Laura McPhie Oliveira serving as Brenau University’s Interim VP of Enrollment Management

Jul 10, 2020
Michael Lowe

Laura McPhie OliveiraBrenau University recently named Dr. Laura McPhie Oliveira as its Interim Vice President of Enrollment Management for the 2020-21 academic year.

Oliveira is taking a leave of absence from Ruffalo Noel Levitz, where she served as senior associate consultant since 1999. Consulting with Brenau since October, Oliveira conducted a comprehensive audit of enrollment practices and procedures. She also trained staff and worked with them to implement several strategies such as enhancing admissions reports, streamlining existing processes and shifting to a virtual format for admissions events and outreach.

In addition to providing senior leadership in enrollment management during these challenging times, Oliveira will continue to implement many of her findings thereby positioning the university to attract highly desirable candidates as it conducts a national search beginning in early 2021. Oliveira has indicated that she will not be a candidate for the permanent position.

“I am so pleased that Dr. Oliveira will be providing Brenau with her vast experience in enrollment management during these days when enrollment must be an especially strong focus for the university,” said Brenau University President Anne Skleder.

“I also want to express my strong appreciation and gratitude to Redenna Poole, assistant vice president for enrollment management and director for admissions operations, and Nathan Goss, assistant vice president and executive director for recruitment, for their ongoing leadership in enrollment management, especially over these past months.”

Under Oliveira’s leadership, Skleder said Poole and Goss will continue to devote their full attention to implementation of strategy in their respective areas to help ensure that Brenau’s robust admissions efforts continue unimpeded.

“From the moment I first stepped foot on Brenau’s historic campus, I knew this was a special place,” said Oliveira, who earned an Ed.D. in higher education leadership from the University of Massachusetts. “Meeting students and other members of the community confirmed my initial impression. I look forward to working with the entire community to implement new strategies to increase enrollment and convey Brenau’s story to a wider audience.”

Oliveira has more than 35 years of experience in enrollment management with a proven track record for getting results. For almost 20 years, she served as vice president for enrollment and planning at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, where all major indicators in her division showed significant gains. Under her leadership, the university experienced a 400% increase in applications, a 54% increase in new student enrollment and a 250 point increase in average SAT scores of enrolled students. The six-year graduation rate also improved by more than 15 percentage points.

Working with Ruffalo Noel Levitz, she has worked with more than 50 campus partners in 28 states and Canada, mostly private institutions of the size and scope of Brenau.

Oliveira is active nationally in her profession as she has published articles in educational and academic journals and is a frequent speaker at professional conferences including the National Association for College Admission Counseling Annual Conference.