William & Mary — Vice President for Strategy & Innovation

Mission Statement

A preeminent, public research university, grounded in the liberal arts and sciences since 1693, William & Mary is a vibrant and inclusive community. Through close mentoring and collaboration, we inspire lifelong learning, generate new knowledge, and expand understanding. We cultivate creative thinkers, principled leaders, and compassionate global citizens equipped for lives of meaning and distinction. William & Mary convenes great minds and hearts to meet the most pressing needs of our time.

Position Summary

Reporting to the president, and working closely with the Provost, the Chief Operating Officer, and Vice President for University Advancement, William & Mary’s Vice President for Strategy & Innovation (VPSI) drives the university’s enterprise development strategy and management, particularly as it relates to enrollment and marketing initiatives. The role comprises all the primary meanings of the word “enterprise”: a complex project or undertaking, an organizational unit (frequently in a business context), a purposeful activity, readiness and initiative. The successful candidate will be a proactive leader with substantive experience in higher education strategic planning in enrollment, communications and marketing, and a champion for diversity and equity.

Direct reports include seasoned senior leads for Undergraduate Admission, University Communications and University Marketing. With expertise and oversight, the VPSI guides:

  • Enrollment strategy and the undergraduate admission and financial aid operation: securing this primary revenue stream in light of forecasted demographic shifts while advancing the university’s mission to be “a vibrant and inclusive community… [that] convenes great minds and hearts to meet the most pressing needs of our time.”
  • Marketing and communication strategy and platforms: enhancing the university’s ability to attract applicants and philanthropic support while strengthening overall visibility, advancing the university’s mission to be “a preeminent, public research university, grounded in the liberal arts and sciences since 1693.”

The VPSI will identify opportunities for new programs and offerings, leading university efforts to pilot those initiatives with a goal of transitioning successful pilots to other senior leaders at William & Mary. As needed, the VPSI optimizes organizations and processes, to increase revenue in service to the university and its mission. The successful candidate will be a champion for diversity and equity providing an abundance mindset and collaborative workstyle. 

Key tasks of William & Mary’s Vice President for Strategy & Innovation

  1. Optimize current enrollment revenues and innovate in new ones, in partnership with the president and senior leadership
  2. Set enrollment, marketing, and communications strategy in alignment with institutional mission
  3. Elevate W&M’s national reputation, empowering marketing, communications, and admissions efforts to reach the next level
  4. Cultivate new institutional partnerships and revenue pathways that advance W&M’s mission
  5. Bring organizational and emotional intelligence to build trusted relationships with a wide range of constituencies across campus

Departments and Teams  

The VPSI will assume oversight of three departments (admission, communications, and marketing) with a total of 80-plus team members led by three well-qualified and seasoned professionals.  The admission department includes undergraduate admission, admission operations, and 13 professionals serving new and prospective students in the office of financial aid.  The growing 24-person marketing team serves the entirety of the university, as does the communications department with 14 dedicated to web & design and 10 staff focused on news and media.   

William & Mary has been intentional and successful in growing enrollments in alignment with institutional goals over the past ten years.  This intentionality has also been reflected in new academic programs, pathways, and other endeavors to cultivate the student experience and maximize resources at the institution. The exceptional student body reflects William & Mary’s storied history and thoughtful focus on the future.

Required Qualifications

  • Advanced degree required; Ph.D. preferred.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness, including, but not limited to, collaboration, staffing, and programming.
  • A results-oriented approach to management with a strong background in managing/leading institutional and external collaborations with the ability to unite teams, to develop and motivate others, to make decisions and work collaboratively to solve problems and develop new initiatives.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, with the demonstrated ability to quickly identify key issues, develop and communicate strategic imperatives grounded in data-driven research to a diverse group of cross-functional leaders of all levels.
  • Extensive knowledge of the higher education ecosystem focused on enrollment, marketing, communications, and philanthropy.
  • Minimum of seven years of executive-level experience in higher education and working with volunteer boards or experience in public or government affairs.

