MACON, Ga. – Mercer University President William D. Underwood has appointed a 25-year enrollment management veteran to serve as the institution's senior vice president for enrollment management.
Terry E. Whittum, currently associate vice president and dean of admissions at Stetson University in Deland, Fla., will assume the post Jan. 2, 2007. He will lead a new division that will consolidate responsibility for undergraduate admissions on the Macon campus and undergraduate and graduate admissions at the university's Regional Academic Centers. He also will be responsible for financial aid operations on the Macon and Atlanta campuses and at the Regional Academic Centers and will oversee Mercer's student retention initiatives.
"Mercer is blessed with quality students, committed faculty and staff, an impressive array of premier academic programs, outstanding facilities, beautiful campuses, and an exceptional reputation," Underwood said. "I was pleased with the quality of candidates who expressed interest in the position and am delighted that Terry Whittum has agreed to join our team. Given his broad experience, strong work ethic, and record of success, I am convinced that under Terry Whittum's leadership in enrollment management we can significantly increase demand for the quality of education uniquely available here at Mercer."
Over the past five years, Whittum has successfully led Stetson's efforts to sustain consistent new student growth, including the two largest first-year classes in the school's history. Applications for admission have doubled while the acceptance rate has dropped significantly. The academic profile has increased, the percentage of minority students enrolling has more than doubled, and first- to second-year retention is up. Under Whittum's direction, Stetson utilizes a data-driven enrollment management model that is relationship-based and goal-driven.
While at Stetson, Whittum has also served as a senior associate consultant for Noel-Levitz, the country's premier enrollment management consulting firm. In that capacity, a number of institutions ranging from small private colleges to major research universities have sought Whittum's counsel. Whittum is a frequent presenter at national and regional conferences and seminars, on topics ranging from goal setting and financial leveraging to developing and motivating high performance teams.
"I am honored to be offered the opportunity to join President Underwood and his team at Mercer University. I have long admired Mercer for its excellent academic reputation, diversity of programs and outstanding facilities," Whittum said. "My recent visits to campus and meetings with faculty, staff, and students confirmed for me what a wonderful and vibrant institution Mercer is. President Underwood has an exciting vision for Mercer, one that will place the institution among the elite universities in the country. I'm eagerly looking forward to contributing to that vision."
From 1994 until 2002, Whittum served in a number of enrollment management leadership positions for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. As director of enrollment management for the Prescott, Ariz., campus of ERAU, he was responsible for recruitment, admissions, financial aid, career services, and marketing. Under his leadership new student enrollments increased each year, engineering enrollments reached record levels, the academic profile improved, and the geographic diversity of the class increased.
As the first director of marketing and enrollment management for Embry-Riddle's World-Wide Campus, Mr. Whittum was responsible for the overall marketing and recruitment efforts for over 130 Extended Campus teaching sites, serving nontraditional students located throughout the world. He oversaw development of the institution's Distance Learning Enrollment Office and supervised the recruitment, admission, enrollment, and retention of graduate and undergraduate online distance learning students.
Other admissions positions held by Whittum include 10 years as director of admissions at Daniel Webster College in New Hampshire, as well as positions with Bethel College and Maryville College, both in Tennessee. He started his professional career as a high school band and choir director in both New Hampshire and Florida and was a varsity basketball and baseball coach. He holds a bachelor's degree in music education and a master's degree in organization and management. His son and daughter both attend Stetson University, and he lives with his wife, Jean, in Port Orange, Fla.
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls 7,200 students in 11 schools and colleges — liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies -- on major campuses in Macon and Atlanta and four regional academic centers across the state. Mercer also operates a university press, engineering research center and performing arts center, affiliates with teaching hospitals in Macon and Savannah, and participates in educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. Mercer sponsors 14 NCAA Division I athletic teams and is a charter member of the Atlanta Sun Conference. For 17 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Mercer University as one of the top 15 universities in the South.