Collaborate, Integrate, Celebrate: Holistic Enrollment Approaches at a Small Campus

Strategic enrollment management (SEM) is a vital planning element for institutions and campuses hoping to enhance student success and fulfill other institution goals. For smaller institutions with a limited budget, implementation of SEM initiatives might seem daunting.

Denise Johnson-Jennings and Mark Volpatti at Indiana University Purdue University – Columbus (IUPUC) found that implementing cross-functional positions is necessary for a small campus budget and has the additional benefit of increasing staff support on future SEM initiatives.

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Denise Johnson-Jennings

Executive Director for Enrollment Management and Dean of Students, IUPUC


Mark Volpatti

Executive Director for Administration and Finance, IUPUC

Collaborate, Integrate, Celebrate: Holistic Enrollment Approaches at a Small Campus

Monday, October 27, 2014 
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Describe your session.

Volpatti: This session is about how a small campus can look at enrollment management with limited resources. Our session is based on the organizational structure and the human resources aspect of enrollment management – what people in their position did to support enrollment management growth at IUPUC.

What is so attractive about cross-functional positions?

Johnson-Jennings: Efficiency components an important piece, given the timing and expectations that campuses do more with less. Due to the holistic nature of cross-functional positions, you also break down some communication barriers and silos that may have developed as a campus get larger. Especially for us, offices with cross-functional positions have a stronger investment in enrollment management and adopt a more positive attitude toward future initiatives.

Can you describe the kind of organizational changes that went on at IUPUI?

Johnson-Jennings: To some degree, our campus was new to enrollment management. We have talked about enrollment management, but we have not done much that was enrollment management-oriented. We are currently dealing with the questions “What is enrollment management to us?” and how to accomplish the organizational changes this entails. We have had a good response on our campus in embracing enrollment management, but there are some understandable obstacles in implementing human resource changes and creating a sense of synergy on campus.

Volpatti: Our registrar, financial aid, and admission offices worked independently from one another. As a small campus, we did not have the resources to higher an additional executive enrollment manager. About two years ago, IUPUC identified Denise in her role as a registrar, her background with academic advising, and ability to do data analysis to create and lead the new division of enrollment management which unified these areas.

What do you hope attendees will gain from your session?

Volpatti: CEMOs from small campuses would really benefit from our session. People who are able to look at other’s job descriptions and find meaningful ways to crossover certain functions with other departments. For example: what could one in an admissions office do in marketing/recruiting that would help facilitate enrollment management thought process?

What are you looking forward to this year’s SEM?

Johnson-Jennings: SEM is always awesome, and we are always pretty excited to go. We are also pretty excited to have some good seafood on the west coast – being from Indiana, we do not always have that luxury.

Volpatti: Both Denise and I went to our first SEM meeting in Orlando. It was a little overwhelming at first. After working on our own enrollment management initiatives, going to these conferences are not as daunting anymore. We can now implement environmental scans and we are excited to see what other new skills we can learn.