After a nationwide search, Newman University found its Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success (VPEMSS) in its own backyard. Christine Schneikart-Luebbe, who served as the Dean of Students at the university for three years, is Newman’s newest vice president. She started in her new position on Sept. 13.
Schneikart-Luebbe takes over for Paul Carney, the interim vice president and Newman alumnus who is retiring next month after serving in the enrollment role since February 2020.
She will serve in this newly broadened senior position. In addition to being responsible for undergraduate and graduate recruiting, the VPEMSS has oversight for Student Affairs and its renewed focus and emphasis on student support, success and retention.
Critical hire for Newman’s future success
Due to the important focus and wide-ranging responsibilities of this leadership role, President Kathleen S. Jagger, Ph.D., MPH, believed it was crucial to explore the best candidates from across the country to find the perfect person to lead Newman in this essential area.
“Christine brings to the post extensive leadership experience in enrollment, student engagement and alumni relations to this expanded vice president position. She has a passion for Newman and I believe can provide a ‘fresh, new perspective’ to the enrollment arena.
With the energy and commitment she brings to any task, I am certainly excited to continue working with Christine in her new role,” Jagger said.
Likewise, Schneikart-Luebbe is eager to tackle this new opportunity.
“I am thrilled to serve in this new role. I am looking forward to working with all of the dedicated staff in each of the areas that make up this new portfolio. There is a lot of talent here and I am looking forward to champion all of the good work that gets done on our campus on a daily basis,” Schneikart-Luebbe said.
Higher Education experience
With 35 years of experience working at several universities, Schneikart-Luebbe is uniquely prepared for this senior position and its many challenges.
“This is an exciting time here at Newman University. Success is defined by many things, but most importantly by enrollment growth. We need to do a better job helping students and families understand the value of a Newman education. We need to help each student understand our core values and how our mission of empowering our graduates to transform society benefits them,” Schneikart-Luebbe said.
Since the first months of her presidency, Jagger has often encouraged faculty and staff members to become “recruiting, retention and graduation specialists” to best serve students. Schneikart-Luebbe agrees the entire community plays a part in attracting and retaining students and believes she and the enrollment team will be open to ideas from all Newman members for ways to help increase recruiting success.
Everyone plays a role in student recruiting and success
“This is a big job and we will need to work together to achieve the success we desire. The enrollment team and I will work to identify new and innovative ways we can market Newman to prospective students and their families. We will work together to create a detailed and viable Strategic Enrollment Management Plan that will serve the needs of our institution,” Schneikart-Luebbe said.
“We will be reaching out to each of the faculty, staff members and students who have graciously offered their assistance to partner with us as we actively engage in innovative approaches to meet our various enrollment goals.”
Initially Schneikart-Luebbe wants to focus on “communication, collaboration and identifying efficiencies” within the enrollment and student affairs departments.
Hitting the ground running
“My first priority is to get to know each team member and learn what they need to best do their work. I want to advocate for our team and do what I can to remove obstacles that are bogging down our ability to grow enrollment.
We need to do a deep dive to learn what is currently working and what might need to be adjusted. We need to look through a recruitment lens at what we are doing locally within Wichita, what we are doing around the state and where we could begin to build pipelines with community colleges and with out of state and international markets,” Schneikart-Luebbe said.
She believes there are many opportunities to explore and is confident that Newman can attract students and their families to its mission and degree of difference.
“We also need to look closely at how we are bringing students to our campus for various recruitment events. We know that students who visit our campus.. either for an official campus visit or for a recruitment program are more likely to matriculate. So we want to design recruitment programs that will attract the various constituents we are trying to enroll.“
Moving the Needle: Student Retention
In addition to recruiting, Schneikart-Luebbe will continue responsibilities in the area of student success. Since January, she has been part of a working committee investigating student needs and how to enhance the student experience. She also has taken the lead on the university’s collaboration with Credo for the Moving the Needle Project.
Prior to coming to Newman, Schneikart-Luebbe was a consultant and interim dean of students at Indiana University for a year. She also spent more than 22 years at Wichita State University where she worked in enrollment services and student engagement. She served as Associate Vice President – Student Engagement and Enrollment Management (2010-2017), Dean of Enrollment Services (1989-2010) and Director of Undergraduate Admissions (1994-1998).
Schneikart-Luebbe earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a Master of Educational Psychology from Northern Arizona University.
She is married to Dan Luebbe, who recently retired after a career as a school psychologist for USD 259. They are the parents of twin boys, Joseph and Michael, who are seniors at Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School.
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