Elon University, the premier student-centered environment for experiential learning, seeks an experienced and energetic Dean of Undergraduate Admissions. The Dean will embrace Boldly Elon, the strategic plan for 2030, that will advance the University as a leading residential institution and will sharply define Elon’s position as a top-100 national university. Founded in 1889 and located in the college town of Elon, North Carolina, Elon University has built a reputation as a university like no other, a school that transformed from a small North Carolina liberal arts college to become a prestigious national university with 7,000 students from around the world.
The Dean of Undergraduate Admissions will report to the Vice President of Enrollment and be responsible for annual enrollment of undergraduate students to support the overall enrollment objectives of the university. In addition, the forward thinking and innovative Dean will provide dynamic leadership and strong management to a talented staff of five primary reports and an entire office of 30 admissions professionals.
Responsibilities and Priorities:
The essential duties and responsibilities of the Dean of Undergraduate Admissions include:
Set an annual strategic plan, with the Vice President for Enrollment, for undergraduate enrollment and oversee implementation;
Hire and provide appropriate supervision of the staff necessary to implement department enrollment goals; mentor new staff and value the wisdom of experienced staff while recognizing and capitalizing on strengths of the entire team through professional development;
Provide budget management for undergraduate admissions;
Demonstrate a commitment to a campus culture that promotes and values inclusion, diversity, equity, and access; promote a welcoming environment and true understanding for students and colleagues of complex identities and backgrounds
Identify and prepare student speakers for on and off campus event presentations;
Implement a marketing plan to attract and enroll new matriculants; act as a storyteller who can develop digital and print publications to accurately, effectively, and professionally present the university and to manage all associated costs;
Oversee a program of physical and virtual recruitment to support marketing and enrollment goals;
Develop and maintain systems of application and application review for the different enrolling populations; and the program of correspondence to support the different marketing programs
Manage a small recruitment territory;
Provide oversight for a program of campus visitation to inform prospective students about the university;
Represent the university in professional organizations, to secondary schools, community-based organizations and other related external venues;
Understand, appreciate and articulate the benefits and value proposition of Elon’s educational experience as a private, residential institution that provides outstanding teaching and mentoring and experiential learning;
In line with the strategic plan, support an enrollment growth model while maintaining a low discount rate;
Take calculated risks and lead change within an evolving and ambitious environment.
Elon’s historic 656-acre campus in central North Carolina is designated as a botanical garden and includes the 56-acre Elon University Forest, a land preserve and natural area for scientific research; and the Elon Environmental Center at Loy Farm, a center for environmental research and sustainability that includes a solar farm.
Led by Elon’s 9th president, Connie Ledoux Book, Elon’s rigorous curriculum is grounded in the arts and sciences and complemented by nationally accredited professional and graduate programs. The 447 full-time faculty members teach in more than 60 undergraduate majors, along with master’s programs in business administration, management, accounting, education, higher education, interactive media and physician assistant studies; and doctoral programs in physical therapy and law. Elon’s four-year graduation rate of 79 percent ranks #35 among U.S. News National Universities.
The university includes Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences; the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business; the School of Communications; the School of Education; the School of Health Sciences; and the School of Law, which is located on a campus in downtown Greensboro, N.C. Elon’s 6,291 undergraduate and 826 graduate students hail from 46 states and 49 other countries. About 24 percent are from North Carolina, with strong enrollment numbers from the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and other states across the country.
Global engagement is central to Elon’s experience and the Institute of International Education has ranked Elon #1 in the nation for study abroad for 15 straight years. Eighty percent of students have at least one international study experience, often combined with internships, research or service. In addition, Elon’s Study USA program includes opportunities to study in Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Alaska and other locations.
Elon earns top rankings for community service by the federal government’s Corporation for National and Community Service, with 88 percent of students participating in service-learning. In addition, 87 percent of students complete internships, 58 percent of students hold at least one campus leadership position, and 22 percent of students work with faculty mentors on undergraduate research projects.
Elon’s engaging intellectual climate is distinguished by supportive and collaborative human relationships that promote personal growth. More than 200 student organizations flourish, providing a rich array of opportunities to get involved. Student Professional Development Center counselors work with students to create personal development plans, resumes and strong networking skills. The robust Elon Network of employers, alumni and parents provides connections to internships and career opportunities.
Elon is ranked among the top-100 National Universities by U.S. News & World Report, with a #2 ranking for excellence in undergraduate teaching and #10 for innovation. In addition, Elon is the leader in the “Focus on Student Success” feature – the only college or university ranked in the top-20 in all eight categories of high-impact academic programs. Included are #1 rankings for study abroad and learning communities and #2 rankings for first-year experiences, senior capstone and service learning.
Elon is a member of the Colonial Athletics Association, and the Phoenix athletics program includes 17 intercollegiate men’s and women’s sports in NCAA Division I (FCS football). In addition, Elon offers 18 intramural and 21 club sports.
Elon is an academic community that provides a calibrated balance of challenge and encouragement, helping students discover the ambition to seek something great and the courage to achieve it. Elon is a university with a powerful trajectory—ever on the rise and always striving to achieve higher levels of excellence.
