Clarke University — Vice President for Enrollment Management

Clarke University is a Catholic academic community that believes learning is lifelong and life changing. We inspire intellectual curiosity, cultural engagement, professional preparedness, spiritual exploration, and a commitment to contributing to the common good in a global society.  

Clarke University Mission Statement, approved May, 2019

Clarke University, located on a bluff in a quiet residential area overlooking the city of Dubuque, Iowa and the Mississippi River, invites applications and nominations for the next Vice President for Enrollment Management.  Reporting to Clarke University’s President, Thom D. Chesney, Ph.D., the Vice President for Enrollment Management will serve as the University’s strategic and policy leader on matters related to student recruitment, admissions, retention, and degree completion. 

As a member of the President’s Cabinet and the enrollment management committee of the Board, the selected candidate will play a central role in achieving the University’s strategic priorities and is involved in senior-level conversations and inclusive decision-making concerning the future of the University. This action-oriented Vice President will oversee, provide vision, and join in the work of the Admissions and Financial Aid staffs. The Vice President will lead in a transparent and open manner, and work closely and collaboratively with other areas of the university including academic affairs, business and finance, intercollegiate athletics, marketing, student life, and institutional advancement. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The primary duties and responsibilities of the Vice President for Enrollment Management are as follows:

  • Create and sustain a vision and strategic plan for enrollment management that is appropriate to Clarke University and aligned with its overarching strategic plan and priorities.
  • Provide stability, cohesion and leadership to and ensure efficient operations of the Offices of Admission and Financial Aid through collaborative and cooperative relationships.
  • Convene and communicate with consistency, clarity, and timeliness with diverse internal and external audiences on enrollment management strategies and initiatives.
  • Develop, manage, and maintain an enrollment management budget that effectively balances staff needs with the fiduciary responsibilities of the University.
  • Foster efforts to attract and retain a student body equipped for success at Clarke who are diverse ethnically, socioeconomically, and geographically.
  • Actively participate in enrollment management events in order to provide and model leadership, engagement, and continuity.
  • Stay current on national and regional market trends and share best practices in enrollment management with the campus, teaching colleagues throughout Clarke how to creatively adapt trends and best practices to Clarke University’s teaching and learning environment.
  • Develop and implement policies and procedures in accordance with University standards.
  • Implement change in an open and transparent style, with grace and authority.
  • Recognize the importance of the pivotal role student athletes play in the recruitment process and partner effectively with coaches in the recruitment of those students.
  • Create and sustain a culture of shared ownership of enrollment management; educate the campus community about best practices in enrollment management.


The Vice President will have significant experience in higher education, with an advanced degree in a related field and at least seven years of progressively responsible leadership in enrollment.

The successful candidate will have deep knowledge of best practices in enrollment management and a record of success in increasing enrollment as well as net tuition revenue. Experience in the areas of strategic enrollment planning, admission, and financial aid is expected, as is knowledge of broader higher education trends, and a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The chosen candidate should also possess the following knowledge, qualifications, and skill sets.

  • Familiarity with and appreciation of traditional, nontraditional, transfer, graduate and non-degree seeking student recruitment is required.
  • A proven track record in the identification, admission, recruitment and enrollment of prospective students, comprehensive and strategic enrollment planning, and shaping classes to meet the University mission.
  • Background in working with transfer student populations is highly desired.
  • Analytical, data-informed, and outcomes-oriented; experienced in data analytics and forecasting class and revenue.
  • Ensure that consistent branding and messaging is clearly articulated externally to achieve strategic goals.
  • The ability to engage current students, faculty, alumni, and parents in the recruitment and enrollment of all new students.
  • Practical with the ability to artfully approach all elements of the recruitment funnel.  
  • Ability to effectively employ financial aid leveraging strategies. 
  • Familiarity with compliance of federal and state financial aid regulations, along with attention to adherence of budget guidelines.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills required to interact effectively with all University constituents including Board of Trustees, donors, alumni, faculty, staff, students and administrative colleagues in athletics and elsewhere on the campus.
  • Demonstrated history of supporting staff and student development and advocacy.
  • Ability to inspire, motivate and lead a hard working, energetic team; recognize the skill sets and talents of the staff and provide professional development opportunities to enhance them.
  • Personal strengths that include approachability, accessibility, energy, motivation, resourcefulness, and good humor.

