Chief Enrollment Officers: Who They Are and What They Do

In June, AACRAO released its first Chief Enrollment Management Officer Career Profile Report (CEMO). The survey was designed to capture an understanding of an average CEMO’s career profile and position responsibilities. At the upcoming SEM conference in Los Angeles, AACRAO Director of Research and Managing Consultant Wendy Kilgore will share the results of this report to those interested in learning the career path of CEMOs.  "That’s what this session is designed to do,” said Kilgore. “To introduce people who are interested in becoming a CEMO to what CEMOs are responsible for, who they normally report to, and the typical career path.”

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Wendy Kilgore

Director of Research and Managing Consultant, AACRAO

Chief Enrollment Officers: Who They Are and What They Do

Monday, October 27, 2014 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM


Could you tell us a little bit about AACRAO’s CEMO Career Profile Record?

This is actually the first CEMO profile study completed by AACRAO. We modeled it after the NACUBO reports on Chief Financial Officers. I liked the data they presented and realized we needed something similar for our audience. 

How are CEMOs important to institutional planning?

Most campuses are engaging in some formalization of enrollment management. Typically, the CEMO leads enrollment management efforts at the institution.

What are some interesting findings from your report?

We have a lot of CEMOs who reported they are planning to retire as their next career move. One fifth of respondents are planning to retire. Also one key question that we tried to address in this survey was how one becomes a CEMO? That is, do you have to come from a specific branch or function of the institution, or do CEMOs come from a variety of backgrounds? It turns out there is no clear path which is interesting.

This is the first of AACRAO’s CEMO Career Profile Studies, with plans to revisit this topic every few years. What kinds of changes in demographics can you predict?

The retirement component intrigues me the most. Currently, 60 percent of CEMOs identify as male and 40 percent as female. I don’t know if the retirement aspect may switch that demographic [in a few years] resulting in a higher percentage of female representation.

What do you hope attendees will gain from your session?

I hope attendees gain an understanding of what responsibilities CEMO’s typically have and that there are many career paths to becoming one. I’m sure attendees will be in various stages of their careers and this session could be a chance for them to learn from each other and from the data.