The University of Vermont — Director of Admissions

The University of Vermont is poised and ready to build upon our reputation as a premier research institution focused on sustainable solutions with local, national, and global applications and impact. Our distinctive strengths align with the most pressing needs of our time: the health of our societies and the health of our environment.”

From the “Amplifying Our Impact” strategic framework

The Director of Admissions

The University of Vermont, a Public Ivy and Vermont’s only comprehensive university, is seeking a creative, dynamic, and forward thinking Director of Admissions.  The Director will bring a history of demonstrated success in undergraduate recruitment, experience in developing and executing strategic enrollment plans and a keen understanding of data and analysis to the role. Reporting to Jay Jacobs, Vice Provost of Enrollment Management, the Director will oversee the Office of Admissions, leading a team of 45 staff, managing all functions and daily operations, and offering leadership in undergraduate admissions and enrollment management across the UVM campus. 

The Position

The Director of Admissions will strategically partner with the Vice Provost in continuing UVM’s positive growth in applications, enrollment and increased diversity among incoming undergraduate students through the development, refinement and implementation of a strategic, data informed, and nimble enrollment plan.  

The Director will assure that the Office of Admissions’ work supports the University’s strategic plan and will provide a clear vision and tactical direction to a well-established and talented team.  The Director will lead the admissions team in continuing the upward trajectory of the University and Office of Admissions in successful recruitment of first year, transfer and international students for the University’s seven Colleges.  

As a member of the enrollment management leadership team, the Director will partner with the Vice Provost, college deans and the enrollment management staff in developing and executing college and program specific strategies and tactics, which support the unique enrollment challenges of each college.    

The Director will be an exceptional team leader and team builder, a collaborative and relationship driven campus and community partner, and an experienced enrollment management professional with an understanding of the national and international markets. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

The essential duties and responsibilities for the Director of Admissions are as follows:

Leadership

  • Lead the admissions office and broader UVM community in planning, developing and implementing tactics, programs and partnerships which support the University’s mission and further success in meeting enrollment goals. 
  • Provide wisdom and information regarding changing demographics and the highly competitive landscape, lead the campus community in understanding challenges and the impact to the community, and guide the campus community and community partners in building effective recruitment and engagement activities.
  • Direct the UVM community in offering an authentic, engaging and welcoming campus visit experience.
  • Oversee the application, honors and scholarship review processes, assuring that policies and practices are inclusive, support immediate and long term enrollment goals, and reflect professional and legal standards for excellence.
  • Provide budget oversight for the Office of Admissions, administering and leveraging a $5 million operating budget.
  • Represent UVM, participating visibly in professional organizations and presenting at local, regional, national, and international events, programs, and panels.  
  • Supervise, train, mentor and inspire a professional admissions team of 45 full-time staff as well as tour guides and student employees.  Support the growth and development of staff, individually and collectively, in order to retain strong individuals, ensure succession planning, and increase the skills and abilities within the team.  Knit together multiple high functioning teams in their shared work through effective communication. 

Strategic Recruitment and Marketing

  • Implement targeted recruitment initiatives which account for the evolving needs of students and families, as well as changing technology and consumer expectations, and reflect a sincere knowledge of unique markets and populations.  Design and implement communications and engagement opportunities to address the specific needs of unique populations. 
  • Partner with University Communications and other campus partners in developing marketing strategies which reach, influence and that compel prospective students and their families as they consider a UVM education.  Supervise admissions communications in the execution of targeted, multi-channel communication plans. 
  • Leverage financial and human resources, in developing engaging recruitment and yield campaigns to elevate the reputation of the University and increase the University’s reach among talented and diverse students nationally and internationally. 
  • Partner with the Vice Provost of Enrollment Management, deans, faculty, and staff, to develop and implement annual and long-term recruitment and yield plans in order to achieve the University’s enrollment and retention goals.

Partnership, Collaboration and Communication

  • Represent the Office of Admissions as a member of internal committees.  Develop relationships with faculty and staff across the university to support the enrollment and retention of students and foster relationships of trust and empowerment within the community.
  • Partner with the Vice Provost and academic leadership to understand and address capacity and qualifications specific to individual academic programs. 
  • Enhance the strong working relationship with the Office of Student Financial Services to increase communication and efficiency, meet the needs of individual students, and share information regarding costs, aid and process with prospective students and their families, ensuring consistency in messaging between offices; partner with the Office of Student Financial Services in developing and executing merit and aid leveraging strategies which reflect institutional enrollment goals, address appeals and monitoring discount rates, yields and revenue development.
  • Partner with athletics, advancement, alumni, community organizations, and community partners to develop pathways for a diverse community of students, to enhance UVM’s stature, and best utilize resources. 
  • Collaborate institutionally to increase retention and persistence among all students; support the work of other campus partners in the retention of students, collection of data, sharing of information, and development of programs and enhancement of the student experience and outcomes.

