Western Michigan University’s Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, Keith Hearit, has stepped down from his position, leading to a nation-wide search for his successor, according to school officials.
Hearit resigned from the office back in July, though it won’t be officially acknowledged until the upcoming Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 20, said WMU spokeswoman Cheryl Roland.
WMU Provost Tim Greene, who serves as the chair of the Strategic Enrollment Management Committee, is currently filling Hearit’s former position while his office searches for a replacement.
““I sincerely appreciate Dr. Hearit’s hard work over the last five years as vice provost,” Greene said. “He has worked very hard at the position”
While is no longer officially with the office, Hearit is in the process of wrapping up his outstanding responsibilities for the enrollment management committee, reporting directly to the provost on several enrollment projects with the school’s community college partners throughout the fall, Roland said.
Hearit first started at the office as interim position before moving permanently into the role in 2010. The professor had also served as the co-chair of the Strategic Enrollment Management Committee.
Hearit’s departure from the provost’s office has been in the works for months, Roland said.
“[Hearit] and Greene have been chatting about this since the beginning of the year,” she said.
Provost Greene has already been assembling a hiring committee over the past few weeks in order to find a suitable replace for Hearit. He has already named Kay Palin, the dean of the Haworth College of Business, as the chair of the selection committee, Greene said. The provost is still in the process of determining the additional 12 to 15 faculty and staff who will join him.
The hiring committee will be searching for candidates from colleges all over the nation, Greene said.
“We will be looking for someone with considerable experience in enrollment management,” Greene said. “We want to have the search wrapped up by middle of the academic year.”
According the provost office’s website, the Strategic Enrollment Management committee is charged with the development of programs that attracts enrollment from highest quality undergrads and graduates.
“Enrollment management looks at variables that go into maintaing a stable number of students on campus,”
Roland said. “They look at incoming freshman and transfer students, and retention rates. They look at the factors that impact those numbers, everything from financial aid to issues with midterm grading.”
Hearit begin his career at WMU back in 1996, as professor with the School of Communication. Prior to his half-decade stint in the provost’s office, the instructor had served a stint as associate dean of Lee’s Honor College in 2006.
After completing his obligations, the communications professor plans on remaining with WMU as a faculty
member in January, for the start of the spring semester.
“Dr. Hearit is eager to return to the classroom,” Roland said.
Despite the current vacancy, Greene said that current enrollment operations have been proceeding without interruption, and should run smoothly while the committee commences its search and selection process.
“We have some outstanding staff in administrations and financial aid, and they will continue to do the good things that they do,” Greene said. “I don’t think students, either future or current, will see any changes to our administration process.”