New division proposed for Miami: Enrollment Management and Student Success

A new university division is being proposed in a strategic effort to unite the components of student life that contribute to student success. The new proposed division would focus those components toward Miami's vision – "to provide the best undergraduate experience in the nation, enhanced by superior, select graduate programs."

The Division of Enrollment Management and Student Success (EMSS) would have direct responsibility for admission and enrollment management, financial aid, bursar, registrar and possibly career services. In some areas, the division would provide the lion’s share of the service to our students. In other cases, EMSS would function primarily as the campus leader and coordinator, leading and facilitating the interconnected actions that will lead to increased student success.

"Historically, responsibility for different aspects of student success has been distributed among several offices which have operated somewhat independently of each other as they have focused on delivering the best service or opportunity to our students," said David Hodge, Miami's president. "Today the student life cycle includes a series of interconnected and overlapping opportunities and influences that culminate in graduation and career success. It is imperative that we are organized structurally to coordinate these various components of student success and have a clear path of accountability to meeting the high goals we have set forth in the Miami 2020 Plan.

"The vision set forth in the Miami 2020 Strategic Plan is ambitious: To provide the best undergraduate experience in the nation, enhanced by superior, select graduate programs.'  It is a vision that reflects both our historical focus on undergraduate education and our commitment to student success.  The challenge is to deliver on that vision, a challenge that will require fresh approaches to the student experience."

The division would be the responsibility of a vice president who would report directly to the president and to the provost to ensure that all activities are aligned and in partnership with academic policies and priorities. The reorganization would not require any additional staffing.

President Hodge and Provost Bobby Gempesaw point to several advantages of such a reorganization:
1. It would provide greatly enhanced institutional ability to cross boundaries that affect student success.
2. It would provide clear lines of responsibility. One of the most notable examples of that is the responsibility for increasing retention and graduation rates.  While virtually every office on Miami's campuses contributes to that goal, it would be the responsibility of the division to lead and coordinate that effort.  
3. EMSS would connect the closely related units that provide the supporting infrastructure to assist students throughout the student life-cycle. This fusion would yield economic efficiencies, more effective student services and enhanced ability for cross-unit innovation.

Details of the plans for the new division will be shared with various groups on campus with a public discussion of the proposal in the committee meetings and general meeting of the board of trustees, April 24 and 25, with a vote by the board at the June meeting.

Comments and questions can be directed to Ted Pickerill (, 529-6225), executive assistant to the president and secretary to the board of trustees.

The Division of Enrollment Management and Student Success, if approved, would launch July 1.