Calhoun promoted to full VP position to focus on enrollment

Dr. Thomas Calhoun, current associate vice president for academic affairs, has been promoted to vice president for enrollment management. Calhoun will assume his new position in January.

Managing enrollment will be the main focus of Thomas Calhoun, newly appointed vice president for enrollment management, officials said.

UNA President Bill Cale said Calhoun will retain his existing duties and have new roles in his position that begins Jan. 1. Calhoun formerly served the university as associate vice president for academic affairs.

“We are really placing an emphasis at UNA on student success,” Cale said.

Cale said Calhoun’s position places him in charge of creating and implementing a strategic plan to improve enrollment management and retention at UNA.

Cale said the university is saving money promoting Calhoun by not having to hire another senior-level administrator to fulfill his duties.

“It doesn’t cost much money to do this, but it really places (retention and diversity) front and center,” Cale said.

Calhoun will also assume the role as chief diversity officer in charge of overseeing diversity and institutional equity.

Cale said by promoting Calhoun to a full vice-presidential position and making him the diversity officer at UNA, the university is becoming more in line with the Knight-Sims settlement from 2006.

Cale said the Office of Diversity and Institutional Equity will now be under Calhoun’s newly formed division, with former interim director Joan Williams taking over as director.

Calhoun said he is ready to get to work to improve enrollment and retention at UNA.

“I suspect that (target numbers for enrollment and recruitment) will be well defined, because not only is the university in desperate need of an enrollment management plan, but it is also at its end of its current strategic plan,” Calhoun said.

Calhoun said he wants to work to promote total engagement from students within the university. He said he plans to work with the other divisions of the university to ensure student success and that each student at UNA gets the tools they need to be successful.

Formerly, the dean of enrollment management managed the enrollment management function of the university, Calhoun said. After the former dean retired, Calhoun assumed the responsibilities, he said.

The Academic Commons Center will be key in making this plan a reality, Cale said.

“That building is going to house a number of services and programs that already exist on campus, and it’s going to incubate some current services to support students in their success,” Calhoun said.

Cale said that approximately 30 percent of freshmen who enroll at UNA will leave after their first year on campus. Calhoun will be in charge of ensuring that students stay at UNA and graduate, he said.

The level of expectation for Calhoun has changed, Cale said. In the past, Calhoun relied on the directors working for him, and now he will be charged with bringing those directors together to implement a comprehensive plan to increase enrollment and control retention, Cale said.

Calhoun said he has been in higher education for more than 20 years and worked at the University of Washington as an assistant dean before coming to UNA.