Educate, engage, and empower through theory, practice and performance.
Ithaca College, a private institution in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York state, renowned for its undergraduate liberal arts curriculum and pre-professional and graduate programs, seeks an accomplished and visionary strategist and leader to serve in the critically important role of Vice President of Enrollment & Student Success. Reporting directly to college president Dr. La Jerne Terry Cornish, the new vice president will provide leadership and foster strategic collaborations that drive organizational effectiveness, innovation, and long-range planning in support of the college’s vision, mission, and values.
The successful candidate will understand current and future national and global trends. They will bring vision, innovation, integrity, significant strategic and analytical capacity, and exceptional communication and technological skills. The new vice president will apply the power of institutional and national research in informing Ithaca College's enrollment strategies and will bring experience harnessing the complex interplay between these two vital areas. In addition, the vice president will be a strong manager, leader, and collaborator who is adept at implementing change, instilling optimism, and forging productive partnerships with senior leadership and others across the institution. A deep commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, evidenced by full participation and a proven record of impact in these areas, is essential.
The Division of Enrollment and Student Success
The vice president of enrollment and student success will oversee a division that consists of the following offices.
- Undergraduate Admission
- Graduate Admission
- Student Financial Services
- Constituent Engagement Strategy
- Analytics and institutional research
- Center for Career Exploration and Development
- Center for Student Success and Retention
Serving as a strategic partner to Ithaca's senior academic and administrative leadership, the vice president will be a key leader in shaping the college's future. The vice president will develop and implement a creative, aggressive, and collaborative plan that employs cutting-edge technology and embraces the best use of data to communicate institutional distinctiveness and advance Ithaca's mission to attract an increasingly broad and diverse cross-section of students.
As the head of this unit, the vice president will imagine and execute a creative and continuously evolving enrollment and student success strategy that will meet the highest aspirations of the institution. The ability to continue to attract and retain an engaged, accomplished, and diverse domestic and international student body is critical to the college's future. Working collaboratively with the president, the provost, the deans, other vice presidents, and the faculty, the new leader will assume broad leadership within the institution, providing the vision, strategy and operational direction to enhance the college's strategic positioning in the prospective student market, and to bolster and retain its current student enrollment.
Qualifications and Characteristics
Ithaca College seeks a highly skilled, innovative vice president to serve as a strategic partner committed to the college’s success. The vice president must be a results-oriented, relationship-driven, and high-performance leader who thrives in a dynamic, complex academic environment. The role requires a focused leader and manager who values high engagement with faculty, staff and students, is committed to embracing a student-centered shared governance model, is skilled in contemporary enrollment and student success strategies, and seeks to maximize efficiency and effectiveness to deliver transformational results.
Candidates are required to have a bachelor’s degree; candidates with an earned advanced or terminal degree will have an advantage. In addition, the ideal candidate will possess some or all the following professional qualifications and personal characteristics:
- Ability to align one's leadership and goals with an ambitious and inclusive strategic plan;
- Collaborative leadership style with a deep appreciation for the value of shared governance;
- Skilled in student-centered problem solving; willing to take risks and adept at working seamlessly across the institution, connecting with all key stakeholders;
- Ability to think strategically and contribute to the senior leadership team in areas directly related to enrollment and student success and beyond, as an expert on trends, challenges and opportunities facing higher education writ large;
- Unquestionable integrity and moral character; must be capable of winning the complete and unreserved trust of the institution and community;
- Ability to translate and/or contribute to institutional strategic planning initiatives that have implications for enrollment strategy;
- Share IC’s deep commitment to being a student-centered organization.
- Inspire cross collaborative partnerships within and beyond the division, throughout the organization itself and within the greater Ithaca area;
- Effective communication skills and strong interpersonal skills that engender trust, transparency and collaboration; and
- Confidence as a leader who values relationships with faculty, students, staff, peers and senior leadership equally.
- Capacity to develop a clear enrollment vision and strategy consistent with the college’s mission and best practices;
- Requisite leadership skills and talent to advance the division;
- Ability to lead the shaping of Ithaca's future student body with vision and creativity;
- A record of delivering on enrollment goals and a demonstrated ability to develop and implement successful undergraduate and graduate admission, financial aid, and student success strategies; and
- Significant professional experience managing the complex interplay of recruiting and student success strategies, enrollment goals, revenue targets, yield, and financial aid, with experience and understanding of how each of these areas differs across student markets and populations.
