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Enrollment Management Services (EMS) Today
A Proposal for the International University for
Development in West Africa
Revised July, 2002

Background

The International University for Development in West Africa (IUDWA) is a private, non-profit American style university with instruction in English. It is located in Côte d'Ivoire near Abidjan. IUDWA expects to open in fall 2003 with an undergraduate class of approximately 100 students. The University plans to add graduate programs after it opens. IUDWA plans to grow 1500 students. The curricula are career related with the first programs in business and computer science. Admission criteria to the university will be similar to admission criteria to many universities in the United States. Its organizational structure is similar to most colleges in the United States. The Enrollment Management Services (EMS) unit falls within the division of Student Affairs and is led by an Associate Vice President. The EMS organization is responsible for the recruitment, admission, enrollment, and retention of students.


Enrollment Management Service Organizations

Overview of the Enrollment Management Services Model

The proposed Enrollment Management Services organizational model has different names. The name Enrollment Management Services seems appropriate because it reflects that it is a management structure but one that emphasizes services to its customers. The model stresses flexibility in addressing the needs of customers. Adopting this model, or some version of the model, should enable IUDWA leaders and managers to meet the changing needs of the university as it develops.

The EMS organization proposed for IUDWA is a cross-functional team model. It is a model that put emphasis on services to students that are meaningful to students. It emphasizes the services students need and want, in a way they want to receive them and when they want to receive them.

The cross-functional team model eliminates many of the boundaries and rigidities of separate enrollment management services units, i.e., admissions/recruitment, registrar, financial aid, student accounts/bursar, orientation and academic and career advising. Student housing is not included in this model, but student housing is very important to recruitment, admissions, enrollment, and retention of students. There must be close coordination and cooperation with student housing as well as with other student affairs units.

`The EMS cross-functional team model includes all the usual functions performed by the individual offices today, but organizes them in a different way. The model de-emphasizes vertical or silo structures and emphasizes horizontal or cross-functional structures. There are many benefits to the organization for adapting this model. For example, from the customer service perspective the EMS model provides better and more convenient services. From a management perspective, staff members who are cross-trained in many different tasks means that all tasks are covered all the time even when some staff members are on vacations, out sick, etc. It also means that when a staff members leaves, history does not go with them.

One of the main tenets of the enrollment management services model is that its student services are located in one place, a concept usually called one-stop shopping. This could be a physical location, the one stop center staffed by cross functional team members, or it could be web address (URL). Usually it is a combination of both. The needs of the customer drive which one he/she will use to conduct business.


EMS Leadership/Management Structure

An Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Services leads the EMS organization. Reporting to the Associate VP is a Assistant Vice President for EMS/Registrar (AVP) and a Director of Enrollment Management Services. Registrar is the one functional title I have chosen to keep since its history and its functions are deeply rooted in the academic culture of the university. The Assistant Vice President will serve as Vice President in the absence of the Vice President.

General Leader/Management Responsibilities

The leadership/management roles in the EMS organization have similar responsibilities. They are responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of their units, for short and long term planning, preparing and monitoring budgets, developing position descriptions, assigning work, evaluating work, rewarding good work, coaching for improvement, and providing staff training and professional development opportunities. The managers are responsible for developing all necessary application, forms, and letters, developing office policies and procedures, and functional processes. They are responsible for conducting research related to their areas.

Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Services (Associate VP)

The Associate Vice President is the visionary leader of the EMS organization. He/she is the advocate for EMS and is the voice of EMS inside and outside the university. The Associate VP champions EMS teamwork and innovation, particularly technological innovation. Working with the EMS management team, the Associate VP leads strategic planning activities including disaster recovery planning and records management planning for paper and digital records, develops organization-wide polices, develops assessment plans, optimizes the use of available resources, and establishes priorities. He/she is responsible for the internal integration and coordination of all EMS teams and services as well as integration and coordination with other university units and outside agencies.

Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management Services/Registrar (AVP)

The Assistant Vice President provides vision and leadership to cross-functional teams having responsibilities that cut across the traditional units of recruitment/ admissions, registrar, financial aid, and student accounts/bursar as well as for one-stop service center. The AVP provides leadership for technology development, implementation and training. He/she ensures that appropriate coordination among teams occurs and that they perform at their optimum.

The Assistant Vice President oversees all aspects of prospecting and recruitment, admissions decisions and processing, of registration and academics records, financial aid awarding and processing and student accounts/bursar functions and process, the interpretation and application of academic rules and regulations as well rules and regulations related to financial aid awarding and student accounts billing and collection. Many of these rules and regulations come from outside governing bodies. He/she is responsible for setting admissions policy in consultation with the faculty and other administrators. The AVP is responsible for developing predictive statistical models to yield the number and types of new students (freshmen and transfer) the institution wants to enroll and to assess the likelihood of persistence of different students.

Cross-functional teams perform the functions and tasks associated with the activities in this unit. Identified as team lead positions are Associate and/or Assistant Enrollment Management Services Leader with support positions identified as Enrollment Management Services Customer Associates and Enrollment Management Services Support Associates. The Customer Associates would provide overall services to students, faculty and staff and staff the one-stop center. The Support Associates would be responsible for necessary behind the scenes processing.


Director of Enrollment Management Services

The Director provides vision and leadership to the cross-functional teams that have responsibilities that cut across the traditional units of orientation and new student programs, academic and career advising and services for international scholars and students. The Director assures that coordination among teams occurs and that they perform at their optimum. Members of this unit will also be part of the one-stop student services cross-functional work team. Due to the nature of the functions of this unit, there may be Counselor Associates rather than Customer Associates titles.


Reporting to the Director are the Associate Director of Orientation and New Student Programs, Associate Director of Academic and Career Advising and the Associate Director for Services for International Scholars and Students. The Director is responsible for the interpretation and application of academic rules and regulations as well as regulations related to students and scholars from other countries. Many of these rules and regulations come from outside governing bodies. The Director works closely with the faculty in developing academic policies related to graduation, honors, good standing, probation, dismissal, and application of transfer credit to degree requirements, etc. He/she works closely with faculty and other administrators in implementing academic polices as well as other campus policies and procedures.

The assignment of responsibilities between the Assistant Vice President and the Director positions keeps related and like tasks and responsibilities together. An additional guide to assigning functions is the general configuration and workflow of enterprise wide systems.


Initial Recruitment

At the beginning, the IUDWA will be a small university and the number of staff for the EMS organization will probably begin with ten to twelve people. This means that a few people will have to cover many tasks. (The size of the university does not make too much difference in the number of tasks performed, just the volume.) The first positions should be at a senior professional level since the university will need experienced lead staff in registrar, financial aid, admissions, advising, career services, new student programs, technology, publications, etc. It should be understood by these staff that their responsibilities will include customer service support and clerical support.

Resource constraints are an issue for IUDWA. It may be difficult to find people with the knowledge and skills to fill the upper level and lead positions. By proposing fewer but broader roles salaries might be set that would attract competent professionals. As the university grows in size and thus in volume of work, staff may be added and these roles may have to be reconfigured. Reconfiguring roles also occurs as change happens, particularly technological change. Technological change usually does not mean fewer staff but rather staff with a different skill set.

Enrollment Management Services Model

The enrollment management services models puts emphasis on services to students that are meaningful to students. It emphasizes the services students need and want, in a way they want to receive them and when they want to receive them. This means providing different types and points of access to services. Most students want the ability to access real-time services and complete many tasks 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This type of service environment is being called a virtual service environment. Other times a student will need and want to talk to a person.

