S&K Conference – What trustees need to know about enrollment management?

Tom Flynn President of Alvernia College

How you approach board education has to be in tune with board and institutional culture.

The less experienced you are the more cautious you should be.

Ideal overall curriculum includes

  • institutional knowledge – functional areas of institution, priorities, key issues
  • External Environment – this is where we fall down, trends, threats, opportunities
  • Planning and Strategy – explanation of how planning works
  • Board Governance and Culture
  • Academic Culture

Enrollment Management for the board is critical for keys to goals, revenue, image, customer satisfaction, outcomes.

Curriculum for each area is embedded into a committee meeting. This helps the board learn along the way. You can try joint committee meetings.

Enrollment Management is joint sub committee of educational affairs and finance. This is a new mold at Alvernia. VP’s need to “staff” committee chairs for their reports to the board


Enrollment Management is complex. Makes it difficult to communicate to trustees who are a diverse audience. EM lends itself to information overload. Emphasize balance of broad themes and specific data. It’s your job to think about what they need to add value.

Most of the public understands enrollment through the lens of the media.

Avoid tactical conversations but emphasize enrollment and marketing strategy.

10 lessons

  1. Aligning mission and market – understand the institutions position
  2. What’s the data say – monitor trends and data based decision making
  3. Managing Trade Offs – developing models and scenarios
  4. It’s about more than the freshman – understand overall discount rate
  5. It’s about more than more freshman – shaping the profile
  6. It’s about the demand stupid! – working the funnel
  7. Moving beyond friendliness – develop a brand
  8. When life looks like … Easy street – contingency planning and models
  9. Are we dressed for success? – integrating institutional success
  10. What gets measured gets done – developing a dashboard

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