Newswise — Laurie Koehler, a national leader with over two decades of experience in developing and establishing a vision and direction for student recruitment and marketing at higher education institutions, has been named vice president for marketing and enrollment strategy at Ithaca College. Koehler is currently serving as senior vice provost for enrollment and the student experience at George Washington University in Washington, DC. She will begin her new position at Ithaca College on Aug. 7.
Koehler will be responsible for marketing the college strategically to advance IC’s overall presence, expanding the college's reach and penetration in enrollment, and supporting the college’s strategies for engagement, volunteering and philanthropy. She will have direct oversight of undergraduate and graduate admission, student financial services, analytics and institutional research, and institutional marketing.
“Laurie brings to our community a wide breadth of experiences that align so powerfully with the dynamic, unique portfolio of this new vice president role, which intentionally acknowledges and strengthens the deep integration between our marketing and enrollment efforts,” said Ithaca College President Shirley M. Collado. “Her experience in higher education has showcased her deeply collaborative and student-centered approach and is global in scope. She is energized by challenge, and encourages innovation that doesn’t shy away from boldly rethinking received wisdom to develop responsive, nimble strategy.”
Koehler joined George Washington University in 2013 as senior associate provost for enrollment management. Prior to that she had served as the interim dean of enrollment and dean of admissions at Bryn Mawr College, and in leadership roles in admissions offices at Cornell University, Miami University and the University of Virginia. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in rhetoric and communication studies and master of education degree in the social and philosophical foundations of education, both from the University of Virginia.
At GW, Koehler led the creation of a new organization, Enrollment and the Student Experience, bringing together 300 staff members from the enrollment management and retention team and the student affairs team to facilitate a more holistic, integrated experience through all phases of the student lifecycle. She also oversaw the transformation of undergraduate admissions and financial aid operations; led a strategic, collaborative institutional approach to student retention and graduation involving faculty and staff across campus; and developed a strong partnership with the university’s communications and marketing unit to strategically and effectively leverage efforts in support of key institutional priorities.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the Ithaca College community,” said Koehler. “In my conversations with faculty, trustees, administrators, staff and students, two things were clear: their passion and care for the college and its people, and their genuine belief in the possibilities that lie ahead. This, in conjunction with a clear commitment to a collaborative and innovative approach and a consistent articulation of the importance of building a diverse and inclusive community, are aligned with my own values and practice, and made me fall in love with IC. I am eager to listen, learn, roll up my sleeves and get started as we tell the authentic Ithaca story.”
A Collaborative Partner
The search committee was co-chaired by Linda Petrosino, dean of the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance, and Jeane Copenhaver-Johnson, associate professor and chair of the Department of Education.
“It was quite apparent that the pool of finalists comprised extremely accomplished professionals with the depth and breadth of experience necessary for such an important position,” said Petrosino. “In Laurie Koehler, I saw a lot of intentionality around data-informed strategy and, most important, I saw a collaborative partner who knew how to form relationships and help lead across essential areas. It is a distinct pleasure to welcome Laurie to IC.”
“We found ourselves impressed by Laurie’s record of positive problem solving and by her relational, collaborative and transparent leadership style,” said Copenhaver-Johnson. “She will join experienced, strong staff collaborators in all her portfolio areas. The depth of her wisdom about marketing, enrollment management and student success — and her propensity to stay current in these dynamic and interrelated areas of responsibility — will be an asset to IC.”
Forrest Maltzman, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at George Washington, said that while the GW community will miss Koehler, he can’t imagine anyone better to fill this new and innovative role that President Collado has created.
“Laurie is the ultimate change agent and silo buster in higher education,” said Maltzman. “She is a collaborator who helped all of us see that we needed to strategically look at how we were communicating about what a GW education meant and then in helping us both enroll and graduate a diverse group of students who were passionate and committed to changing the world.”
Formerly the chief enrollment officer at Bryn Mawr, Jenny Rickard hired Koehler there as dean of admissions. Rickard is currently the president and CEO of The Common Application, where Koehler has served on the board of directors and on the transfer advisory committee.
“Laurie’s active commitment to diversity and inclusion, keen sense of the dynamics of recruiting, enrolling and supporting students in the competitive higher education market, and proven track record of making bold moves to advance strategic goals align incredibly well with Ithaca College’s mission and innovative strategic plan,” said Rickard. “I’m excited to see what President Collado, Laurie and the Ithaca College community will do together.”
In addition to The Common Application, Koehler has served in leadership capacities with such professional organizations as the Enrollment Planning Network and the College Board and has presented at a number of higher education conferences.