An Innovator

12.08.2011 | Campus and Community, International

Sundar Kumarasamy, vice president for enrollment management at the University of Dayton, will take on expanded responsibilities in University-wide marketing.

Kumarasamy, who's made a name in higher education circles for bold and innovative undergraduate student recruitment marketing campaigns, has been promoted to vice president for enrollment management and marketing.

As part of the organizational change, the staffs in University communications and enrollment management marketing are merging to serve more effectively the overall needs of the entire campus with creative marketing pieces that meet guidelines in the University's new online brand guide.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to create a centralized, focused marketing function that will maximize the skills of two talented staffs," he said. "We have an incredible story to tell to a wide range of audiences around the world — from prospective students and alumni to donors and research partners." 

Kumarasamy joined the University of Dayton five years ago after a 12-year stint at Saint Joseph's University as assistant provost for enrollment management. Under his leadership, the University of Dayton has increased first-year applications more than 40 percent. Out-of-state and international enrollments have soared to record levels, while selectivity and college entrance test scores have improved markedly.

Though it's still early in the student recruitment process, the University has received more than 10,000 applications for next fall's first-year class — a 27 percent increase over last year at this time — and is on pace to break the record.

This fall, the University of Dayton rolled out what's believed to be the world's first iPad viewbook — a multimedia version of the traditional print brochure that fills mailboxes of high school juniors and seniors.

The University also received national media attention for offering prospective students four years of free textbooks for making an official campus visit, applying, submitting a federal financial aid application and receiving their acceptance letter, all by March 1. 

Just recently, the University launched a Facebook scholarship contest that invites prospective students to create entertaining and imaginative videos about what servant leadership means to them. Three winners will be selected to receive a total of $50,000 in scholarships.

Kumarasamy, who regularly makes presentations to the College Board, has been interviewed this fall by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Forbes.com and U.S. News and World Report about higher education marketing.