(Ashland, Ore.) —Neil Woolf – who has led enrollment efforts at higher education institutions in Wisconsin, Washington and Nevada – has been hired as Southern Oregon University’s new vice president for enrollment management and student affairs.
He will start work at SOU on Jan. 9.
“I am very excited to join the team at Southern Oregon University,” Woolf said. “Under the direction of the Board of Trustees and President (Linda) Schott, I look forward to advancing the mission of the university and assisting students in achieving their success.”
In overseeing both the enrollment and student affairs functions of SOU, Woolf will seek to maintain a steady growth in enrollment through both recruitment efforts and retention of existing students. Programs under his watch include enrollment services, financial aid, the registrar’s office, student life, the university’s student resource centers and organizations, and the Stevenson Union.
Woolf is currently the chief enrollment officer and interim assistant vice chancellor for enrollment management for the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. He previously served for five years as associate vice president for enrollment management at Eastern Washington University, and for 12 years in various enrollment management and student affairs positions at Nevada State College, the Nevada System of Higher Education, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the University of Utah.
“I was drawn to SOU because of its exceptional academic and student support programs, its commitment to inclusion and equity, and the beautiful surroundings,” he said. “My family and I can’t wait to start making SOU our home.”
In his current position, Woolf has led implementation of UWO’s strategic enrollment plan, improving recruitment by focusing on approaches including search engine optimization (SEO), communicating with prospective students by text and improved collaboration with other key offices. He was one of three finalists brought to SOU for interviews in late November and early December, and was offered the job after demonstrating his understanding of the university’s challenges and opportunities in maintaining enrollment growth.
“His expertise and successful track records in both enrollment management and student affairs make him the ideal person for our position,” SOU President Linda Schott said. “I look forward to working with him to further the goals of our strategic plan.”
Woolf received his bachelor’s degree in government from Eastern Washington University, his master’s degree in public administration from the University of Utah and his Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
He will succeed Blaine Steensland, who filled the position at SOU in an interim capacity last January through June, and has continued to work remotely and in a part-time role with the university since late summer. He retired in 2014 after 28 years in senior enrollment management and student affairs positions with the Penn State University system.