The University

Clarke University is a leading independent, coeducational, Catholic university with majors in the liberal arts, sciences and professional programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. Founded in 1843 by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dubuque, Iowa, Clarke University is an intimate learning community that lives practically by four Core Values: Education, Charity, Justice, and Freedom.  These values emanate from its founder, Mary Frances Clarke, the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and those who follow their example to provide learning experiences that are relevant and forward looking. The Clarke Compass, recently studied and re-designed for undergraduate students, integrates the liberal arts, experiential learning, major courses of study, co-curricular offerings, and the Core Values to produce career-and life-ready graduates who service the Common Good, defined as that which all members of society need in order to live healthy, fulfilling lives. 

Providing an outstanding education for caring and responsible participation in a global world, Clarke educates students at the postsecondary level in the liberal arts and sciences, the fine arts, selected professional programs, and graduate programs. Clarke holds accreditations through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of College and Schools as well as program accreditations in athletic training, education, nursing, physical therapy, music, and social work. Academic offerings include over 50 undergraduate majors and minors, as well as 10 pre-professional programs. Graduate students may complete degrees in education, social work and athletic training (2021) at the master’s level, and pursue doctoral work in nursing practice or physical therapy. The faculty, students, staff, and administration are a caring, learning community committed to excellence in education. Clarke provides a supportive environment that encourages personal and intellectual growth, promotes global awareness and social responsibility, and deepens spiritual values. See the mission statement.

Involvement opportunities abound at Clarke. A diverse and global community, Clarke is well represented on campus through the office of Campus Ministry, student organizations, academic classes, special events, lectures, and workshops, as well as well as various special interest clubs and service learning opportunities. The campus thrives on unique voices, roots, and backgrounds. Students think differently, feel differently, and work differently from one another. Clarke affirms the value of multicultural understanding and promotes and supports diversity at Clarke University.

In addition, Clarke University offers numerous opportunities to participate in intercollegiate sports. As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the Clarke Pride compete in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

Clarke will continue to strengthen its ties to the Dubuque community through efforts such as the development of CareerPLUS, a program designed to meet the professional development needs of both individuals and employers by offering non-credit-bearing micro courses and digital badges which focus on 21st-century workforce skills. 

For more information about Clarke University, go to 

Dubuque, Iowa

Dubuque, Iowa is a thriving college town with a population of 58,000 people; Dubuque residents enjoy an outstanding quality of life with the advantages of small town living and the conveniences of an urban area. From bike trails, ski slopes and activities on the Mississippi River to a 4-D theater, USHL hockey team and a symphony orchestra, Dubuque is a perfect mix of small-town charm and larger metro amenities. This is a place where family-owned dining and shopping favorites combine with a host of national chains to provide an ever-expanding array of offerings. 

The oldest city in Iowa, Dubuque’s location on the Mississippi River has earned it the nickname “Masterpiece on the Mississippi.” The community features a rich history, magnificent historical architecture, diverse arts and cultural amenities, and abundant natural beauty, including majestic limestone bluffs along its beautiful riverfront. 

Dubuque is blessed with a hardworking, skilled and educated workforce, supported by numerous quality private and public institutions of higher learning. Its progressive economic development focus promotes citizen involvement in developing city priorities. This formula for success has positioned Dubuque to be among the top cities in the Midwest to raise a family, have a meaningful career, start or grow a business, and enjoy life. For more information about relocating to Dubuque, please visit

To Apply or Nominate

Napier Executive Search is assisting Clarke University with the search for the Vice President for Enrollment Management. To arrange for a confidential conversation, please contact Laura Robinson ( or Mary Napier ( If you plan to apply, please send a resume; a detailed letter outlining interest in Clarke and emphasizing your track record of success; and contact information for three professional references by email to no later than July 6, 2020. Review will begin immediately thereafter and the expected start date will be late summer, 2020. All applications and nominations will be considered confidential and notice will be given before references are contacted.  

Clarke University is committed to fostering a welcoming campus community that celebrates the unique contributions of each person and promotes an inclusive learning environment. To this end, we strive to respect diversity, practice inclusion and seek equity.