Denison University — Director of Admission

Our purpose is to inspire and educate our students to become autonomous thinkers, discerning moral agents, and active citizens of a democratic society. Through an emphasis on active learning, we engage students in the liberal arts, which fosters self-determination and demonstrates the transformative power of education. We envision our students’ lives as based upon rational choice, a firm belief in human dignity, and compassion unlimited by cultural, racial, sexual, religious, or economic barriers, and directed toward an engagement with the central issues of our time.

– Denison University Mission Statement

Denison University, a private, coeducational, residential four-year liberal arts college in Granville, Ohio, invites applications for the position of Director of Admission. Reporting to the Vice President for Enrollment Management, the Director of Admission is responsible for prospective student outreach, recruitment, evaluation, admission, and yield. In addition, the Director manages significant aspects of the day-to-day operations of the Office of Admission, including supervision and evaluation of the counseling staff, a group of 12 professionals. The Director is accountable for achieving all individual and recruitment goals established by the Vice President and, along with other senior members of the division, will serve as a senior advisor to the Vice President. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The Director will be fully based in Granville, part of the larger Columbus, Ohio metropolitan area. The essential duties and responsibilities for the Director of Admission are as follows:

Leadership

  • Provide overall leadership for all admission-related activities of the University and manage significant aspects of the day-to-day operations of the Office of Admission.
  • Supervise, direct the actions of, provide feedback to, and evaluate the performance of all counseling staff; lead, motivate, and empower talented and hardworking professionals.
  • Serve as an advocate and mentor; promote professional development, provide leadership in office planning and direction, and exhibit confidence in decision-making.
  • Promote and continue to foster a highly relational, customer-service-oriented culture.
  • Contribute to building an enrollment management culture that exemplifies ethical decision-making, diversity of thought, strategic risk-taking, and creativity.

Data-driven Strategy Development

  • Work in concert with the Vice President for Enrollment Management to establish strategic, holistic, and data-driven divisional policies and processes that further the goals of the University.
  • Participate in institutional planning and policy development regarding enrollment and student retention.
  • Develop reports, write executive summaries, and provide data-driven guidance for all aspects of student recruitment programs and initiatives.
  • Work collaboratively and strategically as part of a team-oriented management group within the division; collaborate with the Director of Financial Aid to ensure smooth and coordinated admission and financial aid processes.
  • Develop and execute strategies to engage counselors, alumni, family, and friends of the University.
  • Meet individual and overall application and enrollment goals as defined by the Vice President for Enrollment Management.

Relationship Building

  • Build strong, collegial relationships with other campus and external constituents to ensure a seamless recruitment, admission, and enrollment experience for new students.
  • Travel on behalf of the University for student recruitment and to promote institutional visibility. 
  • Comfortably participate in and lead recruitment events as the external face of Denison.
  • Conduct interviews, evaluate applications, and advise students, parents, and counselors on matters related to admission and financial aid.
  • Represent the University and the Office of Admission in a professional manner as a member of internal and external committees and professional organizations at local, regional, and national events, programs, and panels. 
  • Participate in and become familiar with the strengths of faculty-student interactions to authentically engage faculty in the recruitment process.
  • Possess an understanding of the importance of athletics as part of the overall recruitment plan and effectively partner with coaches in recruitment efforts.

Qualifications, Skills, and Characteristics

The successful candidate should have a bachelor’s degree, with an advanced degree preferred, and experience in positions of progressively increasing responsibility. Experience in admission or enrollment management in higher education is desirable, but candidates with transferable skills from the corporate or non-profit sectors are also encouraged to apply and will receive equal consideration. Supervisory experience is preferred. A leader with demonstrated dedication to a residential liberal arts education, an appreciation for diversity and community, the ability to work well collaboratively as well as independently, a high level of energy, and a sense of humor will be valued in the selection process.

In addition, the Director should have the following skills and characteristics:

  • Strong technical skills with a demonstrated understanding of and ability to use the latest technology in recruitment and enrollment planning, ideally including experience with Slate or a comparable CRM system;
  • Outstanding, demonstrated ability to collect, analyze, interpret, and utilize data to inform decision-making and creative problem-solving;
  • Ability to communicate and interact with prospective students and their families from wide and diverse backgrounds, valuing diversity in the Denison community;
  • Clear understanding of and ability to articulate the values and mission of a residential, liberal arts college;
  • Collaborative team player with the ability to work in a high-stress, deadline-driven environment; able to infuse daily work with levity and balance; and able to achieve and celebrate success;
  • Clear and direct management style, able to meld individual strengths into an outstanding team culture;
  • Strong presentation, written, and verbal communication skills; outstanding listener with strong relational skills;
  • Ability and commitment to maintain the highest degree of confidentiality; and
  • Demonstrated experience motivating and directing the actions of others.

