Vice President for Enrollment-Simpson College
To be nationally recognized as the quintessential liberal arts college of the Greater Des Moines area, transforming students through welcoming communities, exceptional programs, and distinctive opportunities.
~Simpson College Vision Statement
Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa is seeking an experienced, innovative and strategic Vice President for Enrollment to develop and lead a forward thinking enrollment management division. This individual will bring expertise and enthusiasm for change management, collaboration, creativity and team building, as well as a willingness to contribute to a community and executive leadership team embarking on a new institutional strategic plan.
Reporting to Simpson’s 24th President, Marsha Kelliher J.D., LL.M., the Vice President for Enrollment will serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet and the college’s senior leadership team. As the chief enrollment officer, the Vice President will spearhead a strategic enrollment plan and lead the campus community in establishing and achieving short- and long-term enrollment goals. The Vice President will direct the efforts of 19 admission and financial aid team members in optimizing undergraduate enrollment; partner with the academic dean in continuing adult and graduate enrollment; and work with leadership across the college in developing strategic transfer and student-athlete recruitment partnerships, policies and practices.
Responsibilities and Priorities
The essential duties and responsibilities of the Vice President for Enrollment include:
- Develop, implement and articulate a clear vision and strategic enrollment plan, identifying characteristics of likely and successful students and creating innovative initiatives to realize optimum enrollment growth across all student populations.
- Coalesce the Simpson community around a comprehensive recruitment and marketing plan that transparently articulates strategies and goals, and fosters campus dialogue, participation, knowledge and innovation.
- Recommend strategic initiatives, actions and policy considerations to the President and fellow members of the Cabinet to leverage programs to attract, enroll and retain qualified students.
- Lead the development of a college-wide enrollment management culture which promotes thoughtful analysis, nimble action and transparent and shared use of data in evaluation and decision making.
- Participate in local, regional and national organizations and associations to facilitate recruitment initiatives and create enrollment partnerships and establish relationships with members of the greater Indianola and Des Moines community to support college-wide enrollment efforts and enhance the reputation of Simpson within the region.
- Establish transparent and trustful partnerships with members of the college community to facilitate college-wide enrollment recruitment and retention efforts, increase understanding of and collaboration in institutional enrollment goals and strategies, leverage community and alumni engagement and maximize the impact of faculty and coaches in recruitment efforts.
- Provide guidance to the Simpson community in best practices of recruiting Division III student-athletes in a competitive environment, establish a relationship with the athletic director and coaches which defines clear enrollment goals for student athletes, fully supports these efforts and creates a positive partnership between members of enrollment management and athletic departments.
- Lead the college in making informed decisions on pricing strategies and financial aid leveraging for both current and prospective students, while maintaining critical compliance with federal and state funding sources.
- Partner with the Vice President for Marketing and Strategic Communications in developing and disseminating consistent branding, messaging and storytelling that best reflects the benefits of the liberal arts and the distinctions of a Simpson College education for students and families.
- Partner with alumni and trustees in expanding the recruitment reach in developing territories, events and populations.
- Act as the liaison to the chair of the Enrollment subcommittee of the board of trustees, providing timely, relevant and accurate information to support trustee knowledge, engagement and decision making.
- Foster a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion within the division, demonstrate sensitivity and expertise in the recruitment and retention of a diverse staff and student body.
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:
Enrollment Management Expertise
- Significant direct oversight of a multifaceted enrollment operation and experience evaluating and structuring a team to reflect evolving markets, technology and student expectations.
- Demonstrated success in developing and refining integrated strategic enrollment and marketing plans.
- Operational management for admission, supervising all aspects of the recruitment funnel and recruitment pipelines including development of the prospect and inquiry pools, conversion and application processing, review and yield activities, and the selection processes for special programs.
- Skilled in advising and leading the Simpson community in establishing policies and practices which facilitate the enrollment of domestic first-year, international and transfer students.
Financial Aid and Pricing
- Analytical skill in understanding financial aid, the college’s discount rate, net tuition revenue and federal, state and local compliance in aid distribution in relation to the institutional budget.
- Ability to guide the community and institution in developing pricing strategies which support institutional finances and maximize enrollments.
- Knowledge of the impact of pricing on diverse populations; the effective balance of merit and financial assistance for attracting and retaining students; and understanding and promotion of the importance of financial literacy and customer service for prospective and continuing students and their families.
