Robert currently serves as vice president for strategic enrollment management at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has a proven record of consistent enrollment leadership success. He has led four years of progressive results at Augsburg, welcoming the largest and most diverse entering classes in its 153-year history.
Robert’s vision at Augsburg is to flip the enrollment management strategy and remove barriers so that the university applies to the student. The COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing racial injustice, and the great resignation underscored the potential for this “inside out” change. He circled with a cadre of innovative team members and partners like the Minnesota Office of Higher Education; APR (Applied Policy Research); the Art & Science Group; Spark 451; Marie Bigham, founder and executive director of ACCEPT (Admissions Community Cultivating Equity & Peace Today); and Nicole Johnson, founder of the Harriet Tubman Effect Institute. The culmination of these strategic collaborations led to the university launching “Augsburg Applies To You” in fall 2022. Augsburg is making the major shift from a “gatekeeper” model of admissions to an enrollment experience focused on student belonging. This new strategy includes a totally new way to be admitted and a new approach to student engagement that is connected to first-year student success.
Robert’s career spans multiple tuition-driven institutions, both public and private, open and selective admissions, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. In the middle of his career he served as a vice president for finance and administrative operations for eight years—a valuable experience that continues to inform his vocation of enrollment management. Having learned as much from his failures as his successes, Robert draws inspiration from the poem “The Guest House” by Jalaluddin Rumi. He views his DEI posture of being a “Belonging Adventurer” as a form of powerful personal healing.