Current EMS service models describe student access to services as follows: 75-90% of student contact with university offices is self-service, i.e., via web, Internet, telephony; 15%-8% contact is with EMS generalist staff who are trained across units and 10%-2% contact is with specialists or experts who are cross trained but have expertise in particularly areas. Examples of specialists would be establishing for residency for fee purposes, financial aid, etc., foreign credential evaluation; and financial aid needs analysis/packaging. Cross-functional positions and cross-functional team development are key components of successful EMS services. Another key element is a one-stop student service center and/or virtual student service center.

Success of an EMS organization (by success I mean meeting the students' definitions of success/needs within university resources) is contingent upon sophisticated technological support for students, staff and faculty. A basic resource of today's university is an integrated enterprise-wide computer system including course management software for faculty. Web presence is critical to the EMS organization. Customized web portals for students, staff and administrators are necessary in today's higher education environment. Adopting customer-relationship management theory and instilling a customer service attitude on the part of all members of the university is vital to the sustained health of the university.


Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM)

Guiding the actions of an EMS organization is the institution's strategic enrollment management (SEM) plan. A strategic enrollment management plan develops from the university's strategic plan. Its development and success is the responsibility of everyone connected to the campus. A SEM plan directs the actions an institution must take to enhance its institutional quality and to create a responsive, student-centered campus. Institutional reality guides SEM planning, i.e., the SEM plan meets student needs and wants within institutional resources.

It is not the purpose of this document to discuss in full strategic enrollment management planning. It is important to highlight some of the basic elements of SEM thinking in the United States because they reflect a cultural difference from the perspectives and actions of many universities in third world countries. The concepts of SEM have direct impact on the final organizational structure of the EMS unit and, therefore, should be understood from the beginning of the IUDWA planning process.

The faculty has primary responsibility for the design and offering of curricula that meet the needs and wants of students. Students' needs are generally related to what employers want and expect. The design of curricula to meet the business needs of Cote d'Ivoire is a primary reason for the IUDWA. The faculty has responsibility for delivering the curricula in different ways using traditional and innovative techniques to address different student learning styles and to enhance student learning. Faculty interactions with students are critical to student retention and success. Nothing discourages a student from attending or remaining at an institution as a non-caring or uninterested faculty.

Academic policies should be responsive to students. I do not mean to imply that faculty should weaken academic standards but rather that academic policies should be based on cogent reasoning, and be explainable and understandable to students. Why an institution needs four levels of academic probation is sometimes difficult to explain or understand.

Administrative organization, and policies and procedures also should be responsive to students. Policies concerning student privacy, access to student records, access for disabled students, etc., should be developed. Similar to academic policies, administrative policies and procedures should be streamlined, based on cogent reasoning, understandable, explainable, and accomplishable. Does the institution really need three signatures for a student to add or drop a course after a deadline!

Another way in which an institution can be responsive to students is by providing appropriate technology tools not only to students, but to faculty, and staff. These are tools that enhance students learning experiences and tools that enable them to meet their "just in time, want it now" way of thinking.

A SEM plan must address the needs of staff. It should create an environment that motivates staff to be student centered. Staff roles in the EMS organization require individuals with high intellectual capacity, who demonstrate a customer service attitude and customer service skills and who can function in a technological environment. They are knowledge workers and should be considered more than clerical employees because they are. This means that they cannot be the lowest paid members of the university. Staff provided on going training and professional development activities and desktop tools to enable them to provide high quality, accurate, and satisfying service are satisfied staff. Satisfied staff beget satisfied students.

Further Planning

The development of IUDWA is an evolving process. As such the final organizational structure of the Enrollment Management Services unit will evolve as more detailed planning takes place. The most critical element to remember is whatever the final "formal" organization, it be a responsive, student-centered organization.

Once the organizational structure is decided, detailed roles and responsibilities can be developed. It is important to role definition that we know what technology will enrollment management services at IUDWA. The enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems available today come with much workflow processing. IUDWA is a new university with no history. We should be able to develop effective and efficient roles that integrate with the ERP system without customization.

  

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