Commitment to Diversity

  • Oversee initiatives to grow diversity among incoming students, build international enrollments, and increase transfer enrollments by expanding pathway programs and articulation agreements.
  • Support UVM’s commitment to underserved Vermont communities, low-income students, and first-generation college bound students. 
  • Demonstrate a sincere commitment to building a diverse, equitable and inclusive community, a willingness to continue to foster personal learning within the office, the ability to engage in honest conversations regarding issues and policies within the UVM community and within the enrollment management profession. 
  • Prioritize equity and assist the university in reaching goals related to enhancing the diversity of the undergraduate student population.
  • Convene and collaborate with campus and community partners to realize this vision.

Operations and Data 

  • Lead the admissions team in evaluating, implementing and leveraging technology to innovate, increase operational efficiency, and meet the expectations of students and families.  
  • Foster a culture of excellence in appropriately leveraging data and sharing of information within the Office of Admissions including best practices in data collection, analysis and reporting.  
  • Lead the office in using data to inform strategic decisions, establish and monitor key performance indicators, benchmark progress and program outcomes, monitor trends, identify opportunities, and adjust direction and tactics. Provide expert knowledge in the use and analysis of enrollment data, sharing information and reports regularly, transparently and appropriately with campus partners. 

Qualifications, Skills and Characteristics

The Director must demonstrate the following qualifications, skills and abilities. 

  • Ability to inspire, coach, motivate and coalesce an undergraduate admissions team in executing a strategic enrollment plan and reach both short and long term enrollment goals. Able to illustrate and relate how tasks and tactics contribute to the greater strategy. 
  • Investment in the success of the team, and team members, with the ability to foster the growth and development of individuals and the unity and efficacy of the team. 
  • Direct experience in international and transfer student recruitment with past success in developing new relationships, partnerships and markets. 
  • Commitment to institutional mission, a passionate vision for a positive future and the drive to respond enthusiastically to a rapidly changing environment.
  • Energetic and results oriented with the ability to make data informed decisions collaboratively with institutional stakeholders. 
  • Ability to develop and refine strategic plans informed by data and market understanding; ability to quickly strengthen plans, reallocate resources, and articulate a new vision in response to market forces, emerging challenges and new opportunities.
  • Demonstrated success in advancing diversity, equity and inclusive excellence; fluency and commitment to continuous growth in developing awareness and understanding within the office; committed to increasing the diversity of the student body and the enrollment management team.
  • Commitment to enrolling and employing highly talented and diverse individuals.
  • Outstanding communication skills, including listening, writing, presentation, and interpersonal relational skills; approachable with the ability to build authentic relationships with staff, faculty, administrators, alumni, donors, prospective students and their families.
  • Able to balance strong leadership within the Office of Admissions with a regional, national and international presence.   
  • An engaging and enthusiastic presenter, committed to advancing UVM’s reputation and building engagement in the community and the profession.
  • Proven analytical and data analysis skills and the ability to foster a culture and operation where data is readily accessible, easily referenced, and skillfully analyzed in making informed decisions.  
  • Committed to a culture of information sharing, where goals, priorities, progress and details are shared regularly to ensure staff are universally well informed, well trained and confidently able to autonomously progress in their work.
  • Strong project management and organizational skills, including ability to set priorities, offer creative and innovative solutions, manage simultaneous initiatives, and operate effectively in a deadline-driven environment. 
  • Familiarity with technologies including relational databases and CRMs, with an understanding of how to leverage technology.
  • Ability to communicate candidly and work collaboratively in an environment where shared governance and authentic relationships are highly valued.
  • A demonstrated ability to manage a large budget, make strategic budget investments and savings to maximize the impact of resources in achieving objectives
  • Genuine passion for higher education and a desire to make a difference for students and in both the UVM and the Vermont community.   

The successful candidate must have a bachelor’s degree, with an advanced degree preferred.  Additionally, this role requires a minimum of five years of experience in positions of progressively increasing responsibility in admission, enrollment management, higher education, or related field.