Additional Skills and Desirable Characteristics

  • Strong public speaking skills and outstanding interpersonal communication skills required to interact effectively with campus, community partners, and the press.
  • Strong business acumen and financial knowledge with the ability to develop and implement revenue positive programs and enrollment pathways. 
  • Fiscally responsible, with a comprehensive, institutional perspective on executive level decision making and problem solving.
  • Demonstrated success in exploring new initiatives in a manner that builds enthusiasm, success, addresses challenges, and ensures long term sustainability.
  • Deeply appreciative of higher education and the academy’s complexity and connectedness so as to ascertain all who will be impacted in new initiatives. 
  • Innovative, strategic and creative in realizing opportunities and operationalizing initiatives to meet the evolving needs of students and families, reflect changes in the marketplace, and foster institutional health and progress.
  • Authentically collaborative with exceptional listening skills, a commitment to building relationships across constituencies and a global view of institutional goals, challenges, strategies and resources. 
  • Technically savvy with an understanding of how to optimize operational efficiency, capture relevant data and leverage technology to support sound decision making and enhance the student experience.
  • Understanding of enrollment management best practices, demographic trends and the broader higher education landscape.
  • The ability to build consensus through collaborative leadership, foster innovative ideas through dialogue, establish trusting and transparent relationships, and lead change across the organization.

William & Mary

William & Mary is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in America. While its original plans date back to 1618, W&M was officially chartered in 1693.  W&M is a premiere public research university famous for its rigorous liberal arts and sciences curriculum and dedicated, engaged professors. W&M students are nothing short of exceptional; they’re scholars, athletes, activists, musicians, world travelers, and generous volunteers. The W&M campus is a masterwork of preservation and innovation. Strategic planning advances William & Mary’s educational vision, mission, and values by addressing our most pressing challenges and by seizing our most promising opportunities. Vision 2026 outlines a five-year plan to expand W&M’s reach, educate for impact and evolve to excel, building on a two-year generative planning process that engaged the entire university community.

Building on more than 300 years of innovation and excellence, W&M transcends the boundaries between research and teaching, teaching and learning, learning and living. As a “Public Ivy” — one of only eight in the nation — W&M offers a world-class education at an exceptional value.  W&M is an academic powerhouse. Its undergraduate, graduate, and online students know they’ll work hard, and that their uncommon efforts will be personally, academically, and professionally rewarding. Academic life at W&M takes place across divisions of Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, Law, and Marine Science.

W&M students are some of the smartest in the world and are passionate about serving others. W&M professors are teachers, scholars, and research mentors, the cornerstone of a thriving intellectual community that produces experienced, engaged, and successful graduates.

Leadership

Katherine A. Rowe
President
President Rowe became William & Mary’s 28th President on July 1, 2018 and was inaugurated on February 8, 2019. A recognized leader, teacher, scholar and entrepreneur, Rowe is a passionate advocate for the relevance of the liberal arts and their critical intersections with technology and research. She is deeply interested in design thinking and innovation within the liberal arts and the digital humanities. Her areas of research and scholarship include Shakespeare, Milton, Spenser, media history, and Medieval and Renaissance drama.

Prior to joining W&M, Rowe held a number of leadership positions in higher education. From 2014 to 2018, she was Provost, Dean of the Faculty, and Sophia Smith Professor of English Language & Literature at Smith College in Massachusetts. She also served as Interim Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity with a focus on campus engagement and inclusion.

Matthew T. Lambert ’99
CEO, William & Mary Foundation / Vice President for University Advancement
As Vice President for University Advancement, Matthew T. Lambert oversees all William & Mary efforts related to alumni engagement, private fundraising and philanthropic outreach, University marketing, alumni communications, and career services. Under Lambert’s direction, University Advancement’s overarching goal is to create a lasting, robust culture of engagement and philanthropy among the greater W&M community.

A graduate of W&M with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology, Lambert earned a Master’s degree from The Ohio State University and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to returning to W&M in 2013 as the Vice President for University Development, he was Associate Vice President in Georgetown University’s Office of Advancement. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, he is active in public policy research and scholarship and is the author of Privatization and the Public Good: Public Universities in the Balance (Harvard Education Press). 

