New VP for Enrollment Takes a Scientific Approach

Jan 14, 2011

Norm Jones, the Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing at Texas Lutheran University in Sequin, Texas, will be joining the College March 1 as its new Vice President of Enrollment Management.

Mr. Jones has worked at Texas Lutheran for the past 14 years. He also has served as Dean of Enrollment Services at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri; Dean of Admissions and Financial Planning at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia; and Vice President and Dean of Admissions at the University of Charleston in West Virginia.

He replaces Dr. Bob Yapsuga, who retired in December after 16 years of service.

“When I visited the campus during the interview process, I felt the energy of the DelVal community,” said Mr. Jones, a native of Nashville, Tenn. “I felt a commitment to the new strategic plan. There was an attitude that everyone was rolling up their sleeves and getting ready to make the College the best it can be.”

Mr. Jones has a master’s from West Georgia University in guidance and counseling, and a bachelor’s from the University of Tennessee in education. He began his career in Georgia as a high school teacher who coached basketball, soccer and volleyball. As he moved on to higher education, his positions were almost always in admissions-related work. While at the University of Charleston, however, he also oversaw athletics.

Mr. Jones takes a scientific approach to enrollment, using databases and specially written software that he designed. At Texas Lutheran, he used something called “geodemographic research” to screen highly qualified students most like to apply and enroll there.

The result, he said, was a 48 percent increase in full-time enrollment.

“At DelVal I’ve already requested five years of enrollment data from the IT folks,” he said. “I need to identify how closely students match up with the environment at DelVal. I intend to find out why people stay, then emphasize and package that experience.”

Because DelVal has about reached its student capacity, Mr. Jones does not intend to significantly increase enrollment. But he said some academic programs are under capacity and he hopes to fill them up.

“And when the Life Sciences Center is built, that will bring on more capacity and we will try to bring in more students into the sciences,” he said.

The new VP described the enrollment process as “very important and emotional … not mechanical.” As for himself, he said he is a motivational manager and a team builder. One of his strengths, he said, is developing systems and strategies that result in the achievement of realistic enrollment goals.

Mr. Jones said there are similarities between Texas Lutheran, a private school with an enrollment of 1,400, and DelVal, with about 1,700 undergrads.

“We both address the whole student,” he said. “I like to say that college is about the education, not the degree.”

Among his professional associations, Mr. Jones has served as Executive Director of the America / China Advancement Program since its beginning in 2000, and has been active with the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas.