By Ben Peters
Athens NEWS Associate Editor
Ohio University announced on Tuesday a hire to an executive position to manage student enrollment, which has steadily declined in recent years and is said to be a primary source of financial turbulence at the institution.
Candace J. Boeninger was promoted into the new title, vice president for management enrollment, where she will directly report to OU President Duane Nellis and Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs on matters of university enrollment, according to a news release.
Boeninger, who served as Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management and Director of Undergraduate Admissions since 2017, was selected for the position following a national search involving input from a 19-member search committee of faculty, staff and students.
“I am honored and humbled to assume this important role at OHIO,” Boeninger said in a statement. “I look forward to leading the talented team in the enrollment management division and to working with the entire University community to establish a fresh vision for enrollment strategy, one that meaningfully aligns our goals, synchronizes our efforts, and builds sustainable, diverse enrollment pipelines that help OHIO deliver on our mission.”
In her new role, Boeninger’s is expected to earn a base salary of $215,000, a more than $60,000 raise over her previous job, according to a copy of her contract. She, however, agreed to a 10 percent pay reduction — as have most university executives amid the pandemic — rendering her temporary salary about $193,000. Her pay will return to the base rate in July at the end of the university’s fiscal year.
The number of incoming freshmen at the Athens campus, which has steadily declined since 2016, further declined in fall 2020 relative to the previous year, partially because of COVID-19-related consequences.
The university in recent months also outlined bleak financial projections that show it expects to incur nearly $300 million in losses in the coming years, even after laying off hundreds of employees and mandating furloughs.
Boeninger, who served in the presidential cycle of the Ohio Association for College Admission Counseling and worked as a faculty member for the Admissions Middle Management Institute of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, holds bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish from Samford University in Alabama and a master’s degree in English from the University of Tennessee.
“In addition to being a nationally well-respected and accomplished leader in her field, Candace understands this University and where we are headed,” Provost Sayrs said in a statement. “She is deeply committed to our mission to serve all students and ensure their success to and through graduation. She knows that the job of enrollment management is not just about ensuring the University’s success, but as importantly, it is about helping students see and believe in the lifelong value of a university education.”
Editor’s note: A previous headline of this article mischaracterized the nature of Boeninger’s new position. The position of vice president for management enrollment was previously known as the Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management, which was vacated by Craig Cornell in September 2019, an OU spokesperson said. Boeninger’s prior role as Vice Provost has been eliminated.