- Experience developing financial aid policies and procedures to ensure broad understanding and commitment to issues of net price, merit, and need-based aid;
- Execution of financial aid strategies intended to achieve enrollment goals while maximizing the College’s net revenues;
- Capability to manage the department’s budget effectively and to report regularly on the budgets for all recruitment and retention initiatives and detailed ROI on all enrollment campaigns; and
- Experience leveraging financial aid to optimize enrollment goals.
Student Success and Retention
- Leadership of the Center for Career Exploration and Development Office in creating, implementing, and assessing the strategic vision for a comprehensive career education and development program;
- Oversight of initiatives to increase student retention, satisfaction, and completion and that serve student needs and promote academic integrity;
- Execution of a comprehensive strategic enrollment management plan that includes innovative initiatives that optimize recruitment and retention efforts across a wide variety of student populations and programs;
- Demonstrated commitment not only to delivering results in new student recruitment and yield, but, equally, to supporting student success, retention, graduation and lifelong engagement; and
- Willingness to establish partnerships with faculty and staff across the university in order to foster relationships of trust and empowerment within the community, and to build a culture of sustained commitment to the retention of students.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Demonstrated commitment to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging to align with the college's values and the president’s vision for Ithaca College;
- Understanding of difference, and the ability to think intentionally with an awareness of the various ways in which the campus is experienced by students of all backgrounds;
- Knowledge of the changing landscape and demographic shifts regionally, nationally, and globally; vision for how an institution can evolve to meet the needs of future student populations; and
- A proven history of identifying, recruiting and enrolling students from diverse backgrounds and increasing diversity – including cultural, socioeconomic, racial, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression.
Technological and Analytical Sophistication
- Ability to engage in constant strategic analysis of opportunities and challenges and to produce forward-looking, transparent strategic plans and budgets that link expenditures to outcomes;
- Experience and understanding of how institutional technology platforms can be utilized to optimize enrollment results and efficient use of staff resources, and ability to master multiple systems. Specifically, the college will be implementing a new Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) System, which will assist its improvement in enrollment, retention and student learning efforts through alumni engagement. Additionally, the college will be implementing the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System, which will enable it to better manage its human resource and finance functions as well as related information technology;
- Analytical capacity to assess the effectiveness of how recruitment and financial aid funds are employed to achieve enrollment goals; and
- Ability to produce regular and systematic comparative reports that detail month-to-month as well as annual progress toward enrollment goals.
Creativity and Innovation
- Deep understanding of current and future demographic and higher education trends to build an innovative enrollment strategy;
- Experience and knowledge considering a mix of educational modes and delivery models, including online, hybrid, and nontraditional programs;
- Demonstrated record in managing change for a diverse and complex organization;
- Genuine enjoyment in leading, managing, and implementing large-scale innovation;
- Record of success with innovative recruitment strategies along with a willingness to take creative risks for success; and
- Experience in implementing strategies of major importance to the division and to the institution.
- Exceptional skills as a leader and manager with the ability to inspire and support the professional development of team members;
- Secure and self-directed leadership with an ability to work effectively in a consensus-driven environment where direct feedback and constructive criticism is expected and admired;
- Experience in building, managing, and supporting a strong staff that is dedicated to the goals of the division and institution; and
- Executive skills capable of leading and developing a diverse, high-performing team that delivers results and demonstrates a high level of excellence.
Ithaca College (IC) provides a rigorous education blending liberal arts and professional programs of study throughout five schools. Learning at IC extends beyond the classroom to encompass a broad range of residential, professional, and co-curricular opportunities. Faculty members at Ithaca College are deeply committed to the education and development of their students and invest the time and energy to mentor and advise them. Ithaca College is committed to creating an inclusive environment and attracting a diverse body of students, faculty, and staff. All members of the college community are encouraged to achieve excellence in their chosen fields and to share the responsibilities of citizenship and service in the global community.
