Second of three finalists for new vice president position discusses goals for CMU, career path to higher education

After some soul searching, Daniel R. Shelley changed his career path from anthropology and went into higher education to make more of a difference.

"In the end I liked higher education," Shelley said. "I was thinking, 'I want to do something that has a little greater meaning.'"

Shelley, assistant vice president and director of Undergraduate Admissions at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, is one of the four finalists for the vice president for enrollment and student services position.

The position was announced Jan. 11 by University President George Ross. The new vice president will report to the president and is responsible for graduation rates, student retention, student enrollment goals, marketing responsibilities and keeping the university competitive, according to previously published reports.

During Shelley's open forum Monday morning at the Bovee University Center, he spoke on his goals, work background and ways to solve problems dealing with enrollment.

"It depends on the institution because (enrollment) may or may not be a problem," Shelley said. "There is a decline overall and growth populations are most often first generations."

If decline in enrollment is a problem one of the first steps he suggested was to broaden one's base.

"Where are you known?" he asked the crowd. "Maybe it is surrounding states."

Instead of trying to reach out to states at long distances, he said to start locally and spread out.

"It is a continual multi-year rollout," he said. Then there is a chance to go on the international level, Shelley added.

Shelley then talked about his position with RIT.

"We have a comprehensive view of kind of the world at RIT and what we need to accomplish," he said. "We have had some significant branding research that I am responsible for to make sure it gets rolled in and how it plays out."

Marcie Otteman, executive director of alumni relations, attended the event because she wanted to hear what the candidate had to say about the direction of the university.

"It is important because Dr. Ross created this enrollment management for student services vice presidency at a vice president's level which is new to us," she said. "We've always had a Dean of Students division but never at a vice president's level. So it shows the importance that thy are placing on it. I think students should take interest in it. This is what is going to drive the direction as far a student support services for the university. I think it is important to them."

A third finalist will visit campus Friday and hold open forums.

Melik Peter Khoury is senior vice president for strategic positioning at Upper Iowa University. Khoury has worked at Culver Stockton College, Paul Smith’s College, The University of Maine at Fort Kent and The University of Maine, Orono.

A student forum is scheduled from 3-3:45 p.m., and an open forum will be held from 4-5 p.m. Both forums will be held in the Strosacker Room of the Charles V. Park Library.