St. Catherine University (St. Kate’s) invites applications for Senior Vice President of Enrollment Management and Athletics (SVP).

Based in the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, St. Kate’s is home to a diverse group of nearly 5,000 students in a wide array of disciplines and degree levels. At its heart, the legacy of its founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJs), informs every facet of this private Catholic university. The Senior Vice President will lead based on values inspired by the Sisters, including those of community, spirituality, and social justice.


Reporting to the President, the Senior Vice President of enrollment management and athletics is responsible for providing strategic and comprehensive leadership of functions and services related to net tuition revenue, strategic enrollment growth, and student retention at St. Catherine University (St. Kate’s) for our three colleges: College for Women (1800 students), College for Adults (1400 students), and Graduate College (1,600 students). Success is driven by the development and implementation of the strategic enrollment management plan that is fully integrated into the University enterprise, which includes all aspects of recruitment, enrollment marketing, admissions, tuition pricing, fee revenue, financial aid, athletics, and Institutional Research so that a diverse student body is identified, recruited, retained, supported, and graduated.

Direct reports include (1) AVP College for Women, (2) AVP Admission and Market Development College for Adult and Graduate College, (3) AVP Enrollment Management Director and Financial Aid, (4) AVP Marketing Enrollment, (5) Director Athletics and Butler Center, (6) Institutional Research Analyst.

The SVP must be able to build strong and trusting relationships so that major decisions made in any area of the University include the voice and perspective of the enrollment management team so that we understand the impact the decision will have on new/transfer student recruitment and retention. They must be both creative and data driven to both lead and coordinate planning in close collaboration with and support of all members of the President’s Senior Leadership Team in their commitment to deliver the mission of St. Kate’s as measured by growth in total enrollment for the entire University and its impact on every area of our operations. Strong communications and deep collaboration are especially critical with the Provost studying and identifying trends in academic programs needing to be launched or altered, and with the Chief Financial Officer in assessing the risk and financial implications of enrollment strategy decisions as together we successfully implement the University’s Strategic Plan-Setting our Sails 2028 including the Academic Master Plan.

This leader serves as a strong advocate and liaison with internal and external constituents for issues related to access, admissions policies/scholarships/financial aid guidelines; and collaborates with academic leadership on student success and retention. The SVP works collaboratively with other campus community members and advises the president on divisional, university and external matters, as appropriate.


Leadership of University-wide strategic enrollment management (SEM)

  • Lead university-wide, cross-departmental efforts to develop, implement and execute a strategic enrollment management plan to meet goals for net revenue generation through the recruitment and retention of traditional undergraduate, adult undergraduate, transfer, graduate and international students;
  • Lead university-wide strategic plans to maximize retention and improve on-time graduation rates in joint work with all student and academic affairs function. Convene and lead a cross-functional matrix of academic leaders, chairs and directors and key offices (including registrar, academic advising, student affairs, and student accounts) to continuously improve University-wide student retention;
  • Maintain a strong enrollment analytics function within the division that leverages tools and access to data to inform University-wide decision-making;
  • In partnership with the provost, conduct ongoing assessment of the market-readiness of new and existing programs of study, curricula and co-curricular experiences. Assess the impact on enrollment and net revenue of current curricular design and potential changes to curricula, core requirements, transfer-of-credit, residency and other academic policies. Advocate, as needed, for changes to academic programs and policies to ensure competitiveness of academic programs and growth in net revenue. This would include recommendations of which programs to grow or close, and enrollment targets by program;
  • Lead the University’s annual and long-term tuition revenue projections, including revenue projections for annual budgets and medium- and long-term revenue forecasts;
  • Monitor and communicate internal and external enrollment trends for all colleges and identify potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to current programs to ensure the University is meeting the current and future needs of students. Ensure close communication and collaboration with the Provost and Academic Affairs to prioritize and fund our most critical program development or enhancement. Help develop among leadership, administration and faculty a university culture that makes enrollment and the interests of prospective students a high priority and a responsibility of all;
  • Facilitate enrollment processes across the university, ensuring compliance with applicable federal, state, accreditation, system and university policies and rules, including providing guidance and cataloging processes across the university;
  • Ongoing staff support to the Board of Trustees and its committees as assigned and needed.

