Forums held for faculty


Claudia Mercado, assistant vice chancellor at City Colleges of Chicago, spoke during the Vice President for Enrollment Management, Maketing and Communication candidate forum Tuesday. 

By Lindsey Salvatelli

DeKALB — University officials are hoping to fill the vice president for Enrollment Management and Marketing position by the end of Fiscal Year 2018.

The candidate chosen will be given the task of increasing student recruitment and retention as well as building the NIU brand. He or she will work as a member of the president’s cabinet and alongside members of the Division of Academic Affairs, according to an April 10 NIU official announcement.

Faculty and staff had the opportunity to exchange ideas with candidates this past week.

Each candidate was scheduled to appear on different days to present their qualifications for the position.

Harlan Teller took a leave of absence from his position as a senior managing director in the strategic communications unit of global business advisory firm FTI Consulting to serve as the interim vice president of the program in 2014. The search for an individual to permanently fill the position began around December, according to an NIU job posting.

Spring 2017 enrollment rates show a 5.5 percent decrease from spring 2016 with 1,022 fewer students.

Spokesperson Joe King said university officials hope to have the position filled around July 1, the start of the next fiscal year.

“We’ve brought in three excellent candidates,” King said. “They’ve met with a broad range of people on campus, so we’ll have to see where the process takes it.”

Genaro Balcazar, vice president for Enrollment Management and Marketing at North Park University, presented his qualifications April 13 in the Holmes Student Center, Regency Room.

Balcazar has nearly 20 years of experience in undergraduate and graduate admissions, recruitment and enrollment management, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Claudia Mercado, assistant vice chancellor at City Colleges of Chicago, said she thinks student retention is not just an issue for admissions during her Tuesday presentation.

“What happens in the classroom is enrollment-related,” Mercado said. “Faculty are the No. 1 influencers as far as students … whoever they’re in the classroom with, they spend the most amount of time with them, and they have the deepest level of trust.”

Sol Jensen, assistant vice president of enrollment services at University of North Dakota, said it’s important for everyone on campus to come together to increase student recruitment during her Wednesday presentation.

“Everyone plays a part in recruitment and retention,” Jensen said. “Everyone from maintenance crews who keep the campus looking beautiful, to faculty in classrooms, to advisers providing active advisements, to the RAs who are dealing with many different issues.”

Senior English major Lauren Gehant said being a good communicator is an important quality the future vice president must have.

“Being able to communicate effectively and well to not [just] internal but also [the] general public is key to getting people to come here,” Gehant said.