By Hunter Epperson ~ Copy Desk Chief
Sweeping changes in staffing continue at the University of Lynchburg with Michael Jones adding to his marketing and communication portfolio as the new Vice President of Marketing, Communications, and Enrollment.
“The president has established enrollment goals and asked for enhanced recruitment strategies that include revamping our tours and increased engagement by our faculty and staff in the enrollment and recruitment process. Also the president has asked me to put together an enrollment task force of faculty and staff right away as we establish our short and long-term goals and initiatives. […] We will be looking at every aspect of the work that goes into attracting the best possible students to the University — from the campus tours and open houses, to financial aid, communications, etc. The University of Lynchburg is a great institution and we have students and alumni who help to tell our story every day. We have to focus on telling those stories in the best way possible to prospective students and their families. I am excited by the challenge and looking forward to the coming months working with my new colleagues in Enrollment and to bringing them closer together with the creative team in UCM,” said Jones.
Jones already acknowledges and knows the struggles the university faces when dealing with enrollment. “I think we have very good people in all areas, but we face a very challenging marketplace. We need to come back from missed opportunities as a result of the pandemic; we must be strategic and rely more on data to capture a better share of a declining market (demographics tell us that there is greater competition for fewer students); and we are facing the new challenge of test-optional (SAT and/or ACT scores are no longer required at most schools) that has been adopted by most schools nationwide. And, we continue to see increased competition from state schools who typically have greater resources.”
Jones hopes to focus on enhancing the university’s face-to-face engagement with prospective students and their families and using analytics and data-driven marketing as part of the recruitment strategy. He said “Our people and their stories are the best recruitment tools we have available to us. And, much like marketing, recruitment is a team effort. We all have a role to play.”
“We also have great support from the board of trustees, the president, the provost, and faculty and staff who routinely step up to help in any way they can,” added Jones when discussing the things he was nervous about when he stepped up to the new role at the university.
Despite the challenges and obstacles which lie ahead, Jones is excited and optimistic about the new road which lies ahead of him and his team.
“I am excited that the new role will bring the UCM team and the Enrollment team under the same umbrella and allow us to take full advantage of the synergies I see happening. By bringing the two groups together, we will be better able to integrate the marketing and recruitment efforts in a holistic way. Just the merging of data that both groups analyze and use each day will be an enormous advantage,” said Jones.
To find out more about Michael Jones, University of Lynchburg’s new goals and incentives, and more information regarding admissions and enrollment visit lynchburg.edu.
Key words: Michael Jones, President Alison Morrison-Shetlar, University of Lynchburg, Admissions, Enrollment, Marketing, Communication, Higher Education, Leadership