Date of Award

Fall 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Joseph Stetar, Ph.D

Committee Member

Robert Kelchen, Ph.D

Committee Member

Lillian Ortiz, Ed.D


change management, decision making, enrollment management, higher education, leadership, work teams


Once a novel strategy adopted by a limited number of private colleges, enrollment management (EM) is now a standard practice for most institutions in American higher education. The units engaged in EM and strategic enrollment management (SEM) serve as change agents in support of student recruitment, retention and graduation. Over time, the units supporting EM have expanded from admissions to include financial aid, advising, the registrar and institutional research. As a result of this expansion, structural models developed in the 1980s provide little insight into the team organization that EM has become. Using data collected in a survey instrument administered to 680 mid-level directors of public and private colleges and universities accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, this study developed a new model for researching enrollment management systems. The research identified information on respondents’ engagement in EM and their participation in the decision-making processes of their institutions. Results from the survey indicate that mid-level managers actively engaged in enrollment management are more likely to be involved in decision making than similarly situated mid-level managers with little to no engagement in enrollment management. Leadership of today’s colleges and universities can benefit from these data-based findings that decision participation was impacted by formalization of the EM environment, centralization of authority (such as an EM division) and respondents’ interactions with other institutional units.