Executive Director of Admission

Rice University

Rice University – a top-20, private R1 university with a distinctive commitment to undergraduate education – seeks a strategic and energetic enrollment leader to serve as its next executive director of admission.

Rice is a community of curious thinkers, passionate dreamers, and energetic doers who believe that improving the world demands more than bold thought and brave action. It takes unconventional wisdom. That ethos, along with deep financial investment from the university, has allowed Rice to be highly successful in creating a student body that is multifaceted in race, gender, ideology, ability, geography, and special talents. Initiatives such as the Rice Investment, launched in 2019, established the future of affordability. In 2021, the program expanded, strengthening Rice’s commitment to loan-free financial aid. These and other efforts have resulted in an undergraduate student body that, like the city in which Rice resides, has no racial or ethnic majority – 28% of all undergraduate students are historically underrepresented populations. Additionally, 12% are international students, representing 83 countries.

Rice has always been an institution that challenges convention, and as the university looks to the future, it does so with vision and audacity as reflected in its Building Rice’s Future strategic planning process, a $2 billion fundraising campaign, and new membership in the American Athletic Conference (ACC). Within this context, the executive director will report to the vice president for enrollment, and oversee the Office of Undergraduate Admission, serving as a key leader in the Enrollment division as it helps the university build on its strengths and forge courageous new paths. In particular, the executive director will provide visionary and strategic leadership to invigorate undergraduate admission at Rice; cultivate and support a dedicated admission staff to drive positive, transformational change; build relationships across the university that contribute to enrollment success; and help navigate pressing issues affecting undergraduate admission.

This is an exciting opportunity for a bold, strategic, and collaborative leader with high integrity and an eye toward new possibilities to make an immediate impact in a dynamic environment. The executive director will embrace the unique aspects of Rice such as the residential college system and the differentiators that each of the university’s seven schools contribute to the educational experience. The ideal candidate will demonstrate skill in anticipating emerging opportunities and challenges and the ability to develop innovative solutions that respond to the ever-changing field of admission and information consumption of the undergraduate prospective student market. A sophisticated approach to examining student behavior and recruitment practices, identifying new opportunities, and the ability to produce forward-looking, data-driven strategic plans as well as skill in presenting the interpretation of data to a larger audience will be essential for success. The executive director will possess a track record in fostering collaboration among various stakeholders, garnering trust, and building the infrastructure to facilitate open and honest conversation and the frequent sharing of information. A creative, thoughtful, present, and motivational manager, the executive director will be capable of infusing a culture of care within the team, empowering staff members, and facilitating opportunities for training and professional growth. A bachelor’s degree is required as well as at least six years of progressive leadership and supervisory experience.

Located on a 300-acre tree-lined campus in America’s fourth-largest city, Rice is a mere three miles from downtown Houston, adjacent to the city’s cultural district and Hermann Park and across the street from the Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest medical arena. One of only five American cities with resident professional companies in all four major performing arts – ballet, opera, theater, and symphony – Houston also boasts professional football, baseball, basketball, and soccer teams.

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the profile available at www.wittkieffer.com. 

WittKieffer is assisting Rice University in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by March 28, 2024.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Shelley Arakawa, J.D., and Ashlee Winters Musser


Rice University HR | Benefits

Rice Mission and Values
Mission and Values | Rice University

Rice University is an Equal Opportunity Employer with commitment to diversity at all levels, and considers for employment qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, genetic information, disability or protected veteran status.

Faculty and staff are expected (but not required) to have completed a full vaccination series for COVID-19 (currently defined as full course COVID-19 Vaccine (typically two shots of a WHO-approved COVID-19 Vaccine or one J&J) and a COVID-19 booster. Rice does not require documentation for COVID 19 vaccination at this time for faculty and staff. More information can be found here: https://coronavirus.rice.edu/policies 

More jobs at:
More jobs in: