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Madsen named Vice President of Enrollment


Ruthanne Madsen has been named Vice President of Enrollment at Emerson College, effective May 1. (Photo by Dan O'Brien)

Following an extensive national search, President Lee Pelton announced that Ruthanne Madsen has been appointed to be Emerson’s vice president for enrollment management, effective May 1, 2015.

“Ruthanne has clearly demonstrated her leadership at Emerson and in the international field of enrollment management,” Pelton said. “We are fortunate to have her on our senior management team as we work to advance the College’s strategic goals,” he said.

Madsen has been serving as Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management since November 1, 2014, when her predecessor MJ Knoll-Finn stepped down. In a note to the community, Pelton observed that she brings deep experience in several critical areas, including enrollment management, student affairs, student services, financial aid, retention, and diversity. 

In her new role, Madsen will lead a student-focused team that is collaborative, cohesive, and innovative in its work to recruit the very best students to Emerson College. The Enrollment Management team includes 58 dedicated and talented individuals who work in eight departments: Undergraduate Admission, Graduate Admission, Enrollment Technology, Enrollment Data and Analytics, Enrollment Marketing, Financial Aid, Student Accounts, and Student Success.

“I have enjoyed the support of an amazing enrollment management team and with their help, we can meet not only our current goals but take on new challenges in a very innovative, strategic, and effective manner,” Madsen said. “I am looking forward to working closely with President Pelton to help realize the College’s aspiration of becoming the world’s hub for education in communication and the arts,” she said.

Reporting directly to Pelton, Madsen will serve on the President’s Council and play a significant College-wide leadership role in developing and executing Emerson’s initiatives to achieve its ambitious enrollment and student success goals.

She will be charged with advancing the College’s strategic plan; bringing energy and leadership to our retention and student success initiatives; developing a growth strategy for graduate enrollment; leading and developing the enrollment management staff; supporting and growing our international enrollment goals; continuing and strengthening the Emerson Pathways program; and partnering with other senior leaders to help create and implement the College’s identity and image initiative.

Madsen began her career at Emerson three and a half years ago as Associate Vice President for Enrollment and Student Financial Services. Before that she had been in leadership positions at the University of Central Florida and Stetson University.

She holds a doctorate in higher education leadership from Nova Southeastern University (Florida), as well as an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in accounting and marketing from Stetson University (Florida).

Pelton expressed his gratitude to Eric Sykes, associate vice president of enrollment management data and analytics, who provided leadership support in enrollment strategy, operations, and marketing during this period. Eric has an M. in social and personality psychology from Purdue University as well as considerable experience in institutional research, planning, and assessment and was an assistant professor at Dickinson College prior to coming to Emerson College in 2004.  

Pelton also thanked the members of the search committee: Melia Bensusen, Jan Roberts-Breslin, Al Jaffe, Daniel Kempler, Brooke Knight, Ron Ludman, Michael MacWade, Tony Pinder, Jasmine Reyes, Linda Schwartz, Kayleigh Shoen, and Sylvia Spears.

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