Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing at North Central College

 We are a diverse community of learners dedicated to preparing students to be curious, engaged, ethical, and purposeful citizens and leaders in local, national and global contexts.

~Mission Statement

North Central College, a comprehensive, independent liberal arts institution located in the vibrant city of Naperville, Illinois, 29 miles west of Chicago, invites applications and nominations for the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing (VPEMM) position. This Cabinet-level position oversees and coordinates all aspects of North Central’s undergraduate enrollment and marketing efforts and provides strategic leadership for graduate and international enrollment efforts.

North Central College is one of higher education’s great success stories. The College has experienced continuous growth, including state of the art additions to its physical plant, a nationally recognized athletics program, and exciting new undergraduate and graduate academic programs. Such strong institutional investment is particularly impressive given broader trends in higher education over the past several years. The College aspires to build upon its success to date, and the new Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing will play a key role in achieving the College’s ambitious strategic goals. North Central currently enrolls 2,400 undergraduates and 324 graduate students.

The Position
The Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing is the College’s chief enrollment officer, reporting to the president who is soon to be named. Overseeing the Dean of Admission, Director of Financial Aid, and Senior Director of Marketing and their respective areas, the VPEMM is responsible for planning, implementing and executing effective data-driven strategies to attract and enroll undergraduate first-year and transfer students. The vice president leads the admission, financial aid and marketing teams in the continued cultivation of current markets to maintain existing enrollment strength, and in the development of new markets to drive undergraduate enrollment growth. Collaborative engagement with the international and graduate admissions teams ensures a robust and integrated enrollment strategy. The vice president will be committed to the College’s efforts toward creating a more inclusive campus community and will lead the enrollment, financial aid, and marketing efforts with an innovative and equity-focused vision for the College’s future.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
North Central College seeks a collaborative and student-centered leader with a long-term vision and an established record of success in developing new markets, strengthening brand identity and prioritizing intentional, data driven decision making. In addition, the essential duties and responsibilities of the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing are as follows:

College Leadership

  • As chief enrollment officer, provides integrated and strategic direction for all college enrollment functions, sharing resources and creating synergies among undergraduates, graduates and international admission and retention.
  • Engages well across institutional boundaries with a forward-thinking approach that is visionary and strategic, as well as operational; provides institutional partners with the guidance and training to collaborate on effective engagement activities in a way that is productive, proactive, and appreciated.
  • Partners with others across campus to intentionally and progressively attract a diverse and inclusive student community while strategically aligning the range of supports needed to remove systemic barriers to success for students and increase retention of students of color.
  • Provides education and information regarding enrollment best practices, changing demographics and the highly competitive regional landscape.
  • Collaborates with other institutional leaders to impact retention efforts through contemporary enrollment management approaches.
  • Partners effectively with coaches and the entire athletic department to establish and expand the effective recruitment of student athletes.

Enrollment and Marketing

  • Develops, articulates and implements a strategic marketing, financial aid, and enrollment plan that optimizes growth opportunities in alignment with the College’s vision and mission.
  • Provides collaborative leadership for graduate student strategic marketing and enrollment efforts, as well as undergraduate recruitment.
  • Leads marketing, recruitment, and financial aid strategies that yield quantifiable and significant returns on marketing and recruitment investments.
  • Develops and manages forecasts, predictive models, reports, and budgets for the entire first-year and transfer enrollment funnels, and will deploy expertise in leveraging existing and emerging technologies while continuously improving business processes.
  • Instills a culture of data driven decision making; tracks and measures progress and outcomes, ensuring all enrollment management and marketing initiatives are assessed and adapted for efficiency and effectiveness, and understands the College’s broader competitive market position.
  • Contributes, in collaboration with other members of the President’s Cabinet, to the development of strategies regarding tuition, room and board and fees.
  • Maintains deep knowledge of the College’s distinctions and develops strategies to position and promote the institution to maximize new student enrollment in the rapidly changing market.

