Edgewood College — Vice President for Enrollment Management

The Mission
Edgewood College, rooted in the Dominican tradition, engages students within a community of learners committed to building a just and compassionate world. The College educates students for meaningful personal and professional lives of ethical leadership, service, and a lifelong search for truth.  

Institutional Identity
Sponsored by the Sinsinawa Dominicans, Edgewood College is a community of learners that affirms both its Catholic heritage and its respect for other religious traditions. The liberal arts are the foundation of all our curricular offerings in the humanities, arts, sciences, and professional programs. Committed to excellence in teaching and learning, we seek to develop intellect, spirit, imagination, and heart. We embrace and aspire to reflect the rich diversity of the world’s cultures and perspectives. We foster open, caring, thoughtful engagement with one another and an enduring commitment to service, all in an educational community that seeks truth, compassion, justice and partnership.

When Scott Flanagan became president at Edgewood College in 2014, he recognized that his role demanded a willingness to be nimble in a changing higher education environment. He said in accepting his appointment as president, “We have to look at all kinds of educational models to help us make the pivot from what higher education has been historically to what it will become. I don’t have the end of that sentence yet,” he acknowledged, but he knows it will take an effective leader and communicator to meld and change as necessary. With that in mind, Edgewood College seeks a Vice President for Enrollment Management. The successful candidate will oversee the offices of Admissions, Financial Aid, Graduate and Professional Program Recruitment, and Marketing. The Vice President for Enrollment Management will build an ambitious and strategic enrollment and marketing plan and lead creative and innovative initiatives to strengthen and sustain the College’s enrollment.

Edgewood College, located in Madison, Wisconsin is a private Catholic college in the Dominican tradition. Fall 2018 enrollment was approximately 2,200 students (1,500 undergraduates and 700 graduate and professional students). The College offers bachelor’s degrees in over 60 majors and master’s and doctoral degrees in more than 20 departments ranging from accounting and business to nursing and art therapy, healthcare administration to educational leadership.

Edgewood College has seen a number of transformations since the 55-acre estate of Wisconsin Governor Cadwallader Washburn was bequeathed to the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa.

Over the years it grew from a private boarding school for girls to Edgewood High School; a junior college for women was added in 1927 and in 1940 Edgewood College became a four year senior college with a continued focus on the preparation of teachers. The first Bachelor of Science degree was awarded in 1942. Growth continued and Edgewood College became coeducational in 1970. This forward-facing College continued to offer innovative paths toward degree-completion. In 1979, the College introduced the undergraduate Weekend Degree Program. Graduate programs in Nursing, Accountancy and Marriage and Family Therapy and a doctoral program in Educational Leadership have since been added. The Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership was introduced in 2013-14. At the heart of all the programs, the institution remains aligned with the Dominican Mission as a community of learners “committed to building a just and compassionate world.”

In 2017, the College’s new strategic framework was introduced, outlining the priorities for planning and achieving the vision for the future. That framework is built on three key principles: student learning, inclusion, and community impact, and it is accompanied by seven strategic priorities. The framework allows Edgewood College to build upon the current strength of the institution and also opens the way to imaginative and creative thinking to pursue new opportunities.

The Opportunity
The Vice President for Enrollment Management will report to President Scott Flanagan and join the President’s Council, which includes the Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs, Business and Finance, Dominican Life and Mission, Institutional Advancement and the Dean of Students. The VPEM will also be an active participant in the President’s Cabinet, which includes the academic deans and directors of key areas.

The opportunity at Edgewood is ideal for an experienced enrollment professional with proven success and a background in strategic enrollment planning whose first charge will be to create a short-and long-term enrollment and marketing plan. The successful candidate will offer new thinking and initiatives and will create a culture of innovation, confidence and success; instill data-driven decision-making within the division; and encourage and support a collaborative, supportive team. Edgewood College seeks a vice president who understands the Values and Mission, who brings energy, who will challenge the status quo and who is forward-thinking. Edgewood College aspires to grow enrollment in the graduate/adult programs and to stabilize undergraduate enrollment with new undergraduate classes of approximately 400 first year and transfer students and seeks a vice president able to lead that charge.

The successful candidate will: 

  • Create a culture of shared vision, ownership, ambition and excitement for the division as a whole.
  • Lead, direct and empower the team members in undergraduate, professional and graduate admissions, financial aid, and marketing; assure the Values and Mission are the guideposts of that work.
  • Develop and ensure execution of a comprehensive and ambitious strategic enrollment and marketing plan, which clearly articulates institutional priorities and expectations.
  • Understand technological solutions and use of data analytics and ensure the enrollment division uses technology to create efficiencies and improve enrollment efforts.
  • Provide operational oversight of the Financial Aid Office to assure resources are distributed equitably and strategically.
  • Ensure that branding and marketing programs effectively utilize multiple platforms to clearly articulate the College’s distinctiveness in order to achieve strategic goals.
  • Participate as a committed, engaged senior leader and an effective partner with other vice presidents and campus leaders.
  • Seek to expand to new markets, maximize traditional markets, enhance international enrollment, and expand potential partnerships with two-year colleges, including those in or near Madison.
  • Work with faculty to develop program goals for recruitment and deepen faculty engagement with recruitment as appropriate. Similarly, work effectively with coaches and athletic programs as it pertains to enrollment of student-athletes.
  • Provide professional development opportunities for leaders in each area in order to effectively implement and execute strategies.
  • Honor and advance the institutional commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity, and champion institutional and departmental efforts going forward.
  • Develop meaningful relationships across campus and communicate effectively and transparently; encourage shared ownership of enrollment efforts.
  • Report to the Institutional Mission Council of the Board of Trustees with market trends, a holistic view of the division and intersections of the work and progress toward the strategic goals and the Institutional Mission dashboard.

