HomeEvents2019 Strategic Enrollment Planning Executive Forum

2019 Strategic Enrollment Planning Executive Forum

2019 Strategic Enrollment Planning Executive Forum
Register by March 11 after March 11
1 to 2 from an institution $535 each $585 each
3 to 15 from an institution $515 each $565 each

Register for the Executive Forum »

Achieve lasting success in a rapidly changing educational environment

How can you ensure that your campus is here to stay?

Major changes in academic demands, employment needs, and student demographics have created enormous challenges for colleges and universities. Now more than ever, institutions need a strategic, data-driven plan that will meet their enrollment goals and fiscal needs to achieve long-term institutional sustainability.

Join us in Chicago for a hands-on forum for campus leaders. You’ll learn directly from experienced strategic planning experts and collaborate with campus colleagues as you analyze fiscal, academic, and resource challenges in order to create a plan that will help your institution thrive.

Explore key topics in strategic enrollment planning and institutional strategic planning

Learn about the facilitators

This year’s forum has expanded to include both strategic enrollment planning and institutional strategic planning, so that campus leaders can engage in a full exploration of topics that impact institutional sustainability.

Strategic Enrollment Planning

  • Tackling external trends and demands—and internal strengths and weaknesses—that influence student enrollment
  • Analyzing academic program trends and their revenue implications
  • Strengthening student success and completion as well as new student enrollment
  • Aligning strategy development with enrollment and financial projections through a return-on-investment (ROI) analysis
  • Winning support campus-wide by designing a cross-divisional strategic enrollment planning process

Institutional Strategic Planning (free optional session on March 28)

  • Developing your vision and fulfilling your mission
  • Diving deeper into finance, infrastructure, and advancement
  • Creating a concrete approach to institutional strategic planning

Sessions include hands-on planning time for teams. By the time you leave, you will have already completed a substantial amount of the preparatory work required for an effective plan (identification of scope, topics, tasks, etc.). See the full agenda.

Who should attend?

  • President or chancellor
  • Chief enrollment officer/Vice president for enrollment
  • Provost or chief academic officer
  • Chief fiscal officer

For maximum benefit, bring your entire cabinet or executive leadership team to evaluate high-impact strategies that cross divisional lines.

Location and accommodations

The Executive Forum will take place at The Blackstone Hotel in Chicago. See more information about accommodations.


The following consultants from Ruffalo Noel Levitz will lead discussions on emerging trends, recent research findings, and effective planning processes. See the hour-by-hour agenda to learn about the specific topics to be discussed.

Sarah Coen
Senior Vice President, Ruffalo Noel Levitz

Sarah Coen is our leader for enrollment consulting. She offers nearly two decades of experience in higher education enrollment management and has consulted with a wide range of institutions.

Lewis Sanborne, PhD
Vice President, Ruffalo Noel Levitz

Dr. Lewis Sanborne is the Ruffalo Noel Levitz leader in strategic enrollment planning. He has more than 20 years of experience in higher education enrollment management and has worked with colleges and universities of every size, type, and mission.

Gary Fretwell
Senior Vice President, Ruffalo Noel Levitz

Gary Fretwell has been a catalyst for enrollment success on hundreds of campuses. His guidance has helped institutions establish strategic and tactical enrollment plans, data-driven retention programs, and more coordinated internal operations.

Dawn Hiles
Vice President, Ruffalo Noel Levitz

Dawn Hiles is a higher education veteran with experience in enrollment and fundraising. Before coming to RNL, she served at Drury University as vice president of enrollment management and as vice president of alumni and development.

Wes Butterfield
Vice President

Wes Butterfield oversees financial aid services at RNL. He has consulted with dozens of campuses on achieving enrollment and net revenue goals, increasing the effectiveness of student recruitment, and optimizing their enrollment management efforts.

Stephanie Franks-Helwich
Vice President

Stephanie Franks-Helwich is an expert in adult, online, and graduate (AOG) enrollment, helping institutions develop solutions to improve financial sustainability, achieve successful outcomes, and sustain AOG programs.