Oversight over Admissions, Enrollment Marketing and Financial Aid

  • Support direct reports in their work to continually analyze, refine and manage processes, policies, technologies, and resources dedicated to delivering admission, financial aid, recruitment activities, holistic review processes, admission strategies and enrollment student services to ensure they are structured effectively to attract and support high achieving, diverse students from a high-level visitor experience through the enrollment funnel to course registration of courses to graduation in support of student success. Ensure a motivated and effective admissions team that uses all the technology tools and innovative techniques to convert leads into enrollment;
  • Support direct reports in their work to develop strategies to ensure effective use of scholarship and financial aid funds to recruit, retain and graduate students across all three colleges. In concert with Institutional Advancement, provide content expertise to secure additional scholarship funding;
  • With direct reports, determine and lead the overall marketing strategy, implementation, and budget supervision of all lead-generation and enrollment marketing with the brand standards of the University. Engage with the university marketing team to ensure that signature programs have the necessary sub-branding and differentiated identity that directly appeals to the target prospective student pool and that the web site and other marketing efforts are driving enrollment.

Oversight over Athletics

  • Provide leadership over University Athletics with the Athletic Director as a direct report;
  • Ensure Athletics remains a strong part of the University Enrollment plan in both recruitment and retention;
  • Serve as the University Athletic Direct Report (ADR) for NCAA and MIAC Conference.

Oversight over Institutional Research (IR)

  • Provide leadership over Institutional Research;
  • Ensure all mandatory reporting is complete, accurate, and in compliance (IPEDS);
  • Leverage IR to provide data and insights as a major part of the strategic and tactical enrollment management planning.

Build Relationships

  • Engage external and internal constituents, fostering communication strategies, forming partnerships with other educational institutions (K-12, community colleges, and other universities), businesses, government and nonprofit agencies, and applicable community and higher education organizations, and advancing the university through enrollment efforts;
  • Represent the division and the university, both on and off campus, as a representative of enrollment services and provide leadership within the state and nation, as needed.


The President has identified the areas of priority for the next Senior Vice President for Enrollment Management and Athletics.  The list is intended to help nominators and prospective candidates better understand the challenges facing Enrollment Management and the University, the opportunities that await as well as to define the standards by which candidates will be measured.

Strategic Enrollment Plan

The success of the SVP will be driven by the successful development and implementation of a comprehensive strategic enrollment management plan that is fully integrated into the University enterprise, which includes all aspects of recruitment, enrollment, marketing, admissions, tuition pricing, fee revenue, financial aid, athletics, and Institutional Research so that a diverse student body is identified, recruited, retained, supported and graduated.  The SVP will be expected to work in collaboration with the Academic Affairs Leadership Team (AALT) to develop an overall strategy to build a distinct student profile for each of the three colleges.  In partnership with the AALT, the SVP will lead the re-envisioning of how to develop and grow the student populations for all three colleges; with an initial focus on the undergraduate population of the College for Adults.  The SVP will develop and implement a successful recruitment strategy to grow the university’s international student population. The SVP will lead the development and implementation of a robust marketing plan and work in conjunction with the AALT to determine the market readiness of new and existing programs.

Financial Aid

As a tuition dependent institution, the need for a financial aid strategy is key.  The SVP will be expected to lead the development of a comprehensive financial aid strategy that leverages the university's available funding to support specific enrollment strategies for the College for Women, the College for Adults and the Graduate College populations inclusive of short- and long-term financial goals.  The SVP will work in partnership with the CFO and the AALT in the development of this critical strategy.  The overall strategy should be creative and data driven and align with the strategic enrollment plan and leverage the university’s financial resources.

Inclusive Excellence

The SVP must have a demonstrated commitment to Inclusive Excellence. This includes a commitment to the core principles of diversity and inclusion with an explicit emphasis on equity and excellence in student learning. St. Kate’s is committed to making Inclusive Excellence a reality and has identified “Drive a Culture of Inclusive Excellence” as one of its six strategic priorities in the University’s strategic plan. Goal areas identified relate to the need to increase the diversity of the graduate student population and to increase the retention, persistence and graduation rates of students of color.  Another goal area is to increase the number of faculty and staff of color by implementing new recruitment strategies and training for search committees. Furthermore, the plan calls for a focus on increase the retention rate of faculty and staff of color with additional resources for ongoing professional development. Additional initiatives include the expansion of equity and inclusion-centered curricular content in specific courses and in each program of study. Finally, the plan has an explicit focus on the articulation and development of the essential skills students must possess to succeed in diverse and inclusive workplaces and communities and defining how the educational program and co-curricular student experience will foster these outcomes.

