On her blog, group member Susan Hallenback shares excerpts of an email she received from a New England-area university seeking an enrollment management leader. The email includes the following . . .
This VP of Marketing and Enrollment Management will have overall responsibility for the college’s activities in student acquisition, enrollment, and retention. He or she will be asked to play a particularly important role in bringing the best operational and recruitment practices from the for-profit sector, especially on-line recruitment with real-time data driven strategies, call center support, and a strong sales orientation.
As Ms. Hallenback notes, the emphasis on ‘sales’ at a non-profit institution is unusual. But what is most interesting, of course, is the direct request for skills typical of the for-profit higher education sector. I view this as a symptom of a larger trend toward more sophisticated (and, yes, aggresive) management practices in higher education. There is an awakening, of sorts, in higher education; a recognition that higher education is (and has long been) a business.