Changes are coming to Union University’s enrollment services, and Credo, an organization that specializes in private higher education, is helping to make sure those changes go smoothly.
In April, Rich Grimm, former senior vice president for enrollment services, announced that he would be leaving Union for a position at Trinity International University in Illinois. Credo has been helping with the search for a new head of enrollment services.
Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, Bryan Carrier, said that Grimm left late in the semester, so the search had to begin immediately, and outside help was needed. Carrier said one option was to promote an interim from within the university, but the university chose not to go that route. Credo was brought on in a consultative role to help with the search process.
“It’s always good to bring in some outside eyes,” Carrier said. “They notice things that we who are here every day might not.”
Another part of Credo’s involvement has been a complete audit of enrollment services. Credo representatives spent about two months getting familiar with the operations, then held a consultative meeting for faculty and staff.
“We had a fairly open meeting,” Carrier said. “It’s not always great to hear what you need to improve, but they are very good at what they do.”
Carrier said Credo gave 70 recommendations on how to improve the overall enrollment process.
“They were very positive on personnel, on our mission and relationships,” Carrier said. “Also on how we present ourselves, our authenticity.”
Carrier said the areas that Credo suggested improvements in included the campus tour and the visit experience aesthetic.
“Our ambassadors are giving tours, and there’s a lot of information they’re trying to get in,” Carrier said. “Sometimes those tours are often pushing an hour and a half. Who is going to stay with it that long, walking in August?”
Carrier said Credo will be able to see what areas work well and what areas need improvement, and they can match a candidate to those needs. He said that an internal search committee will have the final say in who takes over the enrollment position, but applicants are filtered through Credo. Credo will present a few top candidates to the committee, and they will decide from there.
According to Credo’s website, their goal is to strengthen and ensure the long life of private higher education. They specialize in branding and strategies, incorporating enrollment, student success and facilities. Carrier said facilities were one issue the Credo consultants brought up in the meeting.
“Have you ever tried to give someone directions to enrollment services? It isn’t exactly the front door,” Carrier said. “We want to give a good first impression. That’s the kind of thing they are here to help us with.”
Carrier said enrollment numbers are down this year. He said the number of people graduating high school is down, so the number of potential new students is down.
“It’s like anything, when the pool is smaller, the competition is tougher,” Carrier said. “We want to make sure we’re at the top of our game.”
Credo will continue their audit and search with the university throughout the year.