As Fort Lewis College struggles with lagging enrollment, it will fill the position of vice president for enrollment management with a temporary, interim hire.
President Dene Kay Thomas informed the Board of Trustees on Friday that she would use The Registry, a candidate bank of retired college administrators who are available to fill positions temporarily, to send three candidates for interviews in the next month. One of the three would likely be chosen to temporarily fill the post of associate vice president for enrollment management.
“The comments I’ve heard from (other college) presidents using The Registry have been positive,” Thomas told trustees.
Carol Smith, the current vice president for enrollment management, has left to take a similar position at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.
Trustee Steve Short said he has heard from several faculty members who questioned the wisdom of filling the position with a temporary, interim employee.
But he added he had discussed the matter with Thomas, and he agreed with her that the position is too important to leave vacant for four months, the time it would take to hire someone without relying on The Registry for a temporary fill-in.
Thomas, who is retiring at the end of the academic year, said the next president of the college should have a role in hiring for such an important position.
Student enrollment for the fall semester is 3,356 – 239 students shy of the previous year. Fall enrollment in 2016 was 3,595, which at that time was the lowest enrollment in more than a decade. During the recession is 2009, fall enrollment was 3,685.