Lasell University — Vice President for Enrollment Management

Since 1851, Lasell University has been dedicated to high-impact educational experiences preparing students for careers and life. Students engage in collaborative, team-based learning through professional internships, service learning projects and international experiences. The school has a legacy of connecting students to careers and community life through a professional education rooted in the liberal arts. 

Vision 2022 Report

Lasell University, in Newton, Massachusetts, seeks a collaborative, strategic and forward-thinking Vice President for Enrollment Management to join their Senior Management Team. The Vice President for Enrollment Management (VPEM) provides forward-thinking leadership for the division that accounts for the majority of the revenue of Lasell University, and specifically oversees undergraduate admissions, student financial planning for undergraduate and graduate students, athletics, marketing and communications. The VPEM reports to the President and collaborates with members of the senior management team in making decisions and providing leadership on all aspects of the University’s operations. The vice president also shares leadership responsibility for instilling intercultural competence and equity throughout the structure and operations of the University.

Responsibilities and Priorities

Today’s enrollment leaders are facing challenges never seen before: declining demographics; the changing make-up of the population; changes in accepted enrollment tactics; effects of COVID; and the inability or unwillingness of families to pay the cost of attendance. Enrollment leaders today need to have characteristics not needed in the past to meet these challenges with success. The expectations for the Vice President require that the successful candidate possess the following abilities to fulfill responsibilities and priorities in these key areas:  

Partnership, Collaborative and Communication

  • Create and sustain a culture of shared ownership of enrollment management; educate the campus community about best practices in enrollment management.
  • Partner effectively with the Dean of Student Affairs as someone who directly impacts retention, as well as the Provost, Chief Financial Officer, and Vice President of Graduate and Professional Studies, who can support identified initiatives.
  • Build relationships with faculty in order to identify opportunities for new academic program development and share a respect for how ideas translate to the classroom.
  • Coordinate closely with members of the senior management team and academic deans on matters related to business and finance, student affairs, and external and internal communications.
  • Participate in and support the use of consortia with other institutions to share courses, reduce costs, and supplement services to students.
  • Appropriately evaluate and assess existing systems, policies, and structures before introducing changes.
  • Possess a love and passion for the institution and its students; work to instill joy in the everyday life of employees and students.
  • Communicate with consistency, clarity, transparency, and timeliness with diverse internal and external audiences on enrollment management strategies and initiatives.

Empowering Leadership

  • Provide supervision, guidance, and professional development opportunities to department heads and other staff colleagues in the division.
  • Inspire, motivate and lead a hard-working team; recognize the skill sets and talents of the staff and provide opportunities to enhance them.
  • Create a culture where employees feel empowered to offer solutions and initiatives, which will support the institution’s, as well as their own individual growth.
  • Stay current on national enrollment and demographic trends and share best practices in enrollment management and how to creatively adapt them to Lasell University’s teaching and learning environment.
  • Think creatively and quickly to adapt to changing pressures; provide entrepreneurial and innovative leadership to the enrollment division in the effort to recruit and retain a diverse, balanced, and academically qualified student body.

Recruitment and Retention

  • Oversee intercollegiate, club and recreational athletics with a specific focus on coordination of athletics with recruitment and retention; recognize the importance of the pivotal role student athletes play in the recruitment process and collaborate effectively with coaches in the recruitment of those students.
  • Understand the predictors of student success within the student’s application to determine the likelihood of matriculation and persistence. 
  • Provide leadership in developing and executing competitive strategies for recruiting domestic first-year, transfer and international students.

Data and Analytics

  • Possess an understanding of the value of data, the ability to interpret it, and a desire to create actionable strategies based on the discovery of information.
  • Oversee the generation, analysis and interpretation of relevant data to support the operations of the division, making data central to relevant decisions and strategies.
  • Be adept in the use of technology systems to support the operations of the division (experience with Slate and PowerCampus preferred).
  • Provide expert knowledge in the use and analysis of enrollment data, sharing information and reports regularly, transparently and appropriately with campus partners. 