Technical Skills and Business Processes
- 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.
- Ability to lead the team in addressing technology challenges and implementation issues in a solutions-focused environment.
- Advanced understanding of modern student recruitment and marketing strategies and ability to work across the college to vibrantly articulate opportunities to prospective students and families.
- Willingness to work directly with the leadership of unique programs to establish efficient and effective recruitment processes and promote each program’s exceptional results and reputation.
- Ability to interpret and analyze data, with a skill for educating developing enrollment managers and the broader community in understanding its meaning and identifying and articulating actionable opportunities.
- Excellent oral, written and interpersonal communication skills.
- Ability to articulate an authentic understanding of Simpson’s unique programs, successes and characteristics both in marketing and through campus engagement opportunities.
- Approachable bridge-builder who appreciates the perspectives of others, while making informed decisions for the future.
A Passion for and Commitment to Simpson College
- Passion for the liberal arts, the ability to articulate a compelling value proposition and the ability to illustrate the quality of a Simpson education for students and families.
- Embodiment and representation of the values and mission of Simpson while enthusiastically moving Simpson forward.
- Commitment to partner effectively with Simpson’s senior leadership, community partners alumni and trustees develop positive relationships and meet enrollment goals.
- Innovative, strategic and visionary sense and creative approach to recruiting new students.
- Creative, nimble and flexible in realizing opportunities and operationalizing action, evaluation and communication.
- Ability to prioritize resources, initiatives and goals to maximize immediate and long-term enrollment impact.
- Demonstrated sense of humor, ability to engage positively with others thoughtfully and respectfully.
- Understanding and in-depth knowledge of market trends and demographics.
- Development of the professional knowledge and skills of the enrollment management team, fostering their ability to implement and engage in best practices including the use of data in strategic decision making, leveraging technology to increase efficiency and student engagement, and developing impactful engagement opportunities for students and families.
- Inspirational leader, able to motivate an enrollment management team in identifying issues and opportunities, partner effectively across campus, respond nimbly to an evolving market and are demonstrably knowledgeable about the changing needs of students and families.
- Talented manager with a knack for hiring well, cultivating the ongoing professional skills of individuals and fostering an enrollment team passionate about Simpson and committed to the success of the institution and its students.
- Experience supervising and developing an enrollment management team, leading individuals and groups through operational and cultural changes, and fostering a positive environment for success and growth.
- A demonstrated understanding of confidentiality, the ability to lead a team based on the mission, vision and values of the college and a willingness to follow — and support — a change leader and Cabinet who are moving Simpson forward in new and exciting ways, while choosing best practices from the past and embracing the bold.
Simpson College is a four-year private college of the liberal arts and sciences affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Located just 12 miles south of Des Moines, the capital of Iowa, Simpson’s picturesque 85-acre campus in Indianola is home to 1,127 full-time undergraduate students with more than 400 additional adult and graduate students at the Des Moines metro site.
The Simpson College trustees, faculty and staff are deeply committed to the mission of the College and believe that Simpson’s considerable assets, in combination with a collective effort behind a unifying vision, will help Simpson thrive in the years ahead. The College acknowledges the challenges facing residential liberal arts colleges brought about by demographic and economic changes. Proactive approaches to balance the annual operating budget while actively growing enrollment will position the College to move forward in the coming years.
Founded by Iowa United Methodist Church in 1860 as Indianola Seminary, the school changed its name to the Des Moines Conference Seminary in September 1865. Two years later, the school was upgraded to Simpson Centenary College to honor Methodism’s 19th-century most renowned bishop, Matthew Simpson (1811-1884), and to celebrate the centennial of American Methodism. In June 1885, Centenary was dropped from the name, and the institution has been Simpson College ever since.
Simpson’s most noted alumnus, George Washington Carver, began his college education at Simpson College in the fall of 1890. After another college refused to admit him because he was black, Carver matriculated at Simpson, where he studied art and piano. His art teacher Etta Budd, seeing his talent for painting flowers and plants, encouraged him to study botany at Iowa State Agricultural College, where he received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science and a master of science degree in 1896. He went on to a successful career at the Tuskegee Institute, with which Simpson maintains a relationship. Simpson’s Carver Science Center is named in honor of Dr. Carver.