Staff management

  • Supervises, mentors and motivates a hard-working enrollment team; supports the growth and professional development of staff; and brings a sense of stability and ensures a positive, team-oriented environment.
  • Knits together the enrollment (admission and financial aid) and marketing teams in their shared work through effective communication and transparency.
  • Hires individuals with diverse backgrounds and heritage and builds a team intent on cultural awareness, competence, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Recognizes, elevates, and advocates for the needs and nuances of the various teams within enrollment given their unique goals, populations, systems and timelines.

Qualifications and Personal Characteristics
It is strongly preferred that the successful candidate will have earned an advanced degree and it is required that they have a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, this role requires a minimum of seven years of leadership experience in enrollment management, recruitment, sales, advertising, and/or marketing. In addition, the ideal candidate will have a proven track record of success and possess the following qualifications and personal characteristics:

  • Excellence in analyzing and organizing information and deriving actionable insight from data to produce results.
  • Collaborative professional who can articulate a complex vision with the confidence of a thought leader and will be eager to engage the North Central College community, prospective students, and others in creative marketing, recruitment, and enrollment experiences.
  • Desire to further develop and mentor a dedicated, talented staff.
  • Proven ability to navigate and succeed in challenging, demographic markets with strategic leadership skills, boldness, humility and creative problem solving.
  • Experience with delivering new first-year and transfer classes, and experience in change management as related to continuously improving all marketing and enrollment processes.
  • Ability to anticipate and effectively respond to all matters that influence enrollment. Excellent written and verbal communications skills combined with strong data analysis and technology skills, ability to motivate staff, and the ability to foster collaboration across all constituents are required.
  • Commitment to a culture of equity and respect, and the ability to build relationships and positive, inclusive-focused communication.
  • Acumen needed to propel North Central College forward during this critical time in the College’s and nation’s history.
  • An entrepreneurial mind-set combined with knowledge of emerging marketing and enrollment trends and prospect development practices, and a commitment to the mission of North Central College and its aspirational Strategic Plan.
  • Ability to build cohesion within teams, systems, and processes.
  • Commitment to equity and inclusion demonstrate through procedures, programs and/or specific outcomes that they directly supported or initiated.
  • Direct experience in international and transfer student recruitment with past success in developing new relationships, partnerships and markets.
  • Understanding of marketing and enrollment trends in graduate, professional, and online program trends.
  • Understanding and attention to compliance with federal, state, institutional, and NCAA aid requirements for new and continuing students.
  • Commitment to customer care for students and families of graduate and undergraduate students from the point of student prospect to their alumni experience.
  • Mindset that is competitive on behalf of North Central and the desire to attract and serve students interested in their programs.
  • Ability to prioritize new initiatives to meet the goals of the institution and creatively strategize with limited resources.


North Central College was founded in 1861 by leaders of the Evangelical Church during the turmoil of the Civil War and while Abraham Lincoln was serving as U.S. president. Originally called Plainfield College and located in Plainfield, Ill., it was one of the few colleges at that time that was open to both men and women. The College’s first president, Augustine A. Smith, was guided by his vision that “A college should be a great moral lighthouse, sending out a clear and steady light up all subjects… An institution of learning should be the creator of public sentiment upon all the moral questions of the day, and not the follower…”

The College changed its name to North-Western College in 1864 to match its ambitions of attracting students from a broader geographical scope. By 1867, the College’s trustees chose to move the institution to Naperville, a growing town of 2,000 residents located along a newly constructed railroad, and with a variety of local businesses including stone quarries, brick and lumber yards, and manufacturers. Naperville embraced the College’s arrival as a key educational and cultural ingredient to help fuel the town’s growth and prosperity. Town residents pledged $25,000 for the construction of a college building, and resident Delcar Sleight donated eight acres of land. The cornerstone of Old Main was laid in the spring of 1870 and classes began in the nearly finished building the following fall. In 1926, and after much debate, the board changed the institution’s name to North Central College.

Despite the name changes and relocation, the story of North Central College is one of steady leadership and forward thinking. In the 160-year history of the College, there have been only ten presidents, each having guided the College through historic periods of growth, challenges, innovation and opportunity.