Strategic Marketing and Communication

  • Demonstrate an understanding and in-depth knowledge of market trends and demographics and possess a contemporary and forward-thinking understanding of prospective and current students to know how to communicate with them effectively, using integrated marketing approaches.
  • Possess an ability to differentiate Lasell’s programs from its peers in a crowded marketplace and in an effort to expand to other markets. 
  • Provide leadership to the full marketing and communication functions of the University, including support of: undergraduate and graduate admissions; external and internal publicity, promotion and public relations; fundraising and alumni relations; and institutional awareness and reputation.
  • Develop and execute a layered and targeted marketing plan for the various levels and stages of the admission funnel, as well as branding and imaging messages.

Financial acumen

  • Oversee the responsibility of the office of financial aid for all students, while maintaining critical compliance with federal and state funding sources.
  • Implement innovative financial aid strategies and policies, strategic leveraging of financial aid, pricing and related issues to optimize the use of federal, state and institutional resources in the recruitment and retention of students.
  • Develop and execute financial aid strategies intended to achieve enrollment goals while maximizing the University’s net revenues, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Build and maintain a strong, diverse and collaborative team environment among staff, students, faculty and vendors.
  • Demonstrate a sincere commitment to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, enhancing diversity among incoming students, building international enrollments, and increasing transfer enrollments by expanding pathway programs and articulation agreements. 
  • Provide a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive campus environment in which all members of the Lasell community can thrive.

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:

  • Ability to build, manage and lead a staff that is diverse in all ways, including race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, age, gender, gender identity, and gender expression (Multilingual ability would be an enhancement).
  • Knowledge of specific rules, regulations and compliance issues related to financial aid and NCAA Division III athletics.
  • Understanding of the evolving nature of incoming students and of the complexities between traditional and new ways of educating contemporary student populations.
  • Resilience and flexibility to adjust quickly to changing circumstances and to work in harmony with all members of the Lasell community.
  • A willingness to approach life and work with a sense of humor, confidence, initiative, and flexibility.
  • Ability to listen with an open mind and carefully consider the viewpoints of others.
  • An action-oriented approach and willingness to take risks; the ability to be persuasive, build consensus, and influence others to achieve goals.
  • A multi-sided perspective on the work of the division — able to consider things from a traditional, philosophical educational angle while also take a view that is practical, entrepreneurial, and business-oriented.
  • Hard working, team oriented and positive community member who believes no job is too small.

Lasell University

Lasell University is an innovative, comprehensive, coeducational university located in Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb just eight miles west of Boston. Lasell offers over sixty majors and minors, forty-two graduate degrees and dozens of certificate and professional studies programs. The physical campus, hybrid, and online programs serve 1481 undergraduate and 530 graduate students. Lasell’s undergraduate student population is 64% female and 36% male and hails from twenty-three states and ten countries. Graduate students join Lasell from twenty-six states and sixteen countries. The Lasell student body is increasingly diverse; 28.5% of undergraduates and 18.4% of graduate students identify as members of racially minoritized groups. International students make up 3.3% of undergraduates and 7.2% of the university’s graduate students; prior to the pandemic, the percentage of international students was typically 6% and 10% respectively. 

Lasell was founded in 1851 as the first two-year college for women, becoming a four-year college in 1988, and transitioning to a coeducational institution in 1998. In 2003, the college introduced graduate programs, and in 2019 Lasell was recognized as Lasell University. In each of these transitions, Lasell’s educational commitment has focused on blending theory and practice. The Connected Learning educational philosophy remains central to the University’s mission today, is articulated in the University’s values, and is visible in the core curriculum and throughout each student’s educational experience. 