Simpson College’s highly regarded academic programs have been preparing students for coveted careers, competitive research programs and prestigious graduate schools. Backed by a rich liberal arts tradition, today’s Simpson experience is defined by the many exceptional opportunities for learning both in the classroom and in the community. Simpson’s curriculum is guided by five principles that will help students develop the skills and mindset needed to succeed in the ever-changing work environment of the 21st century.
Simpson’s quality liberal arts education emphasizes academic excellence, community engagement, international experiences and success beyond the classroom. The college’s 20 academic departments house 74 majors and minors, as well as three graduate programs, all of which provide students with the skills they need to succeed in a given field. The most in-demand programs include Business Management, Education, Exercise Science, Mathematics and the sciences. Newer majors include Sports Communication, Human Services, Social Justice Studies, Data Science and Health Services Leadership. The student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1, allowing access to faculty in the rigorous, yet supportive, learning environment. Simpson professors are dedicated to their fields of study and equally dedicated to teaching; along with Simpson’s staff, they uphold Simpson’s long-standing commitment to educating the whole person by nourishing the intellectual, spiritual, emotional, social, and physical dimensions of students’ lives.
Simpson’s general education curriculum focuses on high-impact educational practices such as undergraduate research, service learning, first-year experiences, and capstone courses in the major. It emphasizes areas of engagement linked to liberal arts modes of knowledge and embedded skills most valued by today’s employers. The College operates on a 4-4-1 calendar year, which features a three-week May term for students to focus intently on one specific area of study and empowers students to take advantage of Simpson’s many community partnerships and internships, as well as Study Abroad and Study Away. The College also offers summer terms for traditional and non-traditional students.
Simpson’s First-Year Program, which helps ease students into their first-year at the college, is one of the best in the nation. According to College and Character, a national initiative of the John Templeton Foundation, Simpson is one of 60 colleges in the nation that offers students an exemplary program in the first year to develop moral character.
Simpson offers many clubs and organizations that provide great leadership experiences for students. The school hosts more than 60 student clubs and organizations on campus. Some of the options for involvement include: Campus Activities Board, which brings national and local acts to campus and sponsors free entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights; student publications, including an award-winning newspaper, literary magazine and radio station; performance opportunities in theatre productions and music groups; student government; religious life community, which provides chances for vocational exploration, service trips and worship in many faiths; multicultural and international organizations that highlight new cultures and enhance diversity on campus; intramurals; and Greek life. Every year, students participate in Campus Day, an event where classes are put on hold and students participate in community service instead.
In addition, the Simpson College athletics program has a great tradition of success at the NCAA Division III level. As a member of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Simpson’s 19 varsity teams compete for conference, regional and national championships each year. Simpson is committed to helping students become well-rounded athletes, and our student-athletes excel in the classroom and beyond. Simpson student-athletes have received prestigious NCAA postgraduate scholarships, and hundreds of athletes have been named to IIAC All-Academic teams.
Through innovative learning opportunities, individual student attention, and an unwavering commitment to inclusive educational access, Simpson College cultivates a diverse community of learners to lead lives of meaning and purpose.
Grounded in the liberal arts tradition and drawing from our Methodist heritage, Simpson College affirms these values as guiding principles that create our cultural foundation.
Discovery — We design learning opportunities in which curiosity and creativity flourish, where students venture outside their comfort zone to explore their identity and place in the world.
Access — We extend higher education opportunities to all types of learners, empowering students to pursue intellectual, personal, and professional growth.
Citizenship — We prepare students for global and local leadership through broad liberal arts education, experiential and service-learning, and civic engagement.
Belonging — We engender communities of radical hospitality where all are welcome and unique identities are embraced.
Justice — We defend the dignity and worth inherent in all human beings, creating an atmosphere where equity and inclusion are hallmarks of our community.
Integrity — We recognize a moral responsibility to respond to ethical challenges through our religious, secular, and spiritual identities.
Approved by the Board of Trustees Feb. 7, 2020
Diversity and Inclusion Statement
We, the members of the Simpson College community, recognize as an essential component of its mission and history that Simpson College is committed to creating and maintaining a creative, diverse, just, and inclusive community in which all develop their abilities to live and thrive in a complex and interconnected world. Consistent with our educational mission, we recognize ourselves as a community that respects individual identities linked to varying sociocultural characteristics including, but not limited to: race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, first language, religious or spiritual tradition, age, functional ability, socioeconomic status, physical attributes, or familial status.
