Founded in 1892, Nichols’ 128-year history is a pillar for superior education in the Buffalo, New York market. The school’s mission “is to train minds, bodies and hearts for the work of life, and to carry into all we do the highest ideals of character and service”. Nichols’ offers a rigorous college-preparatory program, which includes Honors and Advanced Placement courses in each discipline, in addition to a diverse selection of electives and prepares students for college and beyond. In 2020-21, the student community of 570 includes 170 students in the Middle School in grades 5-8 and 400 students in the Upper School in grades 9-12. The School has a diverse student population, of which approximately 27% identify as students of color.
Nichols School has a very healthy financial operation model. As of June 30, 2020, the total operational revenue was $14 million, of which 69% came from tuition revenue, and the market value of the endowment was $32 million. The School provided $3.1 million in financial assistance. The school has no long-term debt.
Nichols School a top-tier, nationally ranked Grade 5- 12 school, seeks a Dean of Admission who can build on the School’s outstanding reputation in the Buffalo, NY market and introduce and direct an enrollment management practice, while strengthening admissions and enrollment processes. Founded in 1892, Nichols School is a co-educational, college preparatory, independent school with 570 students.
Reporting to the Head of School, the Dean of Admission will be central to building and strengthening an enrollment management infrastructure at Nichols and will work closely with the Administrative Cabinet and the Board of Trustees in developing a collaborative approach to enrollment. The Dean will manage the Admission Office staff, will be responsible for the oversight of student recruitment and enrollment efforts of 2 divisions. As part of the School’s recruitment and enrollment of students, the Dean will oversee the administration of the admission and financial aid budgets; all admission processes and records; all admission events, travel, and constituent volunteer efforts etc.; and all recruitment, enrollment and matriculation efforts, up to welcoming new families to school in August.
1. Sets annual admission goals, in accordance with Nichols School’s mission to promote academic quality and economic, racial, and ethnic diversity in the student body, based on enrollment goals set by the Board of Trustees. 2. Provides leadership in creating an enrollment management model with the following: a. Formulates annual Admission and Enrollment Management Action Plans with goals and objectives. b. Participates as an active member of the Head of School’s Administrative Cabinet. Presents statistical and trend information to the Administrative Cabinet and Board of Trustees, and faculty/staff. c. Organizes and administers the School’s financial aid program and sets tuition revenue goals and budget in conjunction with the Chief Financial Officer.
d. Works closely with the Marketing and Communications staff developing and implementing strategic marketing ideas, managing admission publications and admission process communications, which includes work on the production of the school print pieces, a digital marketing strategy and the Admission Office’s part of the School’s website. e. Works closely with the Advancement Office developing and implementing strategic external networking, communication plans, and named scholarships, and providing synergy between the admission and advancement work. f. Manages new student enrollment and assists with the reenrollment of current students in close connection with the Division Heads, the Business Office and the Head of School. g. Understands and informs the community about research, demographics, admission and enrollment trends, ensuring that changes and challenges are anticipated, understood, and addressed. h. Works closely with the Division Heads on issues relating to admission, student life and retention. i. Attends Board of Trustee meetings when appropriate and is involved in strategic planning and keeping the Board fully apprised of the School’s admission, financial aid, and marketing endeavors as related to admission and enrollment.
3. Is responsible for creating and managing a centralized Admission Office, and oversight of student recruitment, admission processes and enrollment efforts for each of the 2 divisions, manages the Admission Office staff and has he following additional responsibilities: a. Maintains statistical and trend data related to admission and enrollment. b. Oversees the volunteer network of Admission representatives. c. Oversees all on-campus visitation programs-including interviews and accepted student programs. d. Oversees the entire application review process, and with the assistance of the Admission staff, assigns reading and committee assignments to associates in the office, faculty, and staff. e. Represents the Admission Office and School at public events, on and off campus. f. Directs annual recruitment plan by assigning outreach responsibilities to admission staff. g. Maintains and encourages relationships with sending schools, counselors, consultants and other sources for prospective mission aligned students. h. Provides training and professional development opportunities for admission staff. 4. Maintains and enhances the School’s good standing in relevant professional organizations. 5. Is an integral leader for the school community and participates fully in daily community life.
Applying for the Position
Successful candidates should possess a minimum of five years of Admission and Financial Aid leadership experience with direct experience with enrollment management practices, a strong commitment to 5-12 education; excellent communication skills, both written and spoken; facile with data, comfortable thinking strategically, superior interpersonal, organizational and managerial skills; high energy, flexibility, warmth and sense of humor. A bachelor’s degree is required; a master’s degree is strongly preferred.
Nichols School has retained The Baker Group, the premier independent school enrollment management consulting firm, to assist in the recruitment of the next Dean of Admission.
Interested candidates are asked to submit in an electronic file, their resume, a one to two-page cover letter, and names and contact information of three references directed to Christine H. Baker at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please submit materials by March 5, 2021.
About Christine Baker at The Baker Group
Association of Independent School Admission Professionals