowment. The income earned from scholarship funds in Hamilton’s more than $1.3 billion endowment provides approximately 40% of the College’s financial aid budget.

The College
Guided by the motto “Know Thyself,” Hamilton prepares students for lives of meaning, purpose, and active citizenship. The College’s distinctive open curriculum gives students the freedom to explore their passions while honing critical thinking and communications skills.

 Founded more than 200 years ago, Hamilton is both traditional and progressive, having supplemented its focus on teaching students to think independently and communicate clearly. Hamilton offers a co-curricular program that provides internships and other experiential learning and leadership opportunities.

In 2018, the College adopted a five-year strategic plan, which focused the campus on issues ranging from curricular innovation and student success to diversity and inclusion. One of the most ambitious and distinctive outcomes is the implementation of ALEX (Advise, Learn, EXperience), Hamilton’s coordinated advising network tailored for each student’s academic success, career preparation, experiential learning, and personal growth.

Hamilton’s mission to prepare students for lives of meaning, purpose, and active citizenship is inextricably tied to its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Serious intellectual inquiry and informed engagement with an ever-changing world depend on open dialogue among people with differing perspectives and values, and from different backgrounds. Achieving an inclusive, equitable community is of paramount importance. Hamilton is continually striving to make further progress through positive action, change, and growth.

Hamilton’s 20th president, David Wippman, has announced his plans to retire in June 2024 after eight years.  During his tenure, President Wippman led significant efforts to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion, including hiring Hamilton’s first vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion. In 2018, he dedicated a new health and wellness center that greatly expanded programs and resources for student wellbeing. A new Center for Innovative Technologies is in the development phase. Throughout his tenure, he initiated the renovation and refurbishment of important facilities for the humanities, athletics, and recreation. In addition, President Wippman oversaw the development of the Sustainability Action Plan, Climate Action Plan, and the Land and Forest Stewardship Plan, which commit the College to become carbon neutral and reduce waste by 90 percent by 2030.  The College is currently conducting a search for Hamilton’s 21st president.  Guided by an 18-member search committee, the search has invited contributions and input from the Hamilton community.  The Board of Trustees is expected to announce the president-elect early in the spring 2024 semester, and that person’s tenure will begin on July 1, 2024.

Hamilton has invested more than $236 million in campus facilities during the past decade, with $186 million committed to academic facilities. Students are required to live on campus in one of 29 residence halls or apartment-style housing options, learn in a distinctively attractive open curriculum, and choose from 44 majors (called “concentrations”) and 57 areas of study. Approximately 33% of students participate in 29 NCAA Division III varsity sports as part of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). Students also engage in 15 club sports and 17 intramural programs, part of more than 200 clubs and organizations offered at the College, including those focused on volunteerism, religion, public affairs, culture, the media, comedy, music, and performance.

Enrollment
The College received more than 9,600 applications, from all 50 states and 146 countries, for Hamilton’s Class of 2027. The 11.8% admit rate tied the lowest on record for Hamilton, and the yield on admitted students was 40.8%. The Class of 2027 composite was on par with the upward trajectory of recent entering cohorts, including ethnic and socioeconomic diversity (29% U.S. students of color, 8.4% international citizens, 18% Pell Grant recipients, and 15% first generation to college). The College’s current financial aid budget of $55.7 million supports roughly half the student body, with an average financial aid award of $53,597. Hamilton’s overall enrollment is roughly 2,000 students from 47 states and 54 countries, with 34% identifying as U.S. students of color or international citizens.

To learn more about Hamilton College, go to https://www.hamilton.edu/.

Location
Hamilton’s 1,350-acre campus is situated on a hilltop overlooking picturesque Clinton, N.Y., a small village with quaint shops, historic homes, several restaurants, and an award-winning school district. Additional shopping and amenities are located 10 minutes away in New Hartford and Utica (pop. 65,000), which is home to an outstanding regional art museum, the historic 3,000-seat Stanley Theatre, an AHL hockey team, the popular Utica Boilermaker 15k road race, and a rich variety of cultural cuisine. Cooperstown, home to the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Fenimore Art Museum, is less than one hour away, and the southern border of the Adirondack Park is about 60 minutes to the northeast where hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, skiing, and snowmobiling are popular. The College is 45 minutes east of Syracuse, 90 minutes west of Albany, three hours from Niagara Falls, and four hours from Boston or New York City.

Compensation and Benefits
Compensation for the position is expected to be between $220,000 and $270,000 depending on experience; consult with NES search team for insights.  To learn about Hamilton College’s outstanding benefits, visit https://www.hamilton.edu/offices/human-resources/benefits

Those employed at Hamilton often cite a caring campus community that fosters long-term appreciation of individuals. The enrollment management division created a “culture club,” which offers social activities during and after work hours for the division’s employees. In addition to providing a competitive benefits package that features robust tuition reimbursement plans and retirement contributions, Hamilton is located in a region with a relatively low cost of living and access to quality child care, including the Clinton Early Learning Center. The College also provides support, at no cost, for relocating employees and their families to the area. M3 Placement & Partnership concentrates and specializes in many aspects of transitioning to Central New York, including work opportunities for the spouses and partners of new Hamilton employees.

To Apply
NES, a higher education search firm specializing in enrollment management searches, is partnering with Hamilton to identify the College’s next vice president for enrollment management. For more information, or to nominate someone for this position, contact Catherine Capolupo (catherine.capolupo@nessearches.com) or Mary Napier (mary.napier@nessearches.com). All conversations will remain confidential unless otherwise stated and agreed.

Interested candidates should submit a résumé and a letter of interest describing their unique qualifications for the vice president for enrollment management position at Hamilton College. Candidates should also provide the names and contact information of at least five professional references. For confidentiality, references will not be contacted without permission. For best consideration, all application materials should be submitted electronically to hamilton@nessearches.com by February 20, 2024. The position is campus-based and the preferred start date is no later than June 1, 2024.

Hamilton College is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer and is committed to creating an accessible, supportive environment and an educational experience that recognizes diversity in all of its forms and a wide array of cultural experiences as integral components of academic excellence. Candidates who can contribute to those goals are encouraged to apply and to identify their strengths in these areas.

 Hamilton’s campus is located on the ancestral and traditional lands of the Oneida Nation. The community commits itself to engaging in solidarity with the Oneida Nation and to ensuring that the perspectives and cultures of Indigenous peoples are honored and embraced.