Further, we recognize that diversity of identities exists in a context of differential power and privilege that we as a community must critically evaluate and engage.
At Simpson College, we strive to create a socially just world that honors the dignity and worth of each, and we seek to build a community centered on equality, mutual respect, and openness to ideas—one in which individuals value cultural and intellectual diversity and share the responsibility for creating an affirming, safe and inclusive environment. We recognize that our community is most inclusive when all participate to their full capacity in the spirited, and sometimes challenging, conversations that are at the center of the College’s educational mission to develop personal integrity, moral responsibility, social justice, and global citizenship.
To learn more about Simpson College, go to https://simpson.edu.
Simpson’s 85-acre campus Indianola campus is a beautiful space and where the majority of classes are offered to their students. Located in south-central Iowa, just 12 miles south of Des Moines, Simpson’s main location gives students the best of both worlds: the friendly atmosphere of a college town with the benefit of living near an exciting metropolitan area. Indianola is host to many nationally known events, including the Des Moines Metro Opera and the National Balloon Classic, which features hot air balloons, balloon rides, competitions and family entertainment. The vibrant, small-town community also has a multitude of choices for entertainment including state parks and trails for recreation, a golf course and many unique restaurants, shops and movie theatres within walking distance of campus.
Located just minutes south of Des Moines, Indianola, Iowa is quickly becoming known as the place to live and work. With a small-town charm, Indianola provides unique business, personal and professional opportunities. For the nature enthusiast, Indianola offers an abundance of parks, trails and outdoor activities. Lake Ahquabi offers a relaxing escape from the summer heat with swimming, sunbathing, grilling, boating and fishing activities on this pristine man-made lake. For those looking for activities that aren't as rustic, one can catch a performance at the Blank Performing Arts Center, enjoy yoga in the park every Saturday during the summer at Buxton Park, catch a movie at Summer Friday Films at the Indianola library or get a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants in Indianola.
Greater Des Moines, Iowa
Simpson’s second campus is located in West Des Moines, Iowa, which is a part of the Greater Des Moines metro area, and serves adult and graduate students. The West Des Moines campus is easy to access, has efficient classrooms, and an environment devoted to learning for students who likely are balancing work and family life as they return to school. Classes offered at the West Des Moines campus are targeted towards Simpson’s continuing and graduate students who are looking to take classes at night or closer to home.
The city of Des Moines is Iowa’s capital city and the anchor of a metropolitan area of more than a half-million people. Des Moines prides itself on its vibrant economy, world-class amenities, friendly communities, short commutes, affordable housing, excellent education system and high-quality healthcare. With national rankings, such as No. 3 Best Affordable Place to Live and No. 1 among “Best Places for Business and Careers” by Forbes magazine, Greater Des Moines is one of the fastest-growing metros in the nation. Greater Des Moines is consistently appearing on lists of the top places in the United States to purchase a home. From chic urban lofts to historical Victorians and planned neighborhoods with ample green space to rural acreages with rolling hills, Des Moines has many affordable living options.
Greater Des Moines communities have a lot to offer in important amenities including restaurants and nightlife, great school districts and robust outdoor recreation opportunities. With many Des Moines suburbs experiencing explosive population growth, new restaurants, breweries, bars and social spaces are popping up across greater Des Moines. As a friendly Midwestern hometown, Des Moines offers signature events from the Iowa State Fair and the Des Moines Arts Festival, to the Iowa Caucuses, as well as a thriving arts and culture scene and family-centered activities. For more information, visit www.dsmpartnership.com.
Napier Executive Search is assisting Simpson College with the search for the Vice President for Enrollment. To arrange for a confidential conversation, please contact Laura Robinson (email@example.com), Catherine Capolupo (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mary Napier (email@example.com).
Candidates who wish to apply should send a resume, a detailed letter outlining interest in the position for Enrollment at Simpson College and contact information for three professional references by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Dec. 15, 2020 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.
Applicants for admission and employment, students, parents of students, employees, sources of referral for admission and employment, and all unions or professional organizations holding collective bargaining or professional agreements with Simpson College are hereby notified that this institution does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, creed, religion, disability, genetic information, veteran or veteran disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other legally protected characteristic in admission, access to, treatment or employment in, its programs and activities.
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