Search committee hires consultant to find new enrollment vice president

By Morgan Miller
November 21, 2008

Cabrini plans to hire a new vice president of enrollment management by early spring.

A search committee, headed by Dean of Academic Affairs Charlie McCormick, is working closely with an external consultant Tom Williams.

Williams is a former employee of Noel-Levitz, a company that has specialized in enrollment management for more than 2,000 campuses in its 35-year history.

“[Williams] really has his hand on what’s going on with enrollment management programs around the country,” McCormick said. “He really knows this industry so he’s able to generate a good pool of candidates of really, I think, some of the top candidates around the nation.”

With the plummeting economy, the vice president will have to work with other faculty members in order to make Cabrini appealing to possible enrollees.

“It’s a challenging time,” McCormick said. “[The new vice president] will have to look at the whole system through which we do things [in order to] find ways to continue where we’re doing things really well and improve where we think we could get a better yield in admissions; where [students] want to pay the price to get exactly the education they want through Cabrini.”

Cabrini offers students various scholarships, which serve as a significant aid in today’s economy.

Three freshmen students, doing work for classes in the computer lab, expressed reliance on the school’s scholarship money.

Kashmir Williams, freshman pre-med biology major, led the group. “I like [this school because] it’s small but if I didn’t have my scholarship, I wouldn’t be here.”

Williams’ friends, freshmen exercise science major Chris Jenkins and Ashley Lampley, elementary education major, both agreed that they need their scholarship to attend.

Scholarships are just one way students are making Cabrini a reality. One student, Jim Feuda, junior marketing major, went to community college in order to save money. Cabrini appealed to him because of its small classes and location.

Retention, the statistics of students returning, is still an issue.

Lisa Plummer, director for institutional effectiveness, keeps a fact book that documents the data.

Recent statistics show a decrease in retention. This year, 336, or 77.8 percent, of the freshmen returned for their second year, showing a decrease of 3.1 percent.

Reasons for withdrawal vary. However, the most common include poor scholarship, transfers or an unknown reason.

“We, along with the new vice president, will look into this [more deeply] to find out what the unknown causes are [for students’ withdrawl],” Plummer said.

The new vice president of enrollment management will come to Cabrini with ideas on how to increase retention, while decreasing rates of withdrawal.

“Whoever comes in here has a real opportunity to build off of the strengths that exist and then really take us a step forward,” McCormick said. “[The person can] help us increasingly become an institution that’s able to clearly establish a fit for students as they come in.”

McCormick expressed that the search committee is looking for an ambitious individual that has a lot of experience and a proven track record.

“It’s going to be hard,” McCormick said. “We’ll have to be careful and diligent in the work that we do, but I think that the candidates that we’ll eventually see are going to be very, very good candidates because they’ll see the potential of the position.”

“It’s going to be a very exciting opportunity for somebody; they get to be part of something important. It’s a fun team to join.”

Morgan Miller

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