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Using Emotional Intelligence to Achieve Enrollment Objectives: Perceptions from Enrollment Managers

Mardell R Maxwell, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The next decade may present continuous, dramatic and transformational change in higher education. New paradigms and educational delivery systems may become commonplace. New federal legislation may dictate admission practices, tuition increases, and mandates for standard retention and graduation rates. The ethnic and socioeconomic makeup of students in the classroom may change as demographics and population continue to shift in the U.S. Students may have fewer merit scholarships that are more competitive available to them. Available federal and state financial aid that help students pay for college will likely decrease instead of increase. Technology may continue to make higher education available to students of all ages and at all times of the day and night. In short, change is likely to be consistent and effective leadership among university administrators, such as enrollment managers, will be imperative. Given the financial challenges and opportunities universities face, enrollment is a critical tool to meet legislative priorities. Some believe achieving enrollment objectives at a university is solely dependent on the efforts and activities of the admissions office or enrollment division, while others think the entire university shares responsibility. No matter which philosophy a university embraces, the leadership effectiveness of enrollment managers is crucial (Baker, 2012). This study explored how enrollment managers at public universities in the Big Ten Conference perceived and utilized emotional intelligence (EQ). Empirical evidence supports the argument that the EQ theory is relevant in higher education, particularly in academic administration (Scott, Coates, & Anderson, 2008). However, there is a gap in evidence to support whether EQ is relevant to enrollment managers, whose environment and objectives differ dramatically from academic administrators. The findings from this research investigation may help enrollment managers in their efforts to lead effective enrollment plans and productive staff members. Also, this study may further discussions about EQ in higher education and strategies that lead to achieving their university objectives.

Subject Area

Higher Education Administration|Educational leadership

Recommended Citation

Maxwell, Mardell R, "Using Emotional Intelligence to Achieve Enrollment Objectives: Perceptions from Enrollment Managers" (2019). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI13861529.