The new SVP must have a Master’s Degree alongside significant progressive senior level experience in enrollment management and financial aid.


  • At least three years of experience working in enrollment management developing and executing successful enrollment management strategies with traditional, adult and graduate student populations in a comprehensive institution;
  • Evidence of exceptional ability to lead and manage diverse teams, especially in terms of establishing and implementing a shared, innovative vision and strategies for achievement;
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills, including a demonstrated ability to establish and nurture relationships with external and internal constituents at the most senior level;
  • Proven project management and change management skills with record of achieving results across a broad portfolio;
  • A consummate collaborator, with a results orientation;
  • Aptitude for creative, inspiring, and accomplished leadership with the highest level of commitment to advancing the organization’s goals;
  • Proven ability in growing and sustaining racial, ethnic, and economic diversity in a student body and a deep understanding of the value of a diverse community;
  • Demonstrated success in evaluating and improving the practices of the student enrollment experience, including timely, effective, and positive engagement with students and families throughout their experiences with admissions and financial aid;
  • Strong analytical skills, including the ability to digest and apply relevant research and data, leveraging analytics and technological tools;
  • Strong conceptual problem-solving skills, with experience in using analysis to develop strategies and drive change within an organization;
  • Experience in hiring staff and creating effective teams;
  • Well-developed fiscal and budget management skills;
  • Demonstrated skills in program assessment and evaluation;
  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering an inclusive climate for students, faculty, and staff;
  • AND demonstrated ability to raise funds and work with donors.


  • Doctoral degree;
  • 10+ years of progressive experience in enrollment management and student engagement fields;
  • Experience in community and civic engagement with knowledge of higher education trends;
  • Experience in directing a unit within a higher education context (ideally in a liberal arts institution); good working knowledge of higher education administration and education policies;
  • Capacity to articulate the breadth and value of the liberal arts experience.


Formerly the College of St. Catherine, St. Kate’s was founded in St. Paul in 1905 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, under the leadership of Mother Seraphine Ireland with Mother Antonia McHugh, who served as the first dean and president. Founded in 17th-century France, the Sisters of St. Joseph are committed to doing “all of which woman is capable, and which will most benefit the dear neighbor.” The Sisters’ social justice mission of loving God and neighbor without distinction anchors their commitment to respond to the needs of the time. The University is named for St. Catherine of Alexandria, the 4th-century Egyptian philosopher, who suffered martyrdom for her faith.

St. Kate’s is a nationally recognized university with the College for Women at its core. It is one of the most comprehensive Catholic universities in the United States, offering access to an education in over 80 academic programs ranging from professional certificates to post-graduate degrees in the liberal arts and professional programs. In 2009, St. Kate’s moved from college to university status, retaining its tradition of academic excellence while expanding its structure to three colleges and three schools. The three schools are the School of Humanities, Arts and Sciences (SHAS), School of Business, and the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health (HSSH), each of which serves students in the College for Women (one of the largest Catholic colleges for women in the nation), the Graduate College, and the College for Adults. The University’s commitment to inclusive excellence encourages students across schools and colleges to incorporate global learning and experiences into their education. St. Kate’s is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


The Search Committee invites nominations and applications (A thoughtful letter of interest, addressing, as appropriate, the issues and desired qualifications outlined in this profile, current resume or CV showing relevant responsibilities and accomplishments, and the names and contact information of at least five references) to be submitted to the search firm assisting St. Catherine University. Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made. The Search Committee prefers that all nominations and applications be submitted to the search firm prior to October 9, 2020.

Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
Grant Higgison, Principal
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875 || Atlanta, GA 30328
(770) 804-1996 x 118 ||

St. Catherine University is committed to providing equal opportunities to all applicants and employees, according to all applicable equal opportunity and affirmative action laws, directives, and regulations of federal, state, and local governing bodies and agencies. In keeping this commitment, it is the policy of St. Catherine University to base all employment decisions only on valid job requirements without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, genetic information, marital status, familial status, public assistance status, local human rights commission activity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or status as a qualified protected veteran.

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