James Volkmer, assistant dean for business and finance in Academic Services and Enrollment Management, began a two-year appointment as director of enrollment strategy and analytics on Oct. 1, the Office of Academic Affairs announced last week.
In the new role, Volkmer will be responsible for:
developing new enrollment management strategies for student recruitment and retention to support UNL’s academic deans’ goals,
employing data-analytic approaches for decision-making in light of market and demographic trends, including developing models for enrollment across student demographics and colleges;
systematically assessing financial aid and scholarship models to support recruitment yields, retention, and degree completion; and
monitoring economic and higher education trends to enhance UNL’s visibility and market position, with particular attention to online, international and military and veteran students.
Ronnie Green, interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, said that the office had been evaluating the best plans and structures for moving forward in this area of enrollment management and growth.
Volkmer will report to Associate Vice Chancellor Amy Goodburn, who will continue to oversee the ASEM units of admissions, New Student Enrollment, scholarships and financial aid, and the University Registrar. Goodburn took on the role of directing ASEM when Alan Cerveny stepped down as dean of ASEM on July 1.
“After analyzing the current structure and capacity of the ASEM group, reviewing input from a consultant and the structure and resourcing of enrollment management at peer institutions, we reached the conclusion that what we needed to put in to place was a new role of director of enrollment strategy and analytics to join the existing ASEM directors,” Green said.
“I am very pleased with this structure, with the new emphasis on analytics that James will bring in to the team, and am deeply appreciative to both him and Amy for taking on these expanded leadership roles.”
Goodburn said Volkmer has already developed a detailed and nuanced predictive model for achieving UNL’s enrollment goals, and also has enabled academic units to engage in long-range planning of instructional needs by creating university course demand analysis reporting. Currently, Volkmer is investigating new technologies for more strategic recruiting in out-of-state markets and analyzing scholarship and financial aid packages to best support student retention and time to degree.
“James’ expertise in analytics coupled with his background in business and finance has already helped to drive strategies for recruiting and retaining students,” Goodburn said. “In this new role, he will accelerate the development of using analytics and modeling to help us reach our goals. He’s a great partner and bridge builder between units in academic affairs and ASEM.”
An ASEM assistant dean since 2012, Volkmer brought more than 15 years of corporate finance experience to UNL. He has worked with several industry-leading corporations including Payless ShoeSource, Home Depot and Nike. Prior to joining UNL, Volkmer was the director of finance for Nike Global Marketing and Global Sports Marketing.