Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa is seeking an experienced, innovative and strategic Vice President for Enrollment to develop and lead a forward thinking enrollment management division. This individual will bring expertise and enthusiasm for change management, collaboration, creativity and team building, as well as a willingness to contribute to a community and executive leadership team embarking on a new institutional strategic plan.
Reporting to Simpson’s 24th President, Marsha Kelliher J.D., LL.M., the Vice President for Enrollment will serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet and the college’s senior leadership team. As the chief enrollment officer, the Vice President will spearhead a strategic enrollment plan and lead the campus community in establishing and achieving short- and long-term enrollment goals. The Vice President will direct the efforts of 19 admission and financial aid team members in optimizing undergraduate enrollment; partner with the academic dean in continuing adult and graduate enrollment; and work with leadership across the college in developing strategic transfer and student-athlete recruitment partnerships, policies and practices.
Responsibilities and Priorities
The essential duties and responsibilities of the Vice President for Enrollment include:
Develop, implement and articulate a clear vision and strategic enrollment plan, identifying characteristics of likely and successful students and creating innovative initiatives to realize optimum enrollment growth across all student populations.
Coalesce the Simpson community around a comprehensive recruitment and marketing plan that transparently articulates strategies and goals, and fosters campus dialogue, participation, knowledge and innovation.
Recommend strategic initiatives, actions and policy considerations to the President and fellow members of the Cabinet to leverage programs to attract, enroll and retain qualified students.
Lead the development of a college-wide enrollment management culture which promotes thoughtful analysis, nimble action and transparent and shared use of data in evaluation and decision making.
Participate in local, regional and national organizations and associations to facilitate recruitment initiatives and create enrollment partnerships and establish relationships with members of the greater Indianola and Des Moines community to support college-wide enrollment efforts and enhance the reputation of Simpson within the region.
Establish transparent and trustful partnerships with members of the college community to facilitate college-wide enrollment recruitment and retention efforts, increase understanding of and collaboration in institutional enrollment goals and strategies, leverage community and alumni engagement and maximize the impact of faculty and coaches in recruitment efforts.
Provide guidance to the Simpson community in best practices of recruiting Division III student-athletes in a competitive environment, establish a relationship with the athletic director and coaches which defines clear enrollment goals for student athletes, fully supports these efforts and creates a positive partnership between members of enrollment management and athletic departments.
Lead the college in making informed decisions on pricing strategies and financial aid leveraging for both current and prospective students, while maintaining critical compliance with federal and state funding sources.
Partner with the Vice President for Marketing and Strategic Communications in developing and disseminating consistent branding, messaging and storytelling that best reflects the benefits of the liberal arts and the distinctions of a Simpson College education for students and families.
Partner with alumni and trustees in expanding the recruitment reach in developing territories, events and populations.
Act as the liaison to the chair of the Enrollment subcommittee of the board of trustees, providing timely, relevant and accurate information to support trustee knowledge, engagement and decision making.
Foster a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion within the division, demonstrate sensitivity and expertise in the recruitment and retention of a diverse staff and student body.
Qualifications, Abilities and Characteristics
The successful candidate should have significant proven experience in a senior leadership role 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 higher education. In addition, candidates for this position should demonstrate the following characteristics, skills, abilities and understanding:
Enrollment Management Expertise
Significant direct oversight of a multifaceted enrollment operation and experience evaluating and structuring a team to reflect evolving markets, technology and student expectations.
Demonstrated success in developing and refining integrated strategic enrollment and marketing plans.
Operational management for admission, supervising all aspects of the recruitment funnel and recruitment pipelines including development of the prospect and inquiry pools, conversion and application processing, review and yield activities, and the selection processes for special programs.
Skilled in advising and leading the Simpson community in establishing policies and practices which facilitate the enrollment of domestic first-year, international and transfer students.
Financial Aid and Pricing
Analytical skill in understanding financial aid, the college’s discount rate, net tuition revenue and federal, state and local compliance in aid distribution in relation to the institutional budget.
Ability to guide the community and institution in developing pricing strategies which support institutional finances and maximize enrollments.
Knowledge of the impact of pricing on diverse populations; the effective balance of merit and financial assistance for attracting and retaining students; and understanding and promotion of the importance of financial literacy and customer service for prospective and continuing students and their families.
Technical Skills and Business Processes
Technically savvy with an understanding of how to optimize operational efficiency, capture relevant data and leverage technology to support sound decision making and enhance the student experience.
Ability to lead the team in addressing technology challenges and implementation issues in a solutions-focused environment.
Advanced understanding of modern student recruitment and marketing strategies and ability to work across the college to vibrantly articulate opportunities to prospective students and families.
Willingness to work directly with the leadership of unique programs to establish efficient and effective recruitment processes and promote each program’s exceptional results and reputation.
Ability to interpret and analyze data, with a skill for educating developing enrollment managers and the broader community in understanding its meaning and identifying and articulating actionable opportunities.
Excellent oral, written and interpersonal communication skills.
Ability to articulate an authentic understanding of Simpson’s unique programs, successes and characteristics both in marketing and through campus engagement opportunities.
Approachable bridge-builder who appreciates the perspectives of others, while making A informed decisions for the future.
A Passion for and Commitment to Simpson College
Passion for the liberal arts, the ability to articulate a compelling value proposition and the ability to illustrate the quality of a Simpson education for students and families.
Embodiment and representation of the values and mission of Simpson while enthusiastically moving Simpson forward.
Commitment to partner effectively with Simpson’s senior leadership, community partners alumni and trustees develop positive relationships and meet enrollment goals.
Innovative, strategic and visionary sense and creative approach to recruiting new students.
Creative, nimble and flexible in realizing opportunities and operationalizing action, evaluation and communication.
Ability to prioritize resources, initiatives and goals to maximize immediate and long-term enrollment impact.
Demonstrated sense of humor, ability to engage positively with others thoughtfully and respectfully.
Understanding and in-depth knowledge of market trends and demographics.
Development of the professional knowledge and skills of the enrollment management team, fostering their ability to implement and engage in best practices including the use of data in strategic decision making, leveraging technology to increase efficiency and student engagement, and developing impactful engagement opportunities for students and families.
Inspirational leader, able to motivate an enrollment management team in identifying issues and opportunities, partner effectively across campus, respond nimbly to an evolving market and are demonstrably knowledgeable about the changing needs of students and families.
Talented manager with a knack for hiring well, cultivating the ongoing professional skills of individuals and fostering an enrollment team passionate about Simpson and committed to the success of the institution and its students.
Experience supervising and developing an enrollment management team, leading individuals and groups through operational and cultural changes, and fostering a positive environment for success and growth.
A demonstrated understanding of confidentiality, the ability to lead a team based on the mission, vision and values of the college and a willingness to follow — and support — a change leader and Cabinet who are moving Simpson forward in new and exciting ways, while choosing best practices from the past and embracing the bold.
About Simpson College
Simpson’s 85-acre campus Indianola campus is a beautiful space and where the majority of classes are offered to their students. Located in south-central Iowa, just 12 miles south of Des Moines, Simpson’s main location gives students the best of both worlds: the friendly atmosphere of a college town with the benefit of living near an exciting metropolitan area. Indianola is host to many nationally known events, including the Des Moines Metro Opera and the National Balloon Classic, which features hot air balloons, balloon rides, competitions and family entertainment. The vibrant, small-town community also has a multitude of choices for entertainment including state parks and trails for recreation, a golf course and many unique restaurants, shops and movie theatres within walking distance of campus.
Greater Des Moines, Iowa
Simpson’s second campus is located in West Des Moines, Iowa, which is a part of the Greater Des Moines metro area, and serves adult and graduate students. The West Des Moines campus is easy to access, has efficient classrooms, and an environment devoted to learning for students who likely are balancing work and family life as they return to school. Classes offe...red at the West Des Moines campus are targeted towards Simpson’s continuing and graduate students who are looking to take classes at night or closer to home.