Currently, North Central is in the midst of a presidential search that is on target for completion in Early Spring 2023. The search for Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing is being managed with the presidential appointment in mind.  Interested candidates will have the opportunity to meet and know the new president before important final stages of the VPEMM search.

North Central College is proud of its tradition of academic excellence and its mission to prepare students to be curious, engaged, ethical, and purposeful citizens and leaders in local, national and global contexts. The College’s reputation for academic excellence attracts students who are motivated by scholarly achievement and seek an environment where inspired instruction and mentoring help them achieve their personal best on their way toward realizing their life’s direction. The College offers engaging, inspiring, and vigorous courses, designed to help students find their passion, feed their drive to learn, and prepare them to make an impact in an ever-changing world. Students can maximize their college experience by taking advantage of countless academic and pre-professional opportunities, including studying abroad, conducting research, completing an internship, and participating in high-impact practices inside and outside of the classroom. The College offers more than 70 undergraduate majors, minors and programs available through 19 academic departments. There are also ten interdisciplinary programs, including the Shimer Great Books School. There are direct entry, guaranteed admission, and accelerated pathways between select undergraduate and graduate programs.

Graduate catalog includes certificates, masters, and doctoral level degree programs and are housed within each college/school.

North Central students arrive on campus from 36 states and 50 countries, but predominantly from the upper Midwest, Illinois, and the broader Chicago area. Thirty percent of the entering class transfer to North Central, primarily from strong community colleges. North Central students are looking for a personalized academic experience with hands-on learning opportunities and active involvement in fine and performing arts curricular and co-curricular programs.  Nearly 40 percent of the students participate in North Central’s storied Division III athletic programs. The Cardinals have won 40 national team championships, 227 team conference championships, with 1234 All America Awards and 792 National Academic Awards.

Forty percent of North Central students are first-generation college students and they are celebrated by a team of students, faculty, and staff. Through Cardinal First, North Central is nationally recognized as a leader in first-generation programming and student success.

Some of the most important skills that students learn at North Central are those acquired outside of the classroom, such as leadership, communication, and teamwork. To hone those skills, to build lifelong friendships, and to quite simply just have some fun, students can choose from more than 75 different active student clubs, organizations and activities—including the College’s award-winning radio station WONC-FM 89.1, casual and competitive e-sports, the Model UN, the ultimate frisbee club, and more.


Mission Statement
We are a diverse community of learners dedicated to preparing students to be curious, engaged, ethical, and purposeful citizens and leaders in local, national and global contexts.

Vision Statement
North Central College will be a national model of a transformative undergraduate education, enhanced with distinctive graduate and professional programs, in all things steadfastly committed to a liberal arts tradition.

Core Values
North Central College values a rigorous, student-centered education grounded in the liberal arts tradition with purposeful integration of professional studies and civic engagement. While at its core is a residential undergraduate institution, we value distinctive programs for graduate and non-traditional students. We govern ourselves in a shared model between faculty and administration, overseen by a Board of Trustees, and value academic freedom in the development and delivery of our curriculum.

We are a diverse, inclusive and global community. We are an engaging and mentoring educational community that nurtures a culture of curiosity and fosters life-long learning. We have rigorous expectations of all students, of faculty as teachers and scholars, and of staff as partners in student success. We value quality, respect and collaboration.

We value the development of the intellectual, the physical, and the spiritual human being. To that end, we encourage engaged civil discourse and dialogue on disparate viewpoints. We value the integration of the curricular, co-curricular and athletic experiences. We value our alumni and their ongoing commitment to and engagement in our success. We value our affiliation with the United Methodist Church and its contribution to advancing the spiritual health of the campus in all its diversity.

We value our special and storied relationship with Naperville and the surrounding region as a community with which we share values of strong fiscal and environmental stewardship, an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, and a steadfast commitment to being destinations for success.

