Enrollment Management at Work: Effective Staffing Practices for the Future of Higher Education


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Enrollment Management at Work: Effective Staffing Practices for the Future of Higher Education

  1. 1. Enrollment Management at Work 1 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett Running head: ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT AT WORK Enrollment Management at Work: Effective Staffing Practices for the Future of Higher Education J. Todd Bennett University of Miami December, 1999
  2. 2. Enrollment Management at Work 2 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett Enrollment Management at Work: Effective Staffing Practices for the Future of Higher Education The Evolution of Administration Since the charter of Harvard College in 1636, higher education in the United States has experienced periods of great growth and decline (Rudolph, 1962). These periods not only saw changes in the number and size of colleges and universities, but also in the scope and composition of their programs and curriculum. As the nature of the relationship between students and colleges changed, so did the administration and governance of these institutions. During the period between 1636 and 1900, the president and faculty played a large role in the administration of the university and in the lives of students. However, the dramatic growth of colleges and universities called for more organization and the professional administrator began to appear. Deans of men and women, registrars, and admissions officers appeared on campus. Along with the dramatic expansion of the higher education system in the mid-1900’s came increased specialization and a larger administration (Thelin, 1996). But in recent decades, higher education has begun to undergo yet another transformation. Dramatic shifts in demographics, declining economic conditions, and increased calls for public accountability have lead to downsizing and reorganization in many institutions (Nuss, 1996).
  3. 3. Enrollment Management at Work 3 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett Winston and Creamer (1997) note that the operating costs in higher education have risen dramatically. They cite that between 1977 and 1992, expenditures per student in private universities rose 46%. Administrators have been forced to reduce costs and find new ways to perform with fewer people and smaller budgets. All areas of the academy are feeling the pressure. Recent years have seen increased turnover at the top of many institutions as college presidents find themselves unprepared to deal with “an increasingly hostile campus environment” (Rowley, Lujan, & Dolence, 1998). The hardest hit at many colleges are the campus support units and it appears this trend will persist. The Introduction of Enrollment Management To maintain vitality despite the dismal outlook for higher education, the concept of enrollment management was introduced in the early 1980s. What began as a focus on the recruitment of new students has evolved into a broader definition. Orehovec (1999) states that “true enrollment management is both concept and process. Offices and divisions work synergistically to improve services and allow for the strategic management of enrollments—a ‘cradle to grave’ process” (Enrollment Management Program [EMP], 1999). Today’s enrollment managers are concerned not only with student recruitment, but with the retention and success of their current students. This holistic effort helps to maintain consistency in light of a rapidly changing environment. Enrollment management activities are wide in scope and require a campus-wide effort (EMP, 1999; Hossler, 1990). Successful enrollment management requires teamwork, leadership, strategic planning, comprehensive programming, knowledge of the
  4. 4. Enrollment Management at Work 4 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett competition, accurate data, and the necessary resources and support services (Orehovec & Ingold, 1999). While components of enrollment management may exist in many departments within an institution, the most important part of the process is collaboration across division lines. According to Komives (1999), “some of the most promising initiatives are around the shared agenda of retention, the first-year student experience, assessment, and service learning.” Colleges and universities have fairly flat organizational charts (Sagaria & Johnsrud, 1988). Despite this notion, the American college or university is a relatively change resistant, bureaucratic organization—a drain rather than facilitator of energy and creativity (Sinnot & Johnson, 1996). These institutions employ a myriad of departmentalized constituents, from faculty to student support personnel, each with a different theoretical and practical purpose. Enrollment management is challenged with bringing all of these players together for a common purpose: the recruitment, retention, and success of students. On many campuses, enrollment management is still seen by many as the sole responsibility of the admissions office. While the many buzzwords of enrollment management are used and titles are adopted, many of these institutions have failed to change their organizational culture to fully embrace an enrollment management system (Hossler & Bean, 1990). Kuh and Hall define institutional culture as the “collective, mutually shaping patterns of institutional history, mission, physical settings, norms, traditions, values, practices, beliefs and assumptions which guide the behavior of individuals and groups”(in Winston & Creamer, 1997). The culture, ultimately, facilitates or inhibits effective
  5. 5. Enrollment Management at Work 5 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett enrollment management processes. Winston & Creamer (1997) identify 6 components of institutional culture at successful institutions. Employees in these organizations have a strong sense of institutional identity: they know, respect, and take pride in their institutions. Staff understand the larger purpose of their work to the institution—the big picture. They share an ongoing commitment and tradition to excellence in all that they do. Employees exhibit a high degree of professionalism and possess a hard-work ethic. Finally, there is a sense of family among faculty, staff, and students on campus. Developing such a culture takes time and is dependent upon the people who make up the organization. Communication of the culture, mission, and their changes is the responsibility of campus leadership. Information about a university’s culture should be shared with all new staff in orientation (Winston & Creamer, 1997). Changes to the institution’s mission or culture should involve staff at all levels of the organization and should be communicated effectively through written communication plans, workshops, meetings, and face-to-face discussions (Nordvall, 1982). London (1995) recommends that universities inform their employees of the implications of such change and help prepare them for new skill requirements or disciplines that will be in high demand. Good communication programs and employee involvement help to keep rumors at bay and reduce problems with employee morale and institutional loyalty. Staffing Practices for Tomorrow’s Enrollment Managers For enrollment management to be successful, it is vital that managers hire people who value what the institution values (Bean, 1990). The staffing practices of a university