Elon University is located in the beautifully historic Alamance County. The Town of Elon, with a population of approximately 10,000, is home to a number of businesses envisioned, developed and run by Elon University alumni including Pandora’s Pies, The Oak House, The Root and Simply Oak Boutique all of which are located in Downtown Elon. Downtown Elon is also home to the first MaGerk’s Pub in the South and is the second location in North Carolina for the Mediterranean Deli & Grocery. The Town of Elon also offers two parks with walking trails and programming five minutes from campus. Downtown Elon hosts a variety of events throughout the year open to the community.
Just ten minutes from campus, the city of Burlington (population approximately 53,000), features Alamance Crossing, a large outdoor shopping mall, a variety of restaurants and the beautiful Lake Mackintosh, an 1100-acre lake with canoeing, paddle-boats and outdoor picnic facilities, just minutes from campus. It is home to the Burlington City Park Carousel, a handcrafted menagerie carousel built in the early 1900s by the Dentzel Carousel Company and featuring hand-carved animals. The county also includes historical sites, such as the Alamance Battleground and the WWII Home-front Museum.
The first phase of the Burlington Greenway and Bikeway was completed in summer of 2020. Connecting downtown Elon and downtown Burlington, the Greenway creates a convenient and safe way fo bikes and pedestrians to travel from campus to Burlington, enhancing the quality of life.
Three of the public elementary schools in the county offer Spanish language immersion programs. With the help of Splash! Language Immersion, several schools have been established where all instruction is given in Spanish by native speaking teachers.
Just off the I-40 corridor, Elon’s location provides access to some of North Carolina’s largest metropolitan areas, as well as numerous outdoor and leisure activities. A short distance from Elon are the triad cities of Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point, and to the east Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh, the anchors of the triangle. With populations of 1.6 million and 1.7 million respectively, these areas contain renowned furniture factories, top golf courses, shopping opportunities and historic sites, as well as hiking, swimming and skiing opportunities.
Napier Executive Search is assisting Elon University with this search for Dean of Undergraduate Admissions. For more information or to nominate someone for this position, contact Mary Napier ([email protected]) or Laura Robinson ([email protected]) for a confidential conversation. Interested candidates should submit a résumé along with a cover letter expressing interest in this position. Candidates should provide the names and contact information of at least three professional references; references will not be contacted without permission. All application materials should be submitted electronically to [email protected] as soon as possible. Materials will be reviewed beginning June 28, 2021, and the search will remain open until the position is filled. The anticipated start date is late summer, 2021.
Elon University is an equal employment opportunity employer committed to a diverse faculty, staff and student body and welcomes all applicants.
Qualifications, Abilities and Desired Characteristics:
It is expected that the Dean of Undergraduate Admission will have a master’s degree or other advanced degree. In addition, Elon University expects candidates to have had a minimum of five years of senior admission management experience.
The successful candidate will also possess the following abilities and characteristics:
Partnership and Collaboration
Excellent organizational, management, planning and marketing skills; the ability to manage multiple responsibilities and meet deadlines.
Ability to contribute to senior leadership team in innovation, planning and implementation;
Engagement with the campus in the recruiting process by building an atmosphere of enrollment management through collaboration and transparent communication with faculty, deans, students, athletics and alumni;
Outstanding communicator who possesses strong interpersonal and presentation skills for speaking confidently and engagingly with prospective students, their families, campus colleagues, counselors, and alumni;
Ability to write speeches and articles using original or innovative techniques or style, including the ability to make effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to senior management, and public groups;
Ability to meet and work well with the public and to represent the institution with polish, professionalism, confidence, and knowledge;
Expertise in Enrollment Management best practices
High level knowledge of national and international market demographics, demands, and trends to help inform recruitment strategy;
Ability to read, analyze, and interpret most complex documents and respond effectively to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints;
Application of advanced mathematical concepts and mathematical operations to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions; ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables;
Proficiency in appropriate software systems including Microsoft Office, email, and Ellucian Colleague; experience with Slate is preferred;
Ability to Embrace Elon’s Culture, Mission and Excellence
An understanding of Elon and a deep respect for the mission, as well as the ability to build out and advance the mission, especially by partnering with others;
Desire to make immediate contributions to an ambitious, forward thinking and quickly moving culture;
Demonstrated commitment to and success in recruiting and enrolling students from diverse and under-served populations;
Experience in identifying those students who exhibit top-of-their-class scholarship, leadership, service, creativity, talent or entrepreneurialism.
High level Management and Leadership Skills
Ability to work independently as well as inspire, mentor, motivate and be a part of a talented and hard-working team, engendering trust that brings success;
Possession of critical self-reflection, emotional intelligence and multicultural competence in order to engage and promote a culture of inclusivity;
Sense of humility and accountability, and a willingness to create an environment of transparency and a community of enjoyment in the workplace;
Innovative, creative and flexible spirit with personal compassion, approachability and the willingness to listen to all members of the admissions staff as well as others throughout the university.
Internal Number: Elon
About Napier Executive Search
Napier Executive Search specializes in senior level enrollment management searches for post-secondary institutions. Established in 2014, the firm's search consultants bring extensive experience in enrollment management positions along with knowledge of today's employment landscape. Calling on our past experience in higher education enrollment roles and extensive sales and consultative experience with deans, directors and vice presidents across multiple states and regions, we nurture connections with enrollment professionals.