In spring 2019, in response to constructive input shared by students, the College established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force with student, faculty and staff representation. The Task Force was charged with identifying the needs of underrepresented members of the campus community and making recommendations for initiatives that will be ongoing with a clear intention to affect permanent cultural change on matters of diversity, equity and inclusion, while ensuring ongoing accountability throughout the campus community. The work of the Task Force is part of the College’s broader commitment to diversity, inclusion and global engagement as expressed in the Strategic Plan.

In summer 2020, the College created a more robust DEI website to provide ongoing updates on the College’s DEI efforts. The site includes sections related to the College’s commitment, student and community activism, athletics department initiatives, changing campus culture, DEI resources, an archive of all DEI campus communications, and a collection of news and stories highlighting the College’s ongoing efforts. In fall 2020, the College’s Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFÉ) sponsored a series of DEI-focused events, and the College Scholars program launched a similarly focused Honors Salon Series. Also in fall 2020, the College conducted the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS) campus climate survey. The initial survey findings were shared with the campus community at a series of campus climate survey forums in fall 2021, and the College’s Climate Assessment Working Group—a subset of the DEI Task Force—is continuing its analysis of the results to help guide future decision making on the College’s DEI efforts and priorities.

In spring 2017, the College’s Board of Trustees adopted a new Strategic Plan—Pathway to a Brilliant Future— which involves everyone within the campus community actively managing aspects of the plan for the benefit of students. The ambitious and aspirational plan includes four strategic imperatives, 19 strategies and approximately 200 tactics.

The overarching Strategic Imperatives are:

» Student Learning and Success

» Diversity, Inclusion, Global Engagement

» College of Destination

» Culture of Excellence.

The Strategic Plan is intentionally unbound by time. Rather, the plan will continue to evolve in response to the changing higher education landscape and marketplace. Importantly, nearly 80 users throughout campus provide regular updates using a specific strategic planning software tool. Work on the plan rolls up from the tactical level to the strategy level, which then rolls up to the strategic imperatives

More than 150 years ago, North Central’s trustees had the foresight to move the College to Naperville, which they saw as a small but ambitious town with endless potential. The move paid off. Since that time, Naperville has flourished. The town has grown to nearly 150,000 residents and has become nationally recognized as one of the country’s best cities in which to live, work, own a home, raise a family, go to school and more. Along the way, North Central has played an integral role in Naperville’s success—and vice versa. The College is an important contributor to the city’s quality of life, sharing expertise, facilities, cultural activities and— most significantly of all—many of the College’s students, employees and graduates live in the community and contribute their talents as teachers, healthcare professionals, small business owners and more.

For North Central, the advantages of calling Naperville “home” are many and include a bustling downtown just steps from the College campus; the city’s thriving economic environment comprised of entrepreneurial small businesses, large corporations, and access to world-class healthcare facilities; public schools with national reputations and top achievement scores; an increasingly diverse population with supporting faith and social organizations; vast recreational and environmental programs with a focus on the community’s Riverwalk and cultural gems like the historic Naper Settlement and DuPage Children’s Museum. Chicago, the nation’s third largest metropolitan area, is less than 30 miles from Naperville, providing the North Central campus community with easy access to the city’s wealth and diversity of economic, social and cultural opportunities. The College is also centrally located between two major science and engineering research centers: Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab. A commuter train stop is located within walking distance of campus, making downtown Chicago accessible by a 30-minute express train ride. North Central is also fewer than 30 miles from two international airports, O’Hare and Midway.

North Central College is partnering with NES to identify the best professional to fill the position of Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing. To arrange for a confidential conversation or to nominate someone for this position, please contact Mary Napier or Laura Robinson or Thom Golden.  To apply, send 1) a resume, 2) a detailed letter of interest regarding interest in North Central College, and 3) contact information for three professional references by email to: For best assurance of full consideration, interested individuals should submit application materials no later than February 6, 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 early summer, 2023.

North Central College is strongly committed to recruiting and supporting students, faculty, and staff of diverse backgrounds.  North Central College does not discriminate against applicants, students, faculty, or staff on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, age, disabilities, national or ethnic origin, gender or sexual orientation, status as a veteran, or any classification protected by local, state, or federal law.


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