  6. 6. Enrollment Management at Work 6 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett can play a large role in the implementation of enrollment management and the development of its culture. Winston & Creamer (1997) define staffing practices as “the way an organization structures itself and the nature of the interactions among the people who compose it” (p.163). In light of an increasingly diverse student body, universities must rethink the way they structure themselves. They need to adjust to the student body rather than expect the student body to adjust to them. Universities need to reflect this diversity in their policies, procedures, and staffing practices (Jacoby, 1993; Barr 1990). The new administration in higher education will be more adaptable and creative in the face of constant change (EMP, 1999; Komives, 1999). Rowley, et al. (1998) propose that the new administrator will be one who has the patience and wisdom to work with a changing, diverse student body while exhibiting business sense to work with an increasing number of business oriented resource providers. The focus on student and staff services is shifting along with the student demographic. As colleges see more and more non-traditional students, students working full-time and attending school in the evenings, the nature of the relationship between student services and the students will change. Students, as consumers, will demand services that are accessible and available. Students will need services and offices to be available and open during evening and weekend hours. These demands will ultimately affect the staff in those offices as well. Advisors, needing to be available when students are on campus, may be required to work flextime schedules. Four-day work weeks, nine- month appointments, overlapping jobs, and job sharing will be more prevalent as universities try to meet the changing needs of its students in spite of diminishing financial
  7. 7. Enrollment Management at Work 7 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett resources (Jacoby, 1993; Ern, 1993). Changing family structures will bring about a focus of attention on the needs of parents, both as students and employees of the institutions. Domestic partner benefits, childcare, and flexible schedules are all the concerns of the new administrator (Kolodny, 1998). In addition to demographic changes, rapid advancements in new technology pose a number of opportunities and threats to tomorrow’s enrollment manager. Mills (1990) warns that while technology may be freeing, allowing personnel the time to tackle problems not previously addressed, it may also stimulate bureaucracy by standardizing responses to individual problems. As students needs become more diverse, individualized attention to problem solving is even more important. New technology will also have an impact on staff as older employees may resist or have difficulty adapting to new electronic processes (Komives, 1999). Enrollment managers will be challenged if their institutions are not able to keep up with the latest technology as their younger, more adept employees become frustrated or dissatisfied. These young employees, “computer babies”, will value specialization and more autonomy and ability to direct their own work (Woodard & Komives, 1990, p.23). This may create obstacles to the broader, generalist objectives of an enrollment management system. Green & McDade (1991) argue that high degrees of specialization could lead to feelings of isolation. It is important that employees in these highly specialized roles have an opportunity to utilize their expertise on projects across division lines to diminish barriers and reduce isolation. The more they share tasks with other offices, the more they see the relevance of what they do to the larger organizational mission. Preston (1993) supports this notion and states that task
  8. 8. Enrollment Management at Work 8 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett related technical training should not focus only on the technical aspects, but also on how it relates to the broader mission of the department or university. Staff should see new technology as something that can assist them in more effectively serving their students. Used properly, enrollment management systems and databases can provide a wealth of data to assist employees. For example, admissions counselors can track marketing efforts and enrolled students in order to receive feedback on the success of their efforts. Technology allows them to see whether what they are doing really makes a difference (Noblitt, 1990). The Structure of the Organization As aforementioned, changing an organization’s culture is a time consuming process. Preparing a university for a successful, stable future through the implementation of enrollment management is not always an easy task. In fact, many colleges and universities try to quickly implement an enrollment management process by instantly putting an enrollment management division into place. Often on campuses where this is the practice, staff turnover has been high and employee morale among remaining employees has suffered (Hossler, 1990). Some institutions are quick to talk about the importance of collaboration, but never modify their processes to provide the requisite reward and budget support to transform their work to be more collaborative (Komives, 1999). On other campuses, problems are alleviated through immediate hiring and spending freezes or budget cuts. Rush (1995) considers these to be short-term solutions that are harmful to morale. He indicates that most organizations never really rethink their
  9. 9. Enrollment Management at Work 9 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett current positions and make long-lasting corrections. They simply place a bandage on the immediate problem and in better times, things return to the status quo. Long-lasting change is not driven by internal or external forces. Change happens through people (London, 1995). The people of the organization, the employees, need to understand the culture and mission that drive the institution. However, Ruben (1995a) indicates that structure can play a role in facilitating interaction. He claims that vertical structures do facilitate interaction within functional divisions, but may form obstacles to between division interaction. These bureaucratic hurdles act as blocks to creative activity and dialog-- an “it’s not my job” mentality (Sinnot & Johnson, 1996). Flatter and simpler organizations, which facilitate cross-divisional collaboration and teamwork, also address customer expectations, help align employees and divisions with the institutional mission, and improve the quality of products and services (Ruben, 1995a). Nordvall (1982) describes an innovative organization as one with an informal structure and decentralized decision making—an “open-collaboration” decision making model. There is a lateral rather than vertical communication system and expertise can be found at all levels of the organization. Furthermore, employees in an innovative organization exhibit a commitment to quality and to the organization as a whole. Many enrollment managers are more concerned with finding the right administrative structure than insuring that the people with the necessary knowledge and skills are in key positions (Hossler, 1990). With the right people in the right positions, structure may be of little importance. In many cases, enrollment managers have little control over the structure of the organization. In these situations, they must seek other
  10. 10. Enrollment Management at Work 10 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett ways to break down the barriers between departments and increase participation in the collaborative process. Kuh (1996) describes two views of the organization. The “conventional” organization, what we find in many universities, is a hierarchical organization focused on clearly delineated communication through a central authority figure. The authority is determined by one’s position in the hierarchy. Conversely, the “postconventional” organization is not inhibited by structure. In this model, any person at any level can influence decision-making. The organization is amorphous and constantly evolving. Processes and structures change as the nature of cross-functional interaction changes. Kuh also describes the “learning organization”, perhaps an ideal context for an enrollment management system. The learning organization is described as three metaphors: the hologram, the brain, and the thermostat. As a hologram, each staff member in the organization reflects the mission of the entire organization. If one part of the organization breaks, the other parts come together to recreate the entire image. As the brain, the organization receives, processes, stores, and retrieves information in a flexible or integrated way. The organization is resilient and elastic. As a thermostat, the organization constantly monitors its environment and as change occurs-- it reorganizes. Kuh refers to this as “self-organizing” (1996, pp. 285-287). Massy (1992) takes the metaphor of the thermostat a step further and stresses that an organization must also take the pulse of its internal environment on a regular basis. Constantly paying attention to feedback is a key to effective management.
  11. 11. Enrollment Management at Work 11 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett Turnover Once an enrollment management culture has been established at a university, it is important for those values to be sustained for the life of the organization. Institutions invest a great deal of time and money to make enrollment management work. Collaborative decision making requires the establishment of strong relationships between departments. As employees leave the organization and new hires enter, those relationships often have to be rebuilt. In some departments, turnover may be so high that it actually defines the culture. Rather than fostering a culture of collaboration and teamwork, management spends more time looking to fill key positions while employees try to keep up with the workload. Thus the organization never moves forward. Johnsrud and Rosser define turnover as “the movement of employees into and out of positions”(1999b). Turnover has been a consistent problem in higher education and can be a major obstacle to successful enrollment management. Expertise becomes rare in a profession with high turnover (Noblitt, 1990). Sagaria and Johnsrud (1988) found average 2-year turnover rates among higher education administrators of 26%. Many of the losses of personnel are due to attrition—employees leave the field altogether to pursue other opportunities (Dollarhide & Butler, 1997; Evans, 1988; Hancock, 1988; Lorden, 1998; Sagaria & Johnsrud, 1988). A study of mid-level administrative staff turnover found that the younger the employees and the fewer service years, the more likely they intend to leave the institution (Johnsrud & Rosser, 1999b). The same study also found that mid-level administrators in student affairs, including positions in
  12. 12. Enrollment Management at Work 12 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett admission and financial aid, intend to leave their current positions more often than their colleagues in academic, business, and external affairs. Turnover has its costs. Robbins (1993) estimated that replacing a mid-level staff member earning $36,000 could cost $58,100. This is due to factors including the lost efficiency of the employee in the months before departure, lost productivity while the job was vacant, recruiting and training costs, and the inefficiencies of the new employee while learning a new job. The ratio of these turnover costs to annual salary was found to be 1.5 for positions at all levels. Sinnot & Johnson (1996) indicate that it can take months of training for a new employee to acclimatize, learn the organization’s culture, and establish collaborative working relationships. While recent hires cost the organization less in salary (Robbins, 1993), the cost of having to learn the culture and establish relationships is extremely high in an enrollment management system. However, one benefit of turnover is that the organization can get an influx of fresh ideas and new talent. The difficulty lies in keeping those people long enough to truly make a difference. Enrollment managers must be prepared to recruit and supervise a staff of people who may have chosen higher education as a second choice career option. Ironically, many employees of higher education institutions may have had an intention to leave from the first day on the job. Hancock (1988) found that 10% of graduate students in student personnel master’s degree programs intended to get jobs in business immediately after graduation. Some undergraduate students who have not yet decided on a career enter these master’s degree programs to buy time while they make important life decisions. Many students end up in programs as a result of positive experiences as an undergraduate