University of Vermont

History

Chartered in 1791, the University of Vermont is the fifth New England college established after Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, and Brown. The university, known as a Public Ivy, is popularly called UVM, a derivation of its Latin name, Universitas Viridis Montis, the University of the Green Mountains.

Much of the initial funding and planning for the university was undertaken by Ira Allen, brother of Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen.  As a central figure in Vermont’s early economic and social development, he is honored as UVM’s founder and his statue sits on the university’s main green.

Although it began as a private university, UVM attained quasi-public status with the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant College Act in 1862 and the addition of the State Agricultural College. Today, the university blends the traditions of both a private and public university, drawing 6.2% (as of 2019) of its total operating budget from the state of Vermont.

Throughout its history, the University of Vermont has demonstrated its commitment to fairness and equality. It was the first American college or university with a charter plainly declaring that the “rules, regulations, and by-laws shall not tend to give preference to any religious sect or denomination whatsoever.” In addition, the university was an early advocate of both women’s and African-Americans’ participation in higher education. In 1871, UVM defied custom and admitted two women as students. Four years later, it was the first American university to admit women to full membership into Phi Beta Kappa, the country’s oldest collegiate academic honor society. Likewise, in 1877, it initiated the first African-American into the society.

Led by UVM’s 27th President, Suresh Garimella, Ph.D., the University of Vermont is poised and ready to build upon its reputation as a premier research institution focused on sustainable solutions with local, national, and global applications and impact. As described in Amplifying Our Impact: Strategic Vision for UVM, the University of Vermont’s future success will be assured by following these three strategic imperatives: student success and experience; focusing on and expanding upon its distinctive research strengths; and better-realizing our land-grant mission by partnering with communities, businesses, and state.  

Academics

The institution embraces both a strong teaching mission and a dedication to advancing fields of knowledge through research. UVM has been consistently ranked among the nation’s top 60 public universities in U.S. News & World Report and provides a rich environment for teaching, research, and scholarship in many realms of human inquiry, achieved in large measure through a distinguished faculty of accomplished teacher-scholars. UVM is classified as a high activity research university by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and is the nation’s smallest land-grant institution with a medical school.

The only comprehensive university in the state and Vermont’s land-grant institution, UVM enrolls 12,000 degree-seeking students including 10,000 undergraduates and over 1,900 graduate students.  UVM combines faculty-student relationships typically found in a liberal arts college with the scholarship and resources of a major research institution. Faculty constitutes the heart of the university and UVM faculty is deeply committed to excellence in both scholarly research and teaching. 

The University of Vermont is home to seven undergraduate schools and colleges including an honors college, as well as a graduate college, medical school and divisions of extension and continuing education.  It offers an unusually rich complement of academic programs, including more than 100 undergraduate majors, 54 master’s programs, 12 graduate certificate programs, and 26 doctoral degrees within the following academic units: 

  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Education and Social Services
  • College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
  • College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Continuing and Distance Education
  • Graduate College
  • Grossman School of Business
  • Honors College
  • Larner College of Medicine
  • Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources

Other academic units include the University of Vermont Extension which resides in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; the Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station; and the UVM Libraries. UVM’s research enterprise encompasses doctoral programs, advanced research facilities, and major programs in research and public service supported by grants and contracts.

Our Common Ground

The University of Vermont community is united by Our Common Ground values.  As members, they believe in the transforming power of education and agree to help create and foster an environment where they can discover and reach our true potential.  To that end, they aspire to be a community that values:

RESPECT. We respect each other. We listen to each other, encourage each other and care about each other. We are strengthened by our diverse perspectives.

INTEGRITY. We value fairness, straightforward conduct, adherence to the facts, and sincerity. We acknowledge when things have not turned out the way we had hoped. As stewards of the University of Vermont, we are honest and ethical in all responsibilities entrusted to us.

INNOVATION. We want to be at the forefront of change and believe that the best way to lead is to learn from our successes and mistakes and continue to grow. We are forward-looking and break new ground in addressing important community and societal needs.

OPENNESS. We encourage the open exchange of information and ideas from all quarters of the community. We believe that through collaboration and participation, each of us has an important role in determining the direction and well-being of our community.

JUSTICE. As a just community, we unite against all forms of injustice, including, but not limited to, racism. We reject bigotry, oppression, degradation, and harassment, and we challenge injustice toward any member of our community.

RESPONSIBILITY. We are personally and collectively responsible for our words and deeds. We stand together to uphold our common ground.

