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Hearit to take reins of enrollment strategy

Feb. 15, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Dr. Keith M. Hearit, who has managed Western Michigan University's recruiting and enrollment functions on an interim basis for nearly three years, has been appointed permanent vice provost for strategic enrollment management.

Hearit's appointment, effective Feb. 1 and contingent on approval of the WMU Board of Trustees, will place him in charge of initiatives central to WMU's enrollment planning and recruitment activities. He will focus on:

  • Aligning enrollment goals with academic programs and campus physical capacities and determining the best student-body size at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Continuing to build a student body with an academic profile and broad diversity characteristics reflective of WMU's status as an international research university.
  • Developing new programs and community college partnerships aimed at establishing dual enrollment and seamless transfer opportunities for prospective undergraduates.
  • Co-chairing a campuswide strategic enrollment management committee aimed at enhancing retention and recruitment activities for all segments of the University community.

"In higher education, enrollment management has emerged as an area in which universities need the focus of thoughtful, analytical and creative leadership to recruit and retain students who will succeed both academically and socially," says Dr. Timothy Greene, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "Dr. Hearit is the leader who can do that for this University. He has distinguished himself over the past two years as the person to help us stay on the right strategic path as we move forward."

Hearit has served as both dean of the Lee Honors College and interim vice provost for enrollment management since mid-2007. He resigned his post as honors college dean Feb. 1 to accept the new position and to focus solely on the University's student recruitment, retention and enrollment initiatives. In addition, two areas he supervised in his interim vice provost role will be shifted to allow Hearit to focus on immediate strategic opportunities. Management of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships and the Bronco Express Services Team will now be overseen by WMU's Dr. Bassam Harik, vice provost for budget and personnel. Hearit will continue to oversee admissions operations and the Registrar's Office.

Prior to service as both dean and interim vice provost, Hearit served as associate dean of the Lee Honor College beginning in 2006. A professor of communication, he has been a WMU faculty member since 1996. Before coming to WMU, he taught at Northern Illinois University, Indiana University at Kokomo and Purdue University. He is an expert in crisis communication and issue management and is the author of a book on corporate response to allegations of wrongdoing.

"This is a wonderfully challenging and interesting role and one that allows me to engage my background in communication, my experience in the classroom and my interest in strategy and planning," Hearit says. "I love knowing that we're building strong classes for this University and strong futures for our students."

Hearit earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Central Michigan University in 1986 and 1988, respectively, and he completed his doctoral degree at Purdue in 1992.

Hearit's role as Lee Honors College dean will be filled by Dr. Nicholas Andreadis, who will serve as interim dean while the University conducts an internal search for permanent college leadership. Dr. Donald McCloud, dean of WMU's Haenicke Institute for Global Education, will lead that search.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
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Western Michigan University
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