  13. 13. Enrollment Management at Work 13 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett R.A. or student employee. Entering a master’s program in a similar role allows them to temporarily extend their positive college experience. Unfortunately for many, the reality sets in when they enter the first years of their career and experience long hours and more responsibility. Graduate students need more information about the field of higher education and its available career paths prior to graduation. More informed students are able to decide on an appropriate entry level given their education and experience and will be less likely to experience dissonance and role ambiguity and leave the field (Dollarhide & Butler, 1997). Ill-prepared graduate students entering higher education as a career often leave as a result of excessive person-environment incongruence (Hancock, 1988). Holland described this as “personality-job fit” (in Robbins, 1993). To ensure congruence between their personality types and their chosen vocation, people need to be certain that they have the right talents and abilities to be successful in their jobs. As enrollment managers seek to generalize and broaden the scope of what employees do, it becomes increasingly difficult for entering professionals to determine the requisite skills to perform a job. Should job descriptions be more specific? Cornesky, McCool, Byrnes, and Weber (1991) would say no. They claim that job descriptions tie people down and narrow their functions. Job descriptions increase barriers between departments by centralizing authority, information, and planning. Job descriptions should still be descriptive however. Enrollment managers, rather than search for a specialist—a registrar, an admissions counselor, or a financial aid advisor—should instead focus their search on individuals with the traits necessary for enrollment management. Job descriptions in enrollment
  14. 14. Enrollment Management at Work 14 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett management may describe the culture and the need for collaboration, teamwork, and flexibility, rather than the day to day tasks. Job satisfaction is the highest when there is congruence between employee needs and the organizational culture (Robbins, 1993). It will be a challenge for enrollment managers to find the appropriate balance that will reduce person-environment incongruence while ensuring flexibility in their positions. Why Employees Leave In their study of mid-level administrators at ten universities, Johnsrud and Rosser (1999b) found that the best predictors of intention to leave were perceptual variables, including employee perceptions of morale, working conditions, recognition, and opportunity for advancement. They claim that turnover decisions reflect an employee’s perceptions of the current work situation, but not necessarily reality. Interestingly, their study revealed that the smaller the institution, the more positive the work experiences and the more likely the employee is to stay. This finding bodes well with an institution practicing enrollment management. Large institutions that are able to bring people together across divisions, increasing interaction with other employees, can decrease the psychological size of the institution to the employee. A large university thus has the double benefit of feeling small to the employee while providing the career opportunities of a larger institution. Robbins (1993) also discusses the power of employee perception. He claims that dissatisfaction with working conditions or perceived lack of promotion opportunity are judgements based on the employee’s attempt to make some meaning out of his/her job. Failure to deal with the differences between perception and reality lead to absenteeism and turnover.
  15. 15. Enrollment Management at Work 15 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett There are a number of other factors that have been found to lead to job dissatisfaction and turnover. One such factor is stress. Walter Gmelch defines stress as “any characteristic of the environment that poses a threat to the individual, either excessive demands or insufficient resources” (in Harris, 1999). Not all stress is bad however. Harris (1999) distinguishes between two types of stress. Eustress, or good stress, is what motivates us to achieve. Eustress challenges employees and pushes them to higher levels of performance. The other type of stress, distress, is dysfunctional, distracting, and debilitating (Harris, 1999; Wolverton, Gmelch, Wolverton, & Sarros, 1999). Distress can have harmful physical side effects and can produce potentially negative consequences to the institutions fiscal survival, the enrollment of new students, retention, and graduation rates (Harris, 1999). A person suffering from stress affects everyone he/she comes in contact with. Enrollment managers, particularly those in fast- paced, high student contact offices, are particularly vulnerable to distress. Harris (1999) notes that the complexities of working in a comprehensive enrollment management environment can be overwhelming to some. Wolverton, et al. found that administrative tasks, human relations, and role ambiguity are all stressors (1999). Overworked and isolated admissions officers on extended travel schedules, financial aid officers working long days at the start of a semester, and residence hall staff on-call 24 hours a day all make initial contact with students and generate first impressions. These impressions may be negative when stress levels are high. When times are very busy and stress is high, managers often overlook the essentials: the importance of recognition and support. Duvall (1999) suggests that enrollment managers constantly
