Kimberley Buster-Williams

Photograph of Kimberley Buster-Williams

Kimberley has three decades of experience in higher education and currently serves as the Vice President for Enrollment Management at Northeastern Illinois University. She is nearing the completion of her doctoral degree in higher education where her research has focused on succession planning in higher education. 

Ms. Buster-Williams has a proven track record of consistent enrollment success and is widely viewed as one of the top enrollment professionals in the country. In her role as VPEM at Northeastern Illinois University, Buster-Williams leads a division comprised of Undergraduate Admissions, Graduate Admissions, International Programs, Financial Aid, Registrar, Advising, and Student Success and Retention. 

During her tenure at the University of Mary Washington (UMW) from 2014- 2021, the percentage of students of color has grew from 23 percent in 2014 to 30 percent in 2021. In 2001, students of color made up 11.2 percent of UMW’s student population. Prior to joining the University of Mary Washington, she served as the Acting AVP for Enrollment Management at Northern Illinois University, reinvigorating enrollment operations and growing enrollment in key Illinois collar counties three years after a deadly mass campus shooting in 2008. From 2004–2011, Kimberley served as Director of Admissions at the University of Michigan- Flint, building an undergraduate admissions program that was described by peers as “small but mighty.” Under Kimberley’s leadership, the University realized a 29 percent increase in new first-year enrollment (2005-2011), and a 200 percent increase in international student enrollment. 

Kimberley has had a noteworthy impact on the enrollment management profession as it relates to researching and chronicling the history of higher education from a Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) perspective. She is the author of the recently published book History of American Higher Education A to Z - A primer for Enrollment Managers. In addition, Kimberley’s course, History and Progress: 400 Years of American Higher Education is available on-demand as an AACRAO Credly™ micro-credential. 

Kimberley has published over twenty-five articles across several peer-reviewed journals and has presented both nationally and internationally. Recent presentations include “Closing Equity Gaps in Enrollment – A Four-Pronged Approach” AACRAO Webinar, October,22, 2021, “Access and Equity in College Admissions,” AACRAO SEM Conference- October 30, 2020, “SEM and Retention; The Perfect Pair” AACRAO Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Conference, November 2018 and "We check More Than One Racial Category... Are You Ready for Us?" (College Board Southern Regional Forum, February 2016). 

Ms. Buster-Williams earned an Ed.S. degree in Higher Education Administration, a master's degree in Education Administration, and a bachelor's degree in English, all from Old Dominion University. She also holds a postmaster's certificate in leadership from the University of Michigan's Center for the Education of Women.

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