Ithaca College strives to be the standard for residential comprehensive colleges, fostering intellect, creativity, and character in an active, student-centered learning community, making Ithaca a destination for work and life. Ithaca College stands apart nationally as a single residential college that includes five schools – the School of Business, the Roy H. Park School of Communications, the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance, the School of Humanities and Sciences, and the School of Music, Theatre and Dance – which collectively offer more than 100 bachelors, master's and doctoral degree programs to 4,600 undergraduates and 400 graduate students. Faculty and staff at the college take great pride in supporting the learning environment for students.
Ithaca College’s identity is rooted in the intimate, residential college experience and the robust and diverse learning community that it provides. At IC, students are encouraged to embrace the practice of intellectual inquiry with bravery and creativity— taking risks, challenging assumptions, and eradicating barriers to dialogue and shared learning. Building on its rich legacy in the arts, IC offers an education grounded in theory, practice and performance. Moreover, its guiding imperative is to be a private college that truly serves the public good.
Shared governance is a widely held institutional value and is a critical component of the decision-making process at the college. The president and the senior leadership team regularly and actively engage with the three college governance councils in seeking to further the mission of the college. The senior leadership team and the governance councils also have opportunities to engage with a diverse and strategic-minded board that works closely with the president in advancing the college’s position as a nationally recognized institution.
Students at Ithaca College have the incredible opportunity to enjoy an educational environment that distinctly offers the intellectual assets of five schools within one strong residential college. The college’s size and faculty ratio ensure a highly personalized education. Graduate enrollment accounts for about 10 percent of total college enrollment, with degrees offered in music education, music performance, conducting, physical and occupational therapy, business, and communications, among others.
The School of Humanities and Sciences strives to advance the study and practice of the liberal arts as the dynamic core of our comprehensive college. Education in the School of Humanities and Sciences prepares students for life in a rapidly changing, multicultural and globally inclusive world. Liberal arts programs of study are designed so that students develop intellectual flexibility and curiosity, critical literacies, and the ability to integrate learning and socially responsible action. Academic programs within the school also prepare students for successful careers in the professions, public service, teaching, business and industry, and the fine arts. The bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of fine arts degree programs are excellent preparation for professional and graduate study. Through formal courses and field studies, students develop an understanding and appreciation of the historical antecedents of current social problems and engage in direct study of current social issues. In the science laboratory, in art and design studios, or through independent study and research, students put theory into practice. Emphasis is also placed on developing an understanding of personal and human values as reflected in literature, history, art and philosophy.
The School of Business is dedicated to excellence in a business education that is grounded in the liberal arts tradition. The school offers a bachelor of science degree program in accounting; a bachelor of science degree program in business administration, with concentrations in corporate accounting, finance, international business, management, marketing, sport management, and sport marketing; and two graduate degree programs (M.B.A. and M.S. in Accounting), all of which are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
International. Undergraduate programs are designed to prepare students for careers in business and industry, for graduate school and/or for professional designations in business (C.P.A., C.F.A., C.M.A., etc.). The School of Business was recently named one of the top 100 undergraduate business schools in the nation by Poets and Quants. Its state-of-the-art trading room empowers students to gain financial industry experience with real-time data. The Dorothy D. and Roy H. Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise was among the first 100 buildings in the world to receive platinum LEED certification.
The Roy H. Park School of Communications is widely acknowledged as a leader in communications education, having begun offering courses in radio in the 1930s and currently offering a comprehensive array of 10 undergraduate majors that span the applications of media, as well as two professional low-residency/online master’s degrees with an overall enrollment of over 1,800. Classroom learning is enhanced by seven student-led co-curricular media organizations each with their own full-time professional staff advisor: ICTV (the oldest and longest-running student cable channel), WICB-FM (often ranking the top radio station in our market), VIC radio (streaming), The Ithacan (weekly print and daily digital newspaper), Park Productions (work-for-hire media production house), The Studio (an incubator for student entertainment media ideas that are produced and distributed), and Park Promotions (in-house news, social media and event promotion). Student success is supported by faculty who are active scholars and media creators, professional advisors and career development coordinators, and technical support for over $20 million of studio and portable media gear and studios. Each year student work wins national recognition such as the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Golden Crown, Broadcast Education Association awards for television and radio shows, and recently first place in the Coca-Cola/Regal film competition where first year students won against graduate students from Columbia University and UCLA. The Park School also runs the Pendleton Center in Los Angeles where over 150 students each year spend a semester doing full-time internships in the media industry and taking classes in the evenings
The School of Health Sciences and Human Performance (HSHP) is distinctive in that its 13 undergraduate degree programs and six graduate programs prepare students for a broad spectrum of health professions careers. As undergraduates, students ready themselves for careers in exercise science, health care management, medicine or allied health, public health, outdoor adventure leadership, therapeutic recreation and health or physical education. Undergraduate students from across campus can also choose from 11 minors within HSHP. Students may continue on in our programs to obtain graduate degrees in exercise science, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, as well as a doctorate in physical therapy.