  16. 16. Enrollment Management at Work 16 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett remind staff of the “big picture” to help reduce stress. Staff should be reminded of the importance of what they do as it relates to the institutional mission in order to give them a more gratifying perspective on their work. Another factor that contributes to employee turnover, ironically, is the performance appraisal. What is intended to provide feedback and improve employee performance often does just the opposite. Of all of the staffing practices in student affairs, the performance appraisal is the least well-conducted (Winston & Creamer, 1997; Creamer & Winston, 1999). It is widespread practice that the form itself is thought to be the whole of the performance evaluation. It is often ignored by everyone, except when a manager wants to make a statement about unsatisfactory performance (Creamer & Winston, 1999). Performance appraisals are carried out routinely and are not often used for staff improvement. In fact, Winston & Creamer (1997) discovered that in many cases, the performance appraisal never even happens. In their comprehensive national study of staffing practices, they found that of the administrators they surveyed, 33% of deans, 37% of directors, 27% of coordinators, and 26% of support staff had no formal performance appraisal in the past 12 months. They also discovered that 25% of deans, 45% of directors, 38% of coordinators, and 35% of the support staff who had no formal review also did not have an informal review in the previous 12 months. To be effective, the performance appraisal must be used with consistency. It should also be used as a development tool (Green & McDade, 1991). Stimpson (1993) stipulates that there should be strong relationship between performance evaluation and training. Not only should it be used to identify areas for improvement, but also training
  17. 17. Enrollment Management at Work 17 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett opportunities that could give the employee potential to pursue advancement. He suggests that development is not only the supervisor’s professional duty, but it helps motivate the employee to pursue additional responsibilities. The performance appraisal should also be flexible and fit in with the changing institutional culture (Creamer & Winston, 1999). Ongoing feedback is also necessary, in addition to the formal performance review. One form of feedback, “synergistic supervision”, has a dual focus on the accomplishment of institutional goals as well as individual goals. It relies on a joint- effort, two-way communication system, is growth oriented, goal based, ongoing, and holistic (Winston & Creamer, 1997). Another type of feedback, “360 degree feedback”, is also ongoing and allows the employee to “recalibrate” his/her behavior and feel recognized (London, 1995). The unique aspect of 360 degree feedback is that it allows subordinates, peers, customers, and supervisors to rate the employee on behavior that is important to the university. Regardless of the feedback system used, it is important that feedback occurs on a regular basis, is constructive, and allows for growth and improved productivity. Employee perceptions of low morale in an organization can also lead to turnover. Johnsrud and Rosser (1999a) define morale as “a state of mind regarding one’s job, including satisfaction, commitment, loyalty, and sense of common purpose with respect to one’s work.” In a 1999 study of mid-level administrators, salary was sited as the single most important issue to their morale (Johnsrud & Rosser, 1999a). However, the same study revealed that salary was not a predictor of morale. The researchers suggest that actual pay is not as important to morale as is the perception of equity in salary
  18. 18. Enrollment Management at Work 18 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett relative to others. They found that the most significant factors contributing to low morale are being a member of an underrepresented minority, feeling stuck, and intending to leave. Conversely, they reported that feelings of recognition and external relations among faculty, students, and the public are positive predictors of morale. They also note that institutional type was a good predictor of morale, with highest morale levels in the community college and lowest in research universities. The findings indicate that managers in an enrollment management system should constantly monitor the morale of their employees and provide the appropriate feedback to ensure that good works are recognized. The study also supports the notion of reducing the psychological size of the university through collaboration and relationship building. The perception of a lack of career advancement is perhaps one of the strongest predictors of an employee’s intention to leave (Johnsrud & Rosser, 1999b). Promotional ladders and career paths are not clearly delineated in higher education administration. Staff often determine career paths and advancement potential based on the movement of others within the organization. However, in higher education, multiple career paths seem to be the norm (Sagaria & Johnsrud, 1988). Master’s graduates usually have little difficulty getting entry-level positions, but advancement in the field is much more difficult (Evans, 1988). Because of the relatively flat organizational structure, movement in an organization is often lateral. People often view lateral moves as negative, for success has been traditionally defined by upward mobility. Mills (1993) states that lateral moves should be seen as positive, providing necessary experience for later opportunities. Sagaria and Johnsrud agree, indicating that most changes advance a career, even lateral
  19. 19. Enrollment Management at Work 19 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett moves (1988). For those who desire upward mobility, movement to another institution is often required resulting in turnover of many of talented individuals. Improving Job Satisfaction and Employee Retention As previously mentioned, enrollment managers spend a great deal of time and capital in the development of collaborative relationships. Employees who understand and appreciate the culture of the institution are costly to replace. Because upward advancement is not always possible, enrollment managers need to help their staff rethink the traditional models of success (Lorden, 1998). Traditionally, advancement within an organization usually occurs in one of three ways: (a) a vacancy at a position above one’s present level occurs and the person is promoted, (b) the employee has assumed more responsibility and performed better than expected resulting in a newly created position to promote that person to, or (c) the employee may move to other responsibilities that bring new opportunities and challenges (Mills, 1993). Broader definitions of success should be encouraged. Rather than view mobility as a career ladder, it could be thought of as a career web where movement of staff throughout the organization is more fluid. Compensation and titles are determined not by one’s position on a ladder, but by his/her value to the university. Someone with great movement throughout the web will have gained a number of valuable experiences and cross-functional expertise. This knowledge is valuable to an enrollment management system and should be rewarded. Employees should be encouraged to create development opportunities within their current positions (Green & McDade, 1991). Current employees should be used as a talent
