The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



SMC hires new V.P. in enrollment office

Kelly Meehan | Friday, August 26, 2005

In a day and age where only one percent of high school females consider attending a woman’s college, the task of recruiting students to such an institution may prove nearly impossible. However, things have just gotten a little easier for Saint Mary’s with the hiring of Dan Meyer, who will serve the new vice president of enrollment management.

Meyer came to Saint Mary’s from Saint Norbert College in DePere, Wis., where he served as the Dean of Enrollment Management. While there, he managed to increase the freshman class enrollment by nearly 30 percent, enroll the largest minority class in the college’s history and achieve the higher average ACT scores of incoming freshman.

Meyer hopes to achieve similar goals at Saint Mary’s.

“We need to meet the needs of students in every way possible,” Meyer said. “I hope to shift our way of thinking so that students are our top priority at all times.”

To become more in tune with the students’ feelings towards the College, Meyer hopes to survey students to find out why they chose Saint Mary’s and how they feel about it once they attend. He also will survey students who transfer out of the college, to see what made them decide to leave.

Once the administration is better in tune with the needs of the students, Meyer hopes that the College will become more appealing to prospective students. The goal is to have a gradual increase in the freshman class at a rate of approximately 25 students per year.

It is not only his goal to increase general admission, but to also increase diversity within the student body, Meyer said. He does not wish to solely increase ethnic diversity, but social, academic and geological diversity as well.

“The students’ academic experience will greatly increase as they interact [among] an increasingly diverse student body,” he said.

To achieve these primary goals, Meyer is currently in the process of building an enrollment management team at the College. This team will consist of both the admissions counselors and financial aid employees. The purpose of this team, among other things, will be to work together to create a national Saint Mary’s brand.

This brand will define the mission and critical values for all students and alumni.

Meyer feels that the College has been through several bouts of change and needs to gain more focus on a solid identity that will give off a message they can embrace. Once this is achieved, the College will develop a definite identity and have more of a stand in the national market, he said.

Meyer made the move from Saint Norbert with great confidence in Saint Mary’s.

“I believe the College has a strong future due to the fact that is has been educating bright, talented and motivated women with highly-educated professors for many years. It is a sound product, especially since it is a liberal arts and Catholic college – two mission-critical values,” Meyer said.

Many faculty members, including Interim Director of Admissions Mona Bowe, are very excited for the anticipated changes Meyer will bring to the College within the next few years.

“The addition of [Meyer] to the College community will allow us to reach our goal to admit, enroll and retain quality students,” she said. “While we have been able to accomplish this somewhat working separately, having a single person on campus that can bring together Admissions and Financial Aid under one roof, and be a leader in retention issues, can only make Saint Mary’s stronger.”