NIU is a high research (R2) and Carnegie-engaged institution that enrolls over 16,000 students, including over 700 international students and approximately 4,500 graduate students. NIU’s Graduate School is home to 80 degree programs across six colleges, in addition to 65 certificate programs.
Located 65 miles from downtown Chicago, in DeKalb, Illinois, NIU is a thriving community of dedicated faculty, staff, students, alumni, local residents, and friends. Together, we support the goal of providing upward social mobility to our students as well as the opportunity to make an enduring impact on our future. The successful candidate will enhance the university’s growing reputation as a leading public and national research university, and importantly, share in NIU’s commitment to creating an equitable and inclusive learning and living environment.
Reporting to the Dean of Graduate School and Associate Vice President of International Affairs, the Executive Director of Graduate Enrollment provides direction and leadership to the enrollment management efforts of both domestic and international graduate students to include lead generation, inquiry cultivation, application management, pre- and post-admit communications, and retention. Working with key internal stakeholders, the Executive Director works to develop proactive and nimble strategies to adjust to changing environments and trends in recruitment and admission of graduate students; uses best practices and current technological solutions to manage search, inquiry, and applicant pools, and maintains communications throughout the student lifecycle to facilitate retention and timely degree completion.
Working collaboratively with the Dean of Graduate School, academic deans, graduate program directors, and the Vice President of Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications, the
Executive Director will develop a goal-focused and results-driven graduate enrollment management plan designed to meet enrollment targets related to quantity, quality, and diversity and will support other university enrollment initiatives. The Executive Director leads a team of professional staff focused on identifying, admitting, enrolling, retaining, and graduating graduate students.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Strategic Planning and Leadership – 35%
Provide overall leadership, strategic direction, management, and oversight for activities related to pipeline development, recruitment, financial aid, admissions, yield, and on-boarding for the graduate student population.
Bring models, methods, and mechanisms of strategic enrollment management to the Graduate School to instill discipline and intentionality into goal setting and enrollment management processes that will assist internal stakeholders in gaining a better understanding of the integrated and holistic nature of the enrollment process.
Develop structure, strategy, and systems to ensure the collection and utilization of data across the institution that will guide planning, inform and evaluate enrollment and marketing strategies, assess competitive position and post-graduation student outcomes, and orchestrate change.
Responsible for hiring, training, and developing a high-performance team that is data-informed and results-driven.
Serve as a collaborative and innovative member of the Graduate School leadership team and assist in strategic goal setting and establishing metrics for both short- and long-term plans associated with the Graduate School.
Develop an annual tactical business plan to ensure fiscal and human resources are aligned to achieve the university’s enrollment goals.
Recruitment, Admission and Student Persistence – 30%
Organize graduate enrollment management activities so that critical functions are optimally aligned, while maintaining program autonomy across a highly differentiated academic program portfolio.
Architect and implement CRM strategies designed to communicate, build relationships with students and key influencers, and improve business processes and outcomes throughout all funnel stages.
Regularly evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of programs and processes to assess impact on conversion and yield metrics and ensure alignment with strategic goals and direction of the unit.
Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of admissions policies, practices and procedures and their impact on university goals related to retention and graduation.
Oversee centralized graduate admission operations, including the processing of applications, application review, admission decisions and notification for all graduate programs.
Provide leadership, guidance, and coaching to graduate programs to assist them in assessing market conditions and matters impacting recruitment
Collaborate with stakeholders to help them meet recruitment goals while providing best practices in student recruitment and yield activities
Strategic Partnerships – 25%
Work collaboratively with units outside of the Graduate School to cascade enrollment management principles and practices to those units to better align and integrate enrollment management efforts.
Liaison with academic units to ensure a comprehensive and student-centric approach to the recruitment, admission, on-boarding, persistence, and graduation of graduate students, while serving as a lead in developing and recommending new strategies.
In collaboration with the Division of Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications, develop an integrated communications strategy utilizing an approach that is scalable and sustainable across highly differentiated academic programs.
Collaborate with peer institutions to share best practices and represent NIU at relevant regional and national forums and meetings.
Oversee campus-wide plan for training, sharing best internal and external practices, and serving as the lead in connecting graduate enrollment management with graduate program staff, program directors, chairs, and other administrators working with graduate students and/or graduate programs.
Other Related Duties – 10%