Today, the Lasell campus educates students across multiple generations. In addition to serving undergraduate, graduate and professional students, the campus hosts the Holway Early Childhood Centers, caring and educating children from infancy through preschool in the Rockwell Nursery School and the Barn. The Lasell University campus is also home to Lasell Village, an award-winning senior housing community, which was opened in the year 2000. Lasell Village is home to 225 residents who enjoy an active, intellectually enriched life. It features continuing care in a community setting offering social, cultural and lifelong learning opportunities. On thirteen acres, Lasell Village emulates the best features of a neighborhood, where residents are eager to participate in daily activities and educational coursework. 

President & Senior Leadership

Michael Alexander became the ninth president of Lasell University on July 1, 2007, following a successful corporate career, first in media and entertainment and then in technology, deferring an early desire to enter higher education leadership. 

During his tenure as President, Alexander has overseen substantial campus-wide growth, including more than an 80 percent increase in total enrollment, a near doubling of full-time faculty, construction of six new buildings and renovation of many others, and nearly a 90 percent increase in annual giving. Alexander has led two successful capital campaigns, the second completed in June 2018, raising more than $15 million for new programs, endowment, and part of the cost for the new Science and Technology Center. The Board of Trustees recently approved the launch of a new campaign which will focus on building the endowment.

Alexander’s previous roles in higher education included Assistant Dean of Freshmen at Harvard College and Executive Assistant to the President of Barnard College, later taking on responsibility for the financial and administrative affairs at Barnard. Alexander is an expert on the financing of higher education and founded the Lower Cost Models for Independent Colleges Consortium, which now numbers more than 90 institutions across the country. 

He received an A.B. from Harvard College, an M.A from Ohio State University, and completed all coursework toward an Ed.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In addition, Alexander has been involved with a number of organizations and institutions over the years, including the Boards of Trustees of Antioch University, Bloomfield College, the Foundation for Minority Interests in Media, and the National Urban League. 

Alexander resides in Dunne House on the campus of Lasell, with his wife Mary Barbara, an actress. Their daughter, Maggie, lives in Florida.

As educational and administrative leader, Alexander leads the Lasell community in assuring that Lasell maximizes its expertise in fostering the growth of every Lasell student. The senior leadership team is comprised of the University’s Provost, Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations, Vice President of Enrollment Management, Assistant Vice President for Legal Affairs and Title IX Coordinator, Vice President of Graduate & Professional Studies, Vice President for Finance and Administration (Chief Financial Officer), Assistant Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, and the President of Lasell Village.

The Lasell University Board of Trustees is the elected governing body responsible for the proper legal, managerial and financial stewardship of the University. The Board is responsible for preserving the University’s mission and assets, approving and reviewing long-range plans, financial operations, educational programs, physical plant and ensuring adequate resources for the preservation and advancement of the institution. Additional details regarding Lasell’s board of trustees are available here. 

Strategic Planning

In the spring of 2021, the Lasell community came together to shape its future through a new strategic plan. This collaborative effort represents the collaborative judgment of students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, Lasell Village residents, and neighbors. It reflects Lasell’s enduring commitment to its mission and its students, and the innovative, entrepreneurial character of the community. Lasell’s last strategic plan articulated the community’s academic goals, plans for student resources, institutional commitments and vision for its facilities and campus. The Strategic Plan is entitled Vision 2022. 

Mission and Values

We immerse our students in experiential and collaborative learning that fosters lifelong intellectual exploration and social responsibility. 

The institutional values of Lasell guide the community.

  • Student focus
  • Integrity, honesty, and ethical decision making
  • Inclusion and intercultural competence

Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

Lasell is committed to fostering an intellectually enriching and inclusive educational environment. We are dedicated to enhancing our employees’ intercultural competence in fulfilling their roles and interacting with students and employees who are broadly diverse with regard to various aspects of identity, such as race, ethnicity, ability status, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, nationality, and religion.

We seek faculty and staff who appreciate the value diversity brings to a campus community and are eager to foster an inclusive environment here at Lasell. Employees who represent the various aspects of diversity of our student body are key contributors to our strategic vision.