  20. 20. Enrollment Management at Work 20 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett pool: futuristic managers are always on the lookout for people with talents that can enhance their team (Spanbauer, 1992). Managers should take advantage of their employees’ strengths and develop their weaknesses. Employees can be given new assignments that stretch their capacities. In a study of job satisfaction among student affairs and academic administrators, job satisfaction was associated with a people taking greater responsibility for their behavior and assuming more personal control over their lives—a strong internal locus of control (Tarver, Canada, & Lim, 1999). Mills (1993) identifies extrinsic and intrinsic elements that create the most satisfaction. Among the extrinsic elements are the support of one’s supervisor, the ability to influence policy, the degree of authority in one’s position, staff development opportunities, support from colleagues, and salary. Intrinsic elements leading to high degrees of satisfaction include having a variety of responsibilities, flexibility in one’s daily routine, respect from superiors and colleagues, and opportunities to influence student development. Robbins (1993) indicates that job involvement, the degree to which employees identify with and care about the work they do, accounts for about 16% of the variance in turnover. Empowered employees, those who have more control over their success and development within an organization, may experience higher levels of job satisfaction. Staff who perceive opportunities for growth within their current organization are also more likely to develop institutional loyalty. Administrators who perceive that they will have to leave their institutions in order to advance to the next level have been found to have the lowest levels of organizational commitment (Blackhurst, Brandt, &
  21. 21. Enrollment Management at Work 21 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett Kalinowski, 1998). Organizational commitment is defined as an individual’s orientation toward an institution in terms of involvement, identification, and loyalty (Robbins, 1993). Entry-level staff often have low levels of organizational commitment. Pascarella and Terenzini (1991) site a link between overeducation and job dissatisfaction. Recent college graduates are more aware of other work options and unattained possibilities in their jobs, resulting in lower levels of job satisfaction. The problem is compounded when graduates from master’s degree programs fill front line positions that they feel they are overqualified for. These employees are thinking about their next career move from the first day on the job and never have an opportunity to become committed to their positions. Enrollment managers must provide ample opportunities for their employees’ professional growth and development. Employees at all levels, including entry level and support staff, should be actively involved in the enrollment management process. Early development of an identity within the organization is likely to increase levels of organizational commitment and reduce the likelihood of departure. The Effect of Staffing Practices on Students The goal of any comprehensive enrollment management system is to attract, retain, and graduate students. Higher education is a service, just like any other business. Quality of service is directly related to the staff who provide it (Hyman, 1999; Ruben, 1995a; Spanbauer, 1992). The way staff are treated and the way they work together will determine how they treat students (Spanbauer, 1992). A study of the relationship between resident directors’ (RDs) perceptions of their work environment and student experiences revealed a positive correlation between work climate and student satisfaction (Pratt,
  22. 22. Enrollment Management at Work 22 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett Shambarger, Johnson, & Anchors, 1999). The study also revealed that residents benefit when RDs maintain strong relationships and a sense of community among themselves. Tinto has suggested that student interaction with staff contributes to integration and ultimately retention (in Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991). When staff members make a decision to leave an institution, they affect everyone they come in contact with. Ruben (1995a) states that judgements by parents, students, and alumni about the quality of services, or lack of, translate directly into institutional reputation, which forms the basis for constituent decision making: to attend, remain, support, recommend, or not. Ruben (1995b) also found that the most memorable undergraduate experiences of students surveyed were negative—59%. Of those experiences, most were related to interpersonal communication. Students remember their contact with staff, particularly if it is negative. A university’s staffing practices can spell success or failure for an institution. Conclusion In an era of rising costs, diminishing resources, and a rapidly shifting student demographic, successful enrollment management is a key to the life of an institution. Implementation of enrollment management concepts requires flexibility and innovation. Changing the culture of an organization to embrace concepts such as collaboration, teamwork, and strategic planning can be a daunting task. Change takes time and is dependent upon the people who make up the university. The recruitment and retention of talented people is paramount, given the investment of time, money, and human resources necessary for the development of an enrollment management culture. Tomorrow’s colleges and universities will be faced with the challenge of redefining their staffing
  23. 23. Enrollment Management at Work 23 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett practices to meet the changing needs of their employees and students. A greater focus on leadership, the work environment, alternate career paths, staff development, and employee satisfaction are critical to the success of enrollment management and the university. It is the people of the university who will recruit, retain, and graduate tomorrow’s students. The people of the university will determine the vitality of higher education in the 21st century.