Denison University

An independent, residential liberal arts institution of approximately 2,300 undergraduates and an endowment in excess of $1.2 billion, Denison is a community of intellectual peers, invested professors, and life-long friends from across the country and around the world. Led by President Adam Weinberg, Denison offers a rich, deep, and pragmatic education in the natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, and fine arts; its purpose is to inspire and educate students to become autonomous thinkers, discerning moral agents, and active citizens of a democratic society.

Beyond the classroom, Denison provides transformative opportunities for the development of leadership skills, interpersonal relationships, self-awareness, and practical skills and competencies by offering more than 160 student organizations, as well as a rich performing arts program and intramural, club, and varsity athletic programs. As an NCAA Division III school, Denison is the only school in the entire Midwest to be ranked in the top 50 for the Learfield Directors’ Cup Division III standings and the top 50 of the U.S. News and World Report rankings. The on-the-field successes and intensity of Denison scholar-athletes are matched by their work in the classroom.

The Denison community thrives through the strong relationships that are formed among students and members of the faculty and staff. Built on a foundation of prestigious academics and lasting relationships, Denison creates pathways for students to quickly make friends, find mentors, and become engaged in the classroom and across campus. Each year, they join together to celebrate their connections and the richness of a diverse campus community at annual events such as D-Day, Gala, Culture Jam, and Aestavalia. Through an emphasis on active learning, Denison engages its students in the liberal arts; graduates are educated to be curious, resourceful, and reflective. Denison Forward reflects the University’s broad commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and antiracism (IDEA), which launched in January 2020.

Students at Denison hail from all 50 states and 47 countries, with 80 percent of the students coming from outside of the state of Ohio. Students have an intense interest in the world around them, with most pursuing study or internship options abroad, while 16 percent of the students are international. In addition, 17 percent of the student body are first-generation college students and 21 percent are domestic students of color. Denison’s message has consistently and increasingly resonated with prospective students; in 2022 over 12,000 students applied and 22 percent of those were admitted to the University.

For more information on Denison, visit denison.edu.

Granville, Ohio

Denison University overlooks the town of Granville — a lovely New England-esque community of about 5,000 people. Routinely named one of the most beautiful towns in Ohio and immediately adjacent to the campus, Granville offers charming shops, restaurants, and a Saturday morning farmer’s market to explore. This is a community, more than just a place to live, with events like the Candlelight Tour, Fourth of July festival and fireworks, September Bluesfest, weekly concerts, and polo games on the grounds of the nearby Bryn Du Mansion, giving the community places to meet and get to know one another. The school system is excellent and enjoys the support of parents and the community. Granville provides a beautiful and safe community in which to live and learn, with all the big-city energy of Columbus nearby.

Columbus, Ohio

Just 25 minutes from campus by car, Columbus, the state capital of Ohio, offers one of the nation’s most vibrant and technologically sophisticated cities, with access to cultural activities, great restaurants, local breweries, professional sports, shopping, and worship. Columbus is the nation’s 14th largest city, with a diverse population of over two million people. Home to some of the largest companies in the world, including L Brands, Abercrombie & Fitch, Lane Bryant, Wendy’s, Cardinal Health, and Nationwide Insurance, Columbus attracts top national and international talent. While some employees of the University live in Granville, an increasing number choose to reside in the urban or suburban centers of Columbus.

To Apply

Napier Executive Search is assisting Denison University to identify candidates for the position of Director of Admission. To arrange for a confidential conversation or to nominate a candidate for this position, contact Laura Robinson at laura.robinson@napiersearch.com or Mary Napier at mary.napier@napiersearch.com. To apply, please send a resume and a detailed letter of interest by email to denison@napiersearch.com. Resumes will be reviewed until the position is filled, but for assurance of best consideration, application materials should be submitted by May 30, 2022. All applications and nominations will be considered confidential.

EEO Statement/University requirements

To achieve its mission as a liberal arts college, Denison continually strives to foster a diverse campus community that recognizes the value of all persons regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or socio-economic background. For additional information and resources about diversity at Denison, please see its Diversity Guide. Denison University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

In our ongoing efforts to support the health of our community, continue to operate our campus safely, and to comply with the federal government’s large employer mandate, Denison requires all new employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 including a booster within the timeline guidance recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unless an authorized exemption is approved. For more information and resources regarding this policy as a condition of employment, please visit https://denison.edu/campus/covid19.

The final candidate will undergo a background check, including a driving check, after receiving a conditional offer of employment.

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