Qualifications and Characteristics 

  • A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree is required; and an advanced degree is preferred with at least ten years relevant experience in higher education.
  • Ability to develop integrated strategic enrollment and marketing plans.
  • Well-versed in student recruitment of all populations, including graduate/adult students.
  • An appetite for change and innovation.
  • Tech and data savvy and able to use those skills to advance the division and ultimately Edgewood College.
  • Analytical skill in understanding financial aid, the discount rate, net tuition revenue and compliance in aid distribution in relation to the institutional budget.
  • A sophisticated understanding and further establishment of institutional brand.
  • Ability to create a culture of planning and willingness to accelerate the rate of change while prioritizing the work in a way that ensures long term success.
  • Familiarity with the demographics of the upper Midwest.
  • Ability to articulate and support the value of a Catholic liberal arts college education in the Dominican tradition.
  • Excellent oral, written and interpersonal communication skills.

The Campus
Edgewood College’s 55-acre campus is bordered by Lake Wingra, one of several lakes in Madison, and the University of Wisconsin Arboretum. The College is deeply committed to sustainability and green initiatives and in 2006, became the first college in Wisconsin to receive Green Tier designation from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Theatre and visual arts occupy The Stream, a LEED Gold-certified building that includes the Edgewood College Gallery and Diane Ballweg Theatre. LEED-Silver certified Dominican Hall houses men and women students and was the first LEED certified residence hall opened in the state of Wisconsin.  Saint Joseph Chapel serves as a space for individual reflection and prayer, liturgical celebrations and music performances. Gender-inclusive and pet-friendly housing is available to students. Today 35% of traditional undergraduate students reside on campus. Phil’s Cafeteria provides a traditional dining experience and the Wingra Café is also available to students, faculty and staff. 

Madison, Wisconsin
The state capital of Madison, Wisconsin is often cited as one of the country’s most livable cities and one of America’s greatest college towns. The city sits on an isthmus offering plenty of green space and lakefront for recreation. Madison is also within 50 miles of 21 state parks, forests, and recreational areas. An educational center, Madison is home to Edgewood College, Madison Area Technical College and the University of Wisconsin. Madison boasts a lively arts and dining scene, the Overture Center for the Performing Arts, numerous museums and galleries, the architecturally splendid State Capitol building, and a walkable downtown. On weekends during the summer, the country’s largest producer-only farmers’ market resides on Capital Square. The city is picturesque with several lakes, charming neighborhoods, and cultural attractions woven into the landscape; it offers so much to do, much of which is free.

Academic Programs
The academic offerings are anchored in the liberal arts and draw upon real-world experiences to build essential skills and knowledge, both inside and outside of a customary academic setting. Enriched learning defines the educational experience and students are encouraged and supported in pursuit of study abroad, internships, undergraduate research, civic engagement and multicultural learning, along with participation in the arts, athletics, and student leadership. Edgewood College continues to respond to the needs of our times and recognizes that “learning and doing are woven together.”

Academic programs are rooted in the Dominican values of compassion, truth, partnership, justice and community. Central to the education experience is the COR curriculum, named in recognition of Edgewood College’s motto, cor ad cor loquitur, Latin for “heart speaks to heart.” Academic inquiry comes together with critical reflection on personal values, and the COR questions lead students to explore where their interests and gifts intersect with the world’s greatest needs and opportunities. 

The student-to-faculty ratio is 9:1 and the first-to-second year retention rate is 78%, higher than peer institutions. 

Although more than 60 majors and programs are available at the undergraduate level, the largest enrollments are in the health professions (the largest cohort within that area is Nursing) followed by Business, Education and Psychology. The College also offers programs designed specifically for working adults.

Signature graduate programs include Accounting, Business, and Education including Bi-lingual Education and ESL, Nursing, Organizational Development and more. Doctorates are offered in Education Leadership with superintendent certification and in Nursing Practice.

Student Life and Athletics
There are more than 50 clubs and organizations available to students and all offer opportunities for personal growth, friendship and fun. More than two-thirds of students participate in community service. The College has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation with the Community Engagement Classification – and there is always something to do through campus programming or just steps away in the vibrant city of Madison. The Office of Student Inclusion and Involvement oversees five main areas including: student equity and diversity, student programming, leadership programs, off-campus and commuter student services, and new student orientation programs.  Dominican Life professional staff and student leaders offer a wide variety of programming and promote respect and understanding of the diverse faith traditions represented in the community.

Athletics are an important part of the co-curricular life. The Edgewood Eagles compete in Division III of the NCAA. Men’s teams include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis and track and field; women’s teams include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, track and field, tennis and volleyball. The College is exploring expansion of its athletic programs, potentially as early as 2020, and has launched an e-sports club.

To Apply or Nominate
Napier Executive Search is assisting Edgewood College with the search for the Vice President for Enrollment Management.  To arrange for a confidential conversation, please contact Laura Robinson (laura.robinson@napiersearch.com) or Mary Napier (mary.napier@napiersearch.com).  If you plan to apply, please send a resume, a detailed letter of interest, and contact information for three professional references by email to edgewood@napiersearch.com as soon as possible.  Review will begin immediately upon receipt of materials and the expected start date will be Summer 2019. All applications and nominations will be considered confidential and notice will be given before references are contacted.

Edgewood College, an Equal Opportunity Employer, is committed to academic excellence through diversity in its faculty, staff, and students. Candidates must demonstrate multicultural competence — the awareness, knowledge, and skills needed to work with others who are culturally different from self in meaningful, relevant, and productive ways. Applicants from traditionally underrepresented populations including women and racial and ethnic minorities are especially encouraged to apply. The selected candidate must actively support the mission of the College by working with faculty, staff and students to share in our core values — truth, compassion, justice, partnership, and community.