Michael Williams, PhD
Senior Executive, Ruffalo Noel Levitz

Dr. Michael Williams has assisted more than 160 colleges and universities with academic program cost and demand analysis, predictive modeling for admissions and advancement, financial aid analysis, and retention analysis.

Brenda Williams
Senior Associate Consultant; Former Associate Provost, University of New Haven

With more than 35 years of experience in higher education, Dr. Brenda Williams offers a wealth of insights on effective retention strategy. She also served as vice president of academic affairs and dean of Mitchell College.


The Strategic Enrollment Planning Executive Forum will assist you and your colleagues with creating or fine-tuning a data-driven strategic enrollment plan. It will be led by Ruffalo Noel Levitz facilitators with decades of enrollment management experience.

Free additional session on Institutional Strategic Planning: Our second day will include an optional session on institutional strategic planning (ISP) to dive deeper into issues related to mission, vision, finance, infrastructure, and other key topics.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

7:30 – 8:00 a.m.

Forum check-in/Continental breakfast

8:00 – 8:30 a.m.

Welcome and introductions

8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

The Strategic Enrollment Planning Imperative: Higher Education Past and Present

10:15 a.m. – noon

Preparing for the Process of Planning: Campus Readiness

  • Overview of Strategic Enrollment Planning
  • Creating the Organizational Structures
  • Defining Scope and Populations

noon – 1:15 p.m.

Networking lunch

1:15 – 1:30 p.m.

Introduction to the Benchmarking Tool

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Establishing KPIs, Data Collection, and the Situation Analysis

  • Research, Data Compilation, and Dashboards
  • Identifying Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Elements of a Comprehensive Situation Analysis

3:15 – 4:30 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

  • Student Recruitment Best Practices
  • Academic Program Planning
  • Strengthening Adult, Online, and Graduate Efforts

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Networking reception

5:30 p.m.

Free evening to enjoy Chicago

Thursday, March 28, 2019

7:30 – 8:00 a.m.

Continental breakfast

8:00 – 9:15 a.m.

Breakout Sessions

  • Student Recruitment Best Practices
  • Student Retention Best Practices
  • Financial Aid Best Practices

9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Strategy Identification, Development, Prioritization, and Goal Settingstrong>

  • How the Research and Data Feed Into Strategy Development
  • Preliminary Vetting of Potential Strategies
  • Developing Meaningful Business Plans
  • Prioritization
  • Goal Setting

11:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Pulling It All Together – The Plan Itself

  • Tips for Developing Your Plan
  • Managing Execution
  • Evaluating and Modifying the Plan

11:30 a.m. – noon

Observations and Lessons From Campus

noon – 12:15 p.m.

SEP Q&A and wrap up, adjournment for those not staying for the last session.
Boxed lunches will be available for all attendees.

1:30-4:00 p.m.

Creating a Sustainable Future Through Institutional Strategic Planning (free optional session)

  • Expanding the theoretical framework of SEP to embrace ISP
  • Broadening your vision and fulfilling your mission
  • Diving into finance, infrastructure, and advancement
  • Creating a concrete approach to ISP to achieve goals and avoid pitfalls

4:00 – 4:15 p.m.

ISP Q&A, wrap-up, and adjournment

This is a preliminary agenda and is subject to change.

Hands-on planning time

Many sessions include hands-on planning time so by the time you leave you will have already completed a substantial amount of the preparatory work required for an effective plan (identification of scope, topics, tasks, etc.).

Location and Accommodations

The Blackstone Hotel

636 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605

Hotel savings

Book your room early

To receive the special rate, attendees must book their rooms by March 11, 2019. However, the special Forum rate may sell out before the deadline, at which time rooms will be provided on a space- and rate-available basis and may become completely unavailable. Click here to make a reservation.

Note: a portion of the guestroom charges will be credited to Ruffalo Noel Levitz to offset The Blackstone Hotel food and beverage and other onsite forum expenses, and to minimize registration fee increases.

Free handbook! Learn from the people who literally wrote the book on strategic enrollment planning,

Order this Ruffalo Noel Levitz book

Each forum attendee will receive a free copy of Strategic Enrollment Planning: A Dynamic Collaboration. The most comprehensive book on the subject, it dives into detail on the topics covered during the forum and features chapters from the forum presenters among other experts.