Our HSHP Preprofessional Program allows first- and second-year students to explore a range of health-related fields and benefit from special academic counseling before declaring a major. Internships and fieldwork are an integral component of the student experience. The school maintains relationships with more than 725 organizations across the nation for student placement; many students also rotate through the four on-campus clinics to assist in treating clients in real situations. Students also partake in meaningful research projects as undergraduates, as well as participate in interprofessional education opportunities to understand how to work in teams and with other specialties.
The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance educates students in the art and practice of music, theatre, and dance, and offers multi-disciplinary approaches to the arts. The School of Music was the founding school of Ithaca College, first established as a music conservatory in 1892. Just this year, the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance was created, in keeping with the interdisciplinary approach of the College’s mission and to showcase some of IC’s most widely recognized programs. The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance contributes to preparing the arts leaders and artists of tomorrow — highly trained professionals educated through expert instruction coupled with outstanding performance experiences. Now part of MTD, the music division has maintained its reputation as one of the highest ranked music education and performance programs in the nation. The theatre division is also nationally recognized as one of the top programs in the country. Collectively, MTD offers a great array of performance opportunities and lays claim to world-class faculty, performers, ensembles, and guest artists from multiple arts disciplines.
During her tenure at Ithaca, and in addition to leading the college’s academic affairs division, Dr. Cornish served as the primary architect of Ithaca Forever, the college’s five-year strategic plan, along with Jason Freitag, associate professor in the Department of History. Cornish and Freitag worked with a 15-member steering committee composed of faculty, staff, students, and members of the Ithaca-area community. The plan was created during the 2018-19 academic year and was formally endorsed by the Ithaca College Board of Trustees in June 2019. The plan contains nine transformative goals and aims to achieve the college’s vision of becoming a global destination for bold thinkers seeking to build thriving communities. Understanding the urgent need for significant and visionary change in the higher education business model, Ithaca Forever provides a blueprint for a sustainable future anchored by a commitment to inclusive, responsive, and student-centered action.
IC offers over 200 clubs and organizations that its students have the opportunity to explore. From activism and professional growth to dance and fun, students can join the excitement with people who share their passions. These extra-curricular experiences bring even more meaning and momentum to an IC student’s studies and life. From taking a leadership seminar to participating in service Saturday to joining one of Ithaca College's 27 Division III varsity athletic teams, students feel a sense of belonging, can explore their interests, and are encouraged to make a difference - on campus and in the community. Every year, Ithaca College and the City of Ithaca are included in assorted lists and "best-of" pieces from various publications and outlets. This recognition helps highlight IC as one of the best colleges in New York state. From its high-quality educational offerings and strong commitment to green practices to its location and progressive culture, Ithaca College is regularly recognized as one of the best campus communities in the nation.
Dr. La Jerne Terry Cornish is the 10th president of Ithaca College. She took office on March 7, 2022. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Cornish served as interim president from August 2021 to March 2022, and as provost and executive vice president after joining IC as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs in July 2018. Earlier in her career, Dr. Cornish served as associate provost for undergraduate studies (2014-18) at Goucher College in Baltimore. Prior to joining Goucher in 1998, Cornish held various positions for 15 years in the Baltimore City Public School System. She taught English in three middle schools, piloted the Maryland’s Tomorrow Middle School Program, and served as the assistant principal of Canton Middle School.
