Strategic Enrollment Management Quarterly

Advancing research in enrollment and student success

Editor's Note

Tom Green, Ph.D.


The fourth volume of Strategic Enrollment Management Quarterly leads off with four fascinating articles on our profession. From board tensions to tensions within the enrollment manager’s job and from data analysis to social capital, our first issue offers readers well-researched, thoughtful studies of four critical areas of the field.

Two articles analyze the tensions of competing goals on enrollment managers. Jeffrey P. Levine’s study of leadership tension between boards and presidents/chancellors looks at how these sometimes public wrestling matches impact enrollment managers. In this way, it reflects external pressures on the enrollment manager’s position and how these public displays may impact enrollment, generally. As Levine notes, governance tensions are not new in higher education. The five cases in American higher education point to the fallout from public battles or scandals on institutional enrollment work.

Adam W. Johnson’s study of enrollment managers’ pressures and competing demands investigates the internal pressures faced in our field. Balancing time, data, and expectations, as Johnson notes, is a tall order for enrollment managers today and one that creates significant stress. This qualitative study includes a word association exercise that readers will enjoy. You may wish to consider your own responses to Johnson’s prompts.

Student success remains a key element of SEM and John M. Braxton’s team article examines the role that cultural capital plays in student engagement, commitment, and attainment. It traces how social capital builds through engagement and institutional commitment to attainment of educational goals. Building social capital in residential environments is examined as one medium to improve student outcomes.

Enrollment managers face mountains of data produced by our modern student information and related systems. Jay W. Goff, Brian G. Williams, and Wendy Kilgore provide a framework for data governance, collection, and analysis. This is the leading edge of data use in SEM, and, as such, there are few strong examples of institutional practice. The authors use Goff’s Saint Louis University, a leader in data use, to illustrate their concepts and provide practical examples that can be adapted to a variety of institutional settings.

Wishing you great success in meeting your enrollment goals.