  24. 24. Enrollment Management at Work 24 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett References Barr, M. J. (1990). Growing staff diversity and changing career paths. In M. J. Barr, M. L. Upcraft, and Associates (Eds. ), New futures for student affairs: Building a vision for leadership and practice (pp. 160-177). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. , Publishers. Bean, J. P. (1990). Strategic planning and enrollment management. In D. Hossler, J. P. Bean, and Associates. The Strategic Management of College Enrollments. (pp. 21- 43). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. , Publishers. Blackhurst, A. E. , Brandt, J. E. , & Kalinowski, J. (1998). Effects of career development on the organizational commitment and life satisfaction of women student affairs administrators. NASPA Journal, 36(1), 19-34. Cornesky, R. , McCool, S. , Byrnes, L. , & Weber, R. (1991). Implementing total quality management in higher education. Madison, WI: Magna Publications, Inc. Creamer, D. G. , & Winston, R. B. , Jr. (1999). The peformance appraisal paradox: An essential but neglected student affairs staffing function. NASPA Journal, 36(4), 248-263.
  25. 25. Enrollment Management at Work 25 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett Dollarhide, C. T. & Butler, E. R. (1997) Patterns in advertising for student affairs positions: What new professionals should know. Student Affairs Journal- Online [On- line]. Available Internet: http://www.apu.edu/~sajo/dollarhide070897.html Duvall, H. C. (1999). Charge! How to lead a diverse staff in a fast-paced, high- pressure office. College Board Online [On-line]. Available Internet: http://www.collegeboard.org/aes/ontarget/ontarg3/html/ontarg3.html Enrollment Management Program (1999). Out in front as an enrollment manager [Brochure]. Coral Gables, FL: University of Miami. Ern, E. H. (1993). Managing resources strategically. In M. J. Barr, and Associates (Eds. ), The handbook of student affairs administration. (pp. 439-454). San Francisco: Jossey Bass, Inc. , Publishers. Evans, N, J. (1988). Attrition of student affairs professionals: A review of the literature. Journal of College Student Development, 29, 19-24. Green, M. F. , McDade, S. A. (1991). Investigating in higher education: A handbook of leadership development. Washington, DC: American Council on Education. Hancock, J. E. (1988). Needs and reinforcers in student affairs: Implications for attrition. Journal of College Student Development, 29, 25-29. Harris, T. (1999). Admission and enrollment management: A stressful encounter?. College Board Online [On-line]. Available Internet: http://www.collegeboard.org/aes/ontarg/ontarg9/html/ontarg9.htm
  26. 26. Enrollment Management at Work 26 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett Hossler, D. (1990). Organizational approaches. In D. Hossler, J. P. Bean, and Associates. The Strategic Management of College Enrollments. (pp. 44-54). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. , Publishers. Hossler, D. & Bean, J. P. (1990). Principles and objectives. In D. Hossler, J. P. Bean, and Associates. The Strategic Management of College Enrollments. (pp. 3-20). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. , Publishers. Hyman, R. (1999). Book Review [Review of the book Improving staffing practices in student affairs]. NASPA Journal, 36(2), 147-151. Jacoby, B. (1993). Service delivery for a changing student constituency. In M. J. Barr, and Associates (Eds. ), The handbook of student affairs administration. (pp. 468- 480). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. , Publishers. Johnsrud, L. K. & Rosser, V. J. (1999a). College and university midlevel administrators: Explaining and improving their morale. The Review of Higher Education, 22(2), 121-141. Johnsrud, L. K. & Rosser, V. J. (1999b). Predicting and reducing mid-level administrative staff turnover. CUPA Journal, Spring/Summer [On-line]. Available Internet: http://www.cupa.org/CJ3/01.html Kolodny, K. (1998). Failing the future: A dean looks at higher education in the twenty-first century. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Komives, S. R. (1999). The changing nature of work in higher education. In ACPA—Higher education trends for the next century [On-line]. Available Internet: http://www.acpa.nche.edu/seniorscholars/trends/trends6.htm
  27. 27. Enrollment Management at Work 27 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett Kuh, G. D. (1996). Organizational theory. In S. R. Komives, D. B. Woodard, Jr. , and Associates (Eds. ), Student services: A handbook for the profession (3rd ed. ) (pp. 269-294). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. , Publishers. London, M. (1995). Achieving performance excellence in university administration: A team approach to organizational change and employee development. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. Lorden, L. P. (1998). Attrition in the student affairs profession. NASPA Journal, 35(3), 207-216. Massy, W. F. (1992). Improvement strategies for administration and support services. In Anderson, R. E. & Meyerson, J. W. (Eds. ). Productivity and higher education: Improving the effectiveness on faculty, facilities, and financial resources. (pp. 49-83). Princeton, NJ: Peterson’s Guides, Inc. Mills, D. M. (1990). The technological transformation of student services. In M. J. Barr, M. L. Upcraft, and Associates (Eds. ), New futures for student affairs: Building a vision for leadership and practice (pp. 138-159). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. , Publishers. Mills, D. B. (1993). The role of the middle manager. In M. J. Barr, and Associates (Eds. ), The handbook of student affairs administration. (pp. 121-134). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. , Publishers. Noblitt, M. T. (1990). Case study: How information systems support enrollment management. In D. Hossler, J. P. Bean, and Associates. The Strategic Management of College Enrollments. (pp. 243-262). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. , Publishers.
