Freeman works toward enrollment goals one Husker at a time

Freeman works toward enrollment goals one Husker at a time

Abby Freeman
Abby Freeman

Following a national search, Abby Freeman, who has served as Nebraska’s interim director of admissions since May 2017, has been named permanently to the post.

Freeman will lead a 60-staff-member operation for recruiting undergraduate students to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with an underlying goal to attract and enroll a talented and diverse student population.

Amber Williams, assistant vice chancellor for academic services and enrollment management announced Freeman’s selection on Dec. 1.

Amber Williams
Amber Williams

“Shaping Nebraska’s future – and, more importantly, preparing future citizens of the world – starts with treating each prospective student as an individual,” Williams said. “Abby’s leadership style and experience aligns Nebraska’s commitment to go beyond the numbers and understand each student’s story in a way that helps them reach their personal goals.”

Freeman has worked in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Office of Admissions since July 2011, in a variety of roles. She served as assistant director and liaison to the Colleges of Business, Education and Human Sciences, and Engineering starting in November 2011 until she moved into the associate director/operations manager role in March 2014. As associate director, Freeman was responsible for admitting qualified students and implementing the University of Nebraska shared application and a new self-reported transcript. She also developed a new training and professional development program for the admissions staff. As a result of her leadership, the Office of Admissions is now is able to offer students admissions decisions within 48 hours — a process that previously took up to a week.

Freeman participated in a six-month internship with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Connecticut under the direction of Nebraska alumnus and assistant vice president Nathan Fuerst. She served as the interim freshman recruitment manager before being tapped as interim director when Williams became an assistant vice chancellor.

“I am honored to lead our admissions team as we change lives through excellent education and career preparation,” Freeman said. “I am so inspired by our students who are doing amazing things even before they graduate – launching businesses, managing nonprofits, starting art galleries and making research discoveries.”

A native of Ida Grove in northwest Iowa, Freeman says she is a lifelong Husker fan. She comes from a family of educators. Her father was a school superintendent and her mother was a teacher. She earned a bachelor’s degree in speech and organizational communication from Northwest Missouri State University in 2009 and a master’s degree in communication from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in May 2011. She now is pursuing a doctoral degree in human sciences at Nebraska.

“I loved my college experience and I wanted to keep working with students, so I applied for a job here after completing my undergraduate degree,” she said. “I really fell in love with working in admissions. It is undeniably a high-pressure job, but there is so much good we can do by helping young people go to this college. I believe in this institution specifically. I think Nebraska can do many amazing things for students.”

Freeman and her staff have made more than 40,000 personal phone calls to students across the country as they build the freshman class for fall 2018. The Admissions Office is a key part of the university’s ambitious goal to reach an enrollment of 30,000 students – a goal she says is challenging, but achievable. One key to reaching that goal is ensuring that all students knows they are a valued part of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln student body.

“People here are very genuine and dedicated toward helping students succeed and connecting them with opportunities like internships, scholarships and study abroad activities. It’s a shared mission,” Freeman said.

“Although we report our goals and progress in numbers, I’m most excited that the measures of our success at Nebraska are human,” she said. “What we are seeking to accomplish is important because it makes a difference in people’s lives.”