New VP of strategic enrollment to help shape XU’s future

Amid national challenges for institutions of higher education, Xavier University has hired a longtime college admissions leader to help usher in a new strategic plan, embrace the changing college landscape and generally prepare for the future.

Scott Clyde is taking on the role of vice president of strategic enrollment management. He comes to Cincinnati after more than four years leading enrollment efforts at the University of Notre Dame. In his new position, he’ll oversee strategies to enroll and retain students.

Scott Clyde

Xavier University President Colleen Hanycz described Clyde as possessing an “unwavering commitment to Catholic higher education” and “unprecedented record of delivering enrollment results that align with optimal student success outcomes and institutional goals.”

“His expertise in aligning recruitment strategies, admission and financial aid policies, and resources to develop enrollment pipelines positions our university for future growth and an even stronger student experience,” she added.

Two decades of promoting campus success 

In announcing the staffing change, Xavier cited Clyde’s 20-plus years of experience managing and creating diverse teams and “promoting innovation, creativity, belonging, collaboration and professional growth.” The private Jesuit university also stressed his commitment to Catholic higher education, proven track record delivering enrollment results and high competency in data analytics as making him a strong fit for the position.

Prior to his time in South Bend, Indiana, Clyde led recruitment operations, systems, customer service, pre-college programs and marketing and communications for enrollment initiatives at the University of Rochester, his alma mater. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology/biological sciences from Rochester and an MBA with a management specialization from the Florida Institute of Technology.

The University of Rochester ranked No. 47 on U.S. News and World Report national “Best College” rankings in 2024.

Beyond his time in higher education, Clyde served on active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps for a decade as a fighter pilot and instructor pilot, earning the rank of major. He was a member of Rochester’s Veterans Alliance committee.

“I was particularly drawn to Xavier University’s commitment to student success and its dedication to providing a transformative educational experience,” Clyde said. 

“The mission to educate each student intellectually, morally and spiritually aligns with my core principles,” he continued. “I am eager to collaborate with leadership and key stakeholders to develop and implement enrollment strategies that support Xavier’s vision and strategic objectives.”

Adapting to a new academic landscape

As part of his new role is to help Xavier continue to grow but also adapt to the modern academic, social and economic climates.

Founded in 1831, Xavier is the sixth-longest-running Catholic university in the United States. The school’s campus has expanded greatly over the years, most notably during the past three decades – and in many ways that trend continues today. Near-term capital projects include constructing a new college of osteopathic medicine as well as an adjacent interdisciplinary science building. The university is working on a new campus master plan, which will include more campus projects once finalized.

Proposed College of Osteopathic Medicine

Despite its physical growth, Xavier, like many colleges and universities across the country, has experienced drastic changes in terms of enrollment. Between 2012 and 2020, the university’s student body grew from 6,945 total students, including 4,485 undergraduates, to 7,712 students (5,145 undergrads). However, enrollment has dropped every year since then.

This year’s 6,016 students enrolled is a 22% decrease from 2020. The 4,758 undergraduate students are the fewest since 2017. These figures are consistent with overall declines in postsecondary student enrollment across the country, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Xavier received more than 20,000 student applications for its class of 2027. However, enrollment numbers won’t be available until the fall.

Hanycz said hiring Clyde puts the university in a position to expand the ways it “attracts, enrolls and supports talented students locally, regionally, nationally and internationally,” even as other institutions grapple with a “shifting higher education landscape.”

Clyde’s first day is July 15. The 2024-25 academic year begins Aug. 19.

“Scott is an outstanding addition to our campus, and I am so proud to welcome him and his family to the Xavier community,” Hanycz said.

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