Amy Sebring
Chief Operating Officer
Amy was appointed as Chief Operating Officer of William & Mary on July 1, 2020. Prior to stepping into that role, Amy served as the university’s Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Finance & Technology and has been with the university since January 2016. 

Between 2006 and 2016, Amy worked at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). In her most recent position there, Amy served as the Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Administration at VCU’s School of Medicine as well as the Executive Director of MCV Physicians — the affiliated, faculty physician group practice. In this dual role, Amy was responsible for the financial management of the medical school, operational oversight of the physician practice plan, budgeting, strategic planning, human resource management, the School’s information technology, space planning and general administration.

Before entering higher education administration, Amy served in a variety of roles with the Commonwealth of Virginia, working as the higher education and debt analyst for the Virginia Senate Finance Committee, as the finance policy director for the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), and as a budget analyst for the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget. Amy began her career in education policy as a research associate with the Education Commission of the States, a national non-partisan policy organization located in Colorado.

Amy received a bachelor’s degree in public policy studies from Duke University, a Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) from William & Mary, and post-baccalaureate certificate in accounting from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Peggy Agouris
Provost
Peggy Agouris became William & Mary’s sixth provost on July 1, 2019. As the university’s chief academic officer, Peggy is responsible for all academic and research programs, academic budgets, institutional planning, space allocation and faculty development. 

Originally from Athens, Greece, Peggy received her engineering degree from the National Technical University of Athens, and her master’s and doctoral degrees from The Ohio State University. As an undergraduate, she also received a degree in classical music and piano from the Greek Conservatory. Before joining William & Mary she served at George Mason as dean of the College of Science, chair of the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science and as a professor of remote sensing and spatial informatics.

At George Mason, Peggy oversaw one of the university’s most active research units. In 2018 alone, the College of Science accounted for almost a third of George Mason’s total research expenditures and nearly half of its indirect revenue. The college included 13 departments and programs, 20 research centers and nearly 80 degree programs. In 2017, the College of Science led George Mason’s largest research proposal to date, which was funded by the federal government with an initial budget of $40 million. During her tenure as dean, Peggy was also credited with creating new cross-cutting academic programs, increasing the diversity of the faculty body by almost 40 percent and assembling a diverse leadership team for her college comprising more than 60 percent women and under- represented populations. 

Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg, Virginia, is a wonderful place to live. It is approximately 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is located midway between Richmond and Norfolk on interstate 64. Long since its heyday as the Capital of Virginia in 1698, Williamsburg offers the ideal setting for a modern, collegiate atmosphere.  Adjacent to the campus is Colonial Williamsburg, which along with Jamestown and Yorktown comprise the Historic Triangle. Interpreters work at all three sites to teach visitors about the beginnings of representative government and cultural diversity in North America. Duke of Gloucester Street ( “DoG Street” to students) connects William & Mary to Colonial Williamsburg and forms a preferred corridor for student joggers. 

Other nearby attractions include outlet stores, local breweries and distilleries, an arts district, Busch Gardens amusement park — which offers a special William & Mary day in October — and High Street and New Town, which offer convenient access to restaurants, shopping, and movie theaters. Next to campus, at the corner of Prince George Street and Richmond Road, are a popular cluster of delis, pubs, and taverns. Those preferring daintier sandwiches often head to The Cheese Shop on DoG Street. Ask for the house dressing. Tourists flock to Williamsburg every summer, but W&M students and staff have the run of the place during less humid months.

To Apply

William & Mary is partnering with Napier Executive Search to identify the best professional to fill the position of Vice President for Strategy & Innovation.  To arrange for a confidential conversation or to nominate someone for this position, please contact Mary Napier, Laura Robinson, or Catherine Capolupo.  To apply, send 1) a resume, 2) a detailed letter of interest regarding your interest in William & Mary, and 3) contact information for three professional references by email to: wm@napiersearch.com.  For assurance of full consideration, submit application materials no later than September 1, 2022.  Resumes will be reviewed until the position is filled.  All applications and nominations will be considered confidential, and notice will be given before references are contacted.

William & Mary is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Equal Access employer and actively encourages applications from minorities, women, disabled persons and veterans. 

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