The Hottest Seat on Campus

Today’s enrollment officials need a mind for marketing and a nose for numbers. Thick skin helps, too. And they must accept that, at any moment, their heads could roll.

As the coast-to-coast competition for students intensifies, a profession that rides the whims of teenagers has become even more uncertain. Demographic shifts, declining family incomes, and rising tuition have complicated the task of recruiting and retaining students. On many campuses, shrinking budgets make revenue a daily worry. The belt is tight, and it hurts.

Meanwhile, another story is quietly unfolding. The men and women who run admissions and enrollment offices face growing scrutiny. Like football coaches, those in charge of bringing in students occupy hot seats watched by restless crowds. Presidents and trustees ask them tough questions: How do we get more applications? Where can we find more wealthy students? Why isn’t our campus more diverse? What could we do to improve our ranking? <Read more.>

Via Eric Hoover, The Chronicle of Higher Education.