Inclusive Excellence at UVM

The University of Vermont fosters an environment that allows students to succeed at academic life, explore identity, and actively build the campus culture that benefits our entire community. UVM is firm in its commitment to inclusive excellence and upholding the foundational values of racial and social justice.  The Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion believes excellence should be inclusive of the entire University of Vermont community and is steadfastly committed to this belief. The Division strives to make its work accessible, affirming, and action-oriented to help ensure excellence is inclusive of everyone. In addition, to advance the strategic diversity and inclusion goals of the university, the President’s Commission on Inclusive Excellence was established.  As an institutional advisory board, their primary mission is to advance the strategic diversity and inclusion goals of the university.

Student Life

University of Vermont is an intimate and diverse community of thinkers and doers. Living on a bustling campus located in one of America’s best college towns, Burlington, students are balanced in mind, body and spirit because UVM students seek out opportunities for work, service and play. With over 200 clubs and organizations representing areas such as service, arts, greek life and community, it’s clear to see high energy and commitment characterize every aspect of life at UVM.  In addition, UVM is a very active and health-conscious campus community; students are involved in a variety of activities from an on-campus adventure ropes course and an indoor rock-climbing wall to its nationally competitive Division I and club sports teams.  UVM has invested almost $400 million in the campus over the last decade, including the construction of a state-of-the-art STEM Complex and a new central campus residence hall for 695 first-year students that includes a 450- seat dining facility. The university is in the early stages of an upgrade and expansion of its athletic facilities to create a multipurpose center that better accommodates health, fitness, wellness, academic, athletic, events, and related programs.

For further information on the University, see https://www.uvm.edu/. 

Location

The university’s campus spans Burlington’s highest ridgeline overlooking Lake Champlain, between the Adirondack and Green mountains, and is surrounded by the historic city of Burlington, perennially voted one of America’s best places to live. With a population of approximately 42,000, Burlington is Vermont’s largest city and the hub of the larger metropolitan area with a population of over 210,000. Burlington is home to a thriving arts scene, museums and educational opportunities, great shopping, as well as numerous four-season outdoor pursuits. The surrounding mountains offer world-class ski resorts, hiking and other recreational opportunities. Fountains, a brick-paved pedestrian mall, and historic buildings provide the backdrop for the Church Street Marketplace, where specialty shops and national retailers mingle with restaurants and cultural venues. A short walk from Church Street takes visitors to nearby Burlington Waterfront Park, offering ferry crossings, excursion boats, and a 12.5-mile walking/bike path that connects to the Lake Champlain Islands via bike ferry in summer. 

The Burlington region boasts a foodie culture where farm to table offerings take center stage, and where artisan foods, wineries and breweries thrive.  Visitors and locals enjoy locally produced foods and products which range from cheese to maple syrup, which are available in restaurants, farmers markets and roadside farm stands.  Vermont also has a thriving agricultural industry, which also offers residents and visitors the opportunity for agritourism. 

The community offers a wide selection of high-quality public schools and excellent health care, anchored by the academic health science center. Burlington is consistently cited as one of the nation’s most livable, safest, and healthiest cities. The spectacular natural setting and dynamic small-city culture make Burlington a fixture on “10 Best” lists. UVM derives some of its distinctive character from Vermont’s unique culture and sense of place, which instinctively encourages critical, independent thought, and consciously promotes civic engagement. Inextricably linked to the fortunes of the state, the university is essential to Vermont’s economic growth, its educational quality, and its cultural, historic, and environmental preservation.

Located just 45 miles south of the US-Canadian border, Burlington is a short 90-minute drive from Montreal, a four-hour drive from Boston and a five-hour drive to New York City, as well as the coast of Maine or New Hampshire, which makes it a perfect distance for a quick weekend getaway. 

For community information, please visit: http://www.burlingtonvt.gov.

To Apply:

Napier Executive Search is assisting University of Vermont with this search for Director of Admissions.  For more information, to arrange a confidential conversation, or to nominate someone, please contact Mary Napier (mary.napier@napiersearch.com), Catherine Capolupo (catherine.capolupo@napiersearch.com) or Laura Robinson (laura.robinson@napiersearch.com).  For priority consideration, send a resume and detailed cover letter indicating your specific interest and qualifications, along with contact information for professional references by March 29, 2021 electronically to:  UVM@napiersearch.com.  References will not be contacted without candidates’ explicit permission. The search will continue until the position is filled; the start date is estimated as June 2021.

The University of Vermont is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other category legally protected by federal or state law.

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