Q&A with DJ Menifee

Fall Winter 2021 Issue

Just one month before colleges across the U.S. were forced to close at the onset of the global pandemic, DJ Menifee was invited to Susquehanna’s campus as a finalist for the position of vice president for enrollment. He was welcomed as the newest member of the senior leadership team on May 1, 2020 — albeit virtually — and today he oversees 25 professionals in the offices of admission and student financial services while serving as the university’s strategy and policy leader on all matters relating to enrollment.

DJ Menifee, vice president of enrollment

Q: What drew you to Susquehanna and how have your prior experiences prepared you for this role?

A: I was drawn to Susquehanna’s strong foundation in liberal arts education, its emphasis on preparing students for a globally interdependent world and SU’s strong sense of community. I believe my prior experience serving in various admission leadership roles, building recruitment plans that align with the university’s strategic plan and leveraging financial aid helped prepare me for this opportunity. My amazing colleagues in the enrollment division and across the university gave much of their time to support my transition. We continue to learn from one another and build on collaborations and partnerships, and I am grateful for their support.

Q: How would you explain your job responsibilities as the university’s vice president for enrollment?

A: I am charged with developing and implementing a forward-looking and comprehensive strategic enrollment management plan that not only aligns with the university’s strategic initiatives, but also ensures a strong link between student demand and financial planning. I can’t do that without making data-informed decisions to set and achieve enrollment goals or building collaborative relationships with leadership across the university.

Q: What do you think the university has done well over the past year?

A: I recall having conversations with colleagues early in my transition about how we will implement health, safety and testing protocols, adopt flexible learning options, retain staff and invest in our faculty to support remote and hybrid pedagogy. Looking back on the 2020–21 academic year, we achieved that while supporting and engaging our students both on campus and remotely. I’d also like to recognize the ongoing work of the university — separate from the pandemic but implemented during the same time — as it relates to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Q: What are some of the ways Susquehanna alumni can help the university reach its enrollment goals?

A: During the 2020–21 recruitment cycle, we have partnered with alumni on an admitted student notecard campaign and the return on investment video project, which we share with admitted students via email and social media. Virtual programming expanded opportunities for prospective students to engage with alumni in new ways — Break Through, the Sigmund Weis School of Business’s alumni speaker series and the Women’s Leadership Symposium keynote presentation — in which all alumni are invited to participate.

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