Dr. Cornish holds a doctorate in language, literacy, and culture from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; a master of education with a concentration in urban and diverse learners from Goucher College; and a bachelor’s degree in English, also from Goucher. She has been a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the first intercollegiate historically African American sorority, since 1984. In addition to her work in the public and private education sectors, she served as a commissioned lay pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, where her ministerial focus had been congregational nurture and care. Her wife, Deborah Ptak, is the principal of Lehman Alternative Community School in the Ithaca City School District. Together, they have three children: Wayne Cornish Jr., a graduate of Goucher College; Em Ptak-Pressman, a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College; and Joshua Ptak-Pressman, a graduate of Fordham University.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Ithaca College embraces the uniqueness of its community. Building and maintaining a more diverse and inclusive institution is a key element in Ithaca College's strategic plan. As part of this work, Ithaca College seeks to critically address and reduce all forms of prejudice, to foster diversity, and to reduce ethnocentrism and intolerance.
Ithaca College Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement
To truly live our institutional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion within this local context and within our broad national and global context demands that we—as a community and as a college—go beyond acknowledging systemic injustice and inequity. The creation of a more vibrant and inclusive future for all requires us to be courageous and tireless in crafting and implementing institutional policies that support our commitment and fully participating in rich, collaborative, and intersectional relationships and practices within our community that value authenticity and strengthen our shared humanity.
Nestled in the heart of New York State’s scenic Finger Lakes region, Ithaca College sits atop South Hill overlooking picturesque Cayuga Lake and is just minutes away from the city center. The city of Ithaca is halfway between Manhattan and Toronto, a thriving, culturally diverse city of 60,000. Ithaca is often recognized as a “best place to live.” Home to Ithaca College, Cornell University, and Tompkins Cortland Community College, the Ithaca area attracts visitors, students, and scholars from around the globe. Ithaca features natural beauty and urban sophistication. Rolling hills, breathtaking gorges, and splendid lakes offer countless outdoor activities. Fantastic restaurants, exciting nightlife, vibrant theater, mainstream and independent cinema and live music abound. Situated near 150 majestic waterfalls, the city of Ithaca, has been ranked as the best college town in the United States — hosting tech startups, a “killer music scene,” and world-class restaurants. Combining small town warmth and charm with the vibrancy of a college community, the thriving and culturally diverse city of Ithaca has been rated by Kiplinger’s as one of the top 10 places to live in the United States.
Compensation and benefits
The range of compensation for the position is expected to be between $220,000 and $225,000. To learn about Ithaca College’s outstanding benefits, see the website: https://www.ithaca.edu/human-resources/employee-benefits-wellness
Ithaca College is partnering with NES to identify the best professional to fill the position of Vice President for Enrollment and Student Success. To arrange for a confidential conversation or to nominate someone for this position, please contact Mary Napier or Laura Robinson or Suzi Nam. To apply, send 1) a resume, 2) a detailed letter of interest regarding your interest in Ithaca College, and 3) contact information for three professional references by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. For best assurance of full consideration, interested individuals should submit application materials no later than February 24, 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 Summer 2023; the selected candidate will be based at the Ithaca campus.
At Ithaca College, a comprehensive residential campus community of 4,600 undergraduates and 400 graduate students, we strive to be at the forefront of the higher education landscape. We offer a distinct integrative learning experience that makes students ready for the personal, professional, and global challenges of our age.
We seek candidates who embrace integrative learning and want to be a part of this exciting time in Ithaca College history. We encourage creative collaboration and innovation in our faculty and staff, providing support and resources for them to grow in their fields and lead students to their own innovative ideas and achievements.
We welcome different ways of thinking and look for candidates with unique points of view and life experiences. We are inclusive of individuals with a wide range of cultural, personal, and professional backgrounds, talents, and skills. Our campus is a vibrant and rewarding community where diverse minds can learn, succeed, and excel.
When reviewing candidates, we are looking for indicators of several core competencies. Prospective candidates must be adaptable, collaborative, inclusive, respectful, responsive, results driven, and committed to sustainability. They must communicate effectively, demonstrate leadership, exhibit professional integrity and ethics, take initiative, value personal and professional development, and show that they will engage wholeheartedly with the college.
To learn more about Ithaca College, visit us at Ithaca College https://www.ithaca.edu/