The university has officially hired Daniel Solms as the new vice president of enrollment management and marketing. He will begin March 9.
Solms was the director of financial aid at Indiana Wesleyan University for the last nine years and has been involved in admissions at IWU for 17 years.
“During that time IWU experienced its largest growth as an institution,” he said. “We started a call center, a search program, went through a couple of rebranding efforts and implemented a new financial aid model.”
Solms said his philosophy on recruitment was shaped in his early years.
“Students often choose a college when they see themselves being a positive part of the community there,” he said. “How can we best help prospective students understand the identity of being a student at Huntington University? Why do they want to become Norm?”
He replaces Jeff Berggren who left in August 2014 after 20 years with the institution. Berggren currently serves as an advocate between the university and Peoria, Ariz. for the potential digital media arts branch campus.
Solms heard about the open position through “word of mouth,” he said.
“Choosing one thing is difficult, but I see Huntington as a community that cares deeply about one another and loves God,” he said.
Solms said he has three goals to help boost the university’s enrollment. Undergraduate enrollment was up three percent in fall 2014.
“First, we need to see how we can broaden the scope by making more students and communities aware of the good opportunities at Huntington,” he said. “Secondly, we will look at the relationship strategies we use when helping students navigate from acceptance to enrolling. Simply put, how can we help more students see how they can be a positive member of the Huntington University community? How can we deepen the identification they make with Norm? Finally, we need to partner with faculty and students to ensure that they have opportunities to connect and build on the identity.”
President Sherilyn Emberton, Ed.D., praised Solms’ experience.
“Danny Solms brings a wide scope of skills and experience in the field of enrollment management,” she said. “Having first hand knowledge of strategies that have successful within a peer institution marketplace will be invaluable to Huntington University.”
Katie Martin, admissions counselor, was involved in the hiring process for the VP position.
“We, as an admissions team, were given the opportunity to interview Daniel, along with all of the other candidates for this position,” she said. “Solms is coming in with experience and success in enrollment management, in Christian higher education, from a school in our regional area. That’s huge.”
The admissions staff had to adjust to life without Berggren, she said, but they are excited for Solms to begin.
“Not having Jeff in the office has definitely been hard,” she said. “Jeff was not only the VP – and a phenomenal one, at that – but he was a member of our admissions family. … It’s a wonderful thing to know that the position will be filled again.”
Solms said he “can’t wait for March to come so that I can fully invest myself at Huntington.”
“We have a great community with an ideal size for many students,” he said. “I’ve been very impressed with the faculty that I’ve encountered and their desire to see students succeed.”