Lasell has made an institutional, community-wide commitment to acknowledge, respect, and celebrate differences in our multiple perspectives, identities, social positions, and cultural lenses. We affirm that Lasell’s mission of social responsibility and effective, engaged learning requires our demonstrable commitment to an inclusive campus environment.

Furthermore, we believe that these ongoing processes require us to act with integrity and empathy, and a willingness to engage in self-reflection. As a means of evaluating the community’s progress towards these goals, we will develop comprehensive measures of accountability and regularly analyze and report on all collected data.

We are dedicated to the creation and maintenance of an inclusive campus environment in which all members of the Lasell community can thrive. We need and ask for the active contributions of every community member to achieve this goal.

Academic Life

The hallmark of a Lasell education is the philosophy of Connected Learning which deepens classroom learning through real-world experience. The University’s core curriculum, revised in 2015, provides every student with intellectual experiences and skills necessary for success in the working world, and the foundation to become active and engaged global citizens. Lasell University faculty are committed to creatively integrating challenging coursework with practical experience in an environment that fosters lifelong intellectual exploration, intercultural competence and social responsibility. The University’s Honors Program offers students an intensive setting for intellectual and social development; emphasizing independent thinking, social responsibility, enthusiasm for intellectual inquiry and appreciation for the power of ideas. Retention among Lasell’s first-year undergraduates is 80.79%; and, prior to the pandemic, 96-100% of Lasell graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation. 

Each of Lasell’s majors include practical, hands-on activities through internships, service learning, study abroad, and collaborative research. One hundred percent of undergraduate students participate in at least one internship during their studies, placing Lasell in the top ten of colleges and universities nationally. Lasell Works offers students a unique opportunity for students to reduce the cost of their tuition, living off-campus and pursuing online courses during their sophomore year. Opportunities for service learning earn students credit for their time spent in the community, both locally and internationally through the University’s short-term international service-learning programs in Antigua, Ecuador, Mexico and Vietnam. 

Students seeking an opportunity to study abroad for a semester or year choose from among thirty study abroad programs. Those seeking a domestic experience pursue a semester in the city of Boston, attend the Washington Semester at American University in Washington D.C., or gain valuable on-the-job experience working in the Disney parks and taking college coursework with the Disney College Program. 

Lasell University students enroll in one of five schools:  

Student Life

Approximately 77% of Lasell’s undergraduate population live in campus-owned and operated facilities. Students may request to participate in themed-housing communities;  Single Gender Living Environments, Quiet Study Housing, Wellness Housing, Gender Neutral Housing, and Equity & Intersectionality Housing. The campus offers over 300 events each year, enriching the curricular and extracurricular experiences of their students and the broader community. 

Lasell students participate in seventy clubs and organizations, and approximately 20% of students are members of the University’s 17 NCAA Division III athletic teams. Lasell Lasers, led by their mascot Boomer the Torchbearer, compete in the Great Northeast Athletic Conferences. Lasell also offers students club sports, intramural sports including Esports, as well as access to free canoe and kayak rentals on the Charles River in Waltham and free access to cross country skiing in nearby Weston. Two campus fitness centers are staffed by CPR-certified students. 

Lasell University student clubs and organizations are student-initiated and run with the assistance of a staff or faculty advisor. All student clubs and organizations are open to any Lasell student. Registered and recognized student clubs and organizations are able to receive a budget, get assistance with event planning and promotion through all activities, fairs and publications. Students can also start new student clubs and organizations on campus. Lasell’s clubs and organizations reflect the diversity of student interests and passions. They include organizations focused on athletic pursuits, academic interests, theater, dance and music, as well as social justice and community engagement. 

Lasell proudly offers multiple leadership programs in addition to its many leadership opportunities. Freshman can enroll in the Exploring Leadership program, a semester-long leadership course offered by the Office of Student Activities and Orientation. Student Leadership Scholars, chosen each year as part of the first-year class, can also participate in an Emerging Leaders program and the Advance Leadership Seminar.

Facilities 

Lasell University resides on 54 acres in the historic village of Auburndale. Campus buildings represent both modern and historic architecture with the most recent additions to campus being the Science and Technology Center and Dunne House & Hospitality Center, both opening in 2018. Students enjoy a variety of housing options on campus with twenty-six residences: three traditional residence halls, three suite-style residence halls, five hotel-style residences, and fifteen Victorian houses. 

Lasell has invested in significant infrastructure improvements designed to meet the needs of students and the community. Every classroom has been fitted with technology enhancements, each student has access to cloud storage, and WiFi and wireless printing offer ease of connection. 

The campus is located close to public transportation, with the Auburndale Commuter Rail station less than a mile away and the Riverside MBTA station just over a mile from Lasell. Shuttles to the Riverside Station run regularly throughout the day, offering students, faculty, staff, and visitors’ easy access to campus and public transportation. 

Newton, Massachusetts

Just eight miles from Boston, the City of Newton Massachusetts has a suburban residential character. Newton comprises thirteen distinct villages and is known as “The Garden City” reflecting the population’s pride in preserving nearly 20% of its land as open space. The city’s northern border is defined by the Charles River and residents enjoy the 33-acre Crystal Lake for swimming. The Chestnut Hill Reservoir, part of Boston’s Emerald Necklace, borders Newton and offers space for recreational activities and stunning views of the Boston skyline. 

Each year 17,000 college students join the 89,000 residents of Newton, living and pursuing degrees across six college campuses (Boston College, Boston College Law School, Lasell University, Hebrew College, UMass Amherst – Mount Ida Campus, and William James College). 

Newton boasts top-rated public schools and has been recognized on numerous occasions as one of the top places to live in Massachusetts and in the United States. Newton is home to the Newton Free Library, the single busiest library building in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The city runs two museums, The Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds, and the Jackson Homestead and Museum which once served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. The city hosts two orchestras, the New Philharmonia Orchestra of Massachusetts and the Newton Symphony Orchestra. Newton-Wellesley Hospital, located centrally in Newton is highly regarded among hospitals in the Boston metro area. 

Each April, the infamous Heartbreak Hill challenges Boston Marathon runners en route to Boston. Newton residents, college students and visitors line the race route to cheer on the runners. The Fig Newton cookie, first enjoyed in 1891, was named after the city of Newton. 

Newton’s good public schools, safe neighborhoods and many amenities make Newton a desirable community for those who commute to Boston or one of its many suburbs. The Worcester Commuter Rail stop is located in the northern section of the city, while the Green Line D branch terminates within its western border and Green Line B branch extends through the center of the city. Bus routes provide a web of access and transportation throughout the city. Those driving will find that Newton’s location, just inside the 128 high-tech corridor, with easy access to both the Mass Pike and Route 9, offers convenience in getting to and from each village in Newton, as well as Boston and Cambridge.

To Apply

Napier Executive Search is assisting Lasell University with the search for the Vice President for Enrollment Management. To arrange for a confidential conversation or to nominate a candidate, please contact Laura Robinson (laura.robinson@napiersearch.com), Catherine Capolupo (catherine.capolupo@napiersearch.com) or Mary Napier (mary.napier@napiersearch.com). 

Candidates who wish to apply should submit their credentials including:  1) a resume, 2) a detailed letter outlining interest specifically in the opportunity at Lasell University as outlined in this prospectus, and 3) contact information for three professional references. All materials may be sent via email to Lasell@napiersearch.com by May 25, 2021 for best consideration. Credentials will be reviewed upon receipt and the search will continue until the position is filled. All applications and nominations will be considered confidential, and notice will be given before references are contacted.

Lasell University is committed to equal opportunity in every aspect of hiring and employment. Lasell proactively reviews its policies and practices to assure that decisions with respect to every dimension of employment are made without regard to age, color of skin, disability, gender expression and identity, genetic predisposition, marital status, national origin, race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, status as a victim of domestic violence, and all other protected groups and classes under Federal and State Laws and executive orders.

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