  28. 28. Enrollment Management at Work 28 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett Nordvall. R. C. (1982). The process of change in higher education institutions (AAHE-ERIC/Higher Education Research Rep. No. 7). Washington, DC: American Association for Higher Education. Nuss, E. M. (1996). The development of student affairs. In S. R. Komives, D. B. Woodard, Jr. , and Associates (Eds. ), Student services: A handbook for the profession (3rd ed. ) (pp. 22-42). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. , Publishers. Orehovec, P. M. & Ingold, S. (1999). Enrollment management: A working philosophy. Unpublished manuscript, University of Miami. Pascarella, E. T. , & Terenzini, P. T. (1991). How college affects students: Findings and insights from twenty years of research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. , Publishers. Pratt, P. A. , Shambarger, G. S. , Johnson, D. P. , & Anchors, W. S. (1999). The relationship between resident directors’ perceptions of their work environment and residents’ perceptions of their residence hall experience. Journal of College and University Student Housing, 28(1), 31-35. Preston, F. R. (1993). Creating effective staff development programs. In M. J. Barr, and Associates (Eds. ), The handbook of student affairs administration. (pp. 351- 363). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. , Publishers. Robbins, S. P. (1993). Organizational behavior: Concepts, controversies, and applications (6th ed. ). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
  29. 29. Enrollment Management at Work 29 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett Rowley, D. J. , Lujan, H. D. , & Dolence, M. G. (1998). Strategic choices for the academy: How demand for lifelong learning will recreate higher education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Ruben, B. D. (1995a). The quality approach in higher education: Context and concepts for change. In B. D. Ruben (Ed. ), Quality in higher education (pp. 1-34). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers. Ruben, B. D. (1995b). What students remember: Teaching, learning, and human communication. In B. D. Ruben (Ed. ), Quality in higher education (pp. 189-199). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers. Rudolph, F. (1990). The American college and university: A history (Rev. ed.). Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. Rush, S. C. (1995). Productivity or quality?: In search of higher education’s yellow brick road. In B. D. Ruben (Ed. ), Quality in higher education (pp. 109-119). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers. Sagaria, M. D. & Johnsrud, L. K. (1988). Mobility within the student affairs profession: Career advancement through position change. Journal of College Student Development, 29, 30-40. Spanbauer, S. J. (1992). A quality system for education: Using quality and productivity techniques to save our schools. Milwaukee, WI: ASQC Quality Press. Sinnott, J. , & Johnson, L. (1996). Reinventing the university: A radical proposal for a problem-focused university. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation.
  30. 30. Enrollment Management at Work 30 Copyright 1999 J. Todd Bennett Stimpson, R. F. (1993). Selecting and training competent staff. In M. J. Barr, and Associates (Eds. ), The handbook of student affairs administration. (pp. 135-151). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. , Publishers. Tarver, D. , Canada, R. , & Lim, M. (1999). The relationship between job satisfaction and locus of control among college student affairs administrators and academic administrators. NASPA Journal, 36(2), 96-105. Thelin, J. R. (1996). Historical overview of American higher education. In S. R. Komives, D. B. Woodard, Jr. , and Associates (Eds. ), Student services: A handbook for the profession (3rd ed. ) (pp. 3-21). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. , Publishers. Winston, R. B. , Jr. , & Creamer, D. G. (1997). Improving staffing practices in student affairs. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. , Publishers. Wolverton, M. , Gmelch, W. H. , Wolverton, M. L. & Sarros. J. C. (1999). Stress in academic leadership: U. S. and Australian department chairs/heads. The Review of Higher Education, 22(2), 165-185. Woodard, D. B. , Jr. , Komives, S. R. (1990). Ensuring staff competence. In M. J. Barr, M. L. Upcraft, and Associates (Eds. ), New futures for student affairs: Building a vision for leadership and practice (pp. 217-238). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. , Publishers.