YSU hires enrollment management expert

By William K. Alcorn



After a months-long search, Youngstown State University trustees appointed Gary D. Swegan to the new position of associate vice president for enrollment planning and management.

Swegan, whom YSU President Randy J. Dunn described as the “guru” that every university needs to take responsibility for all aspects of enrollment, will be paid $137,000 a year.

The target start date for Swegan, now the assistant vice president for enrollment management and director of admissions at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, is Nov. 18. His contract, approved unanimously by the trustees at a special meeting Wednesday, runs through June 30, 2016.

Swegan, who was not at the trustee meeting but was contacted by telephone, said he is “thrilled and very excited” to be coming to Youngstown and YSU.

The position was created last April to address declining enrollment. The new associate vice president is part of the Student Affairs Department, and will report to Jack Fahey, vice president of student affairs, and Dunn.

“Every university has to have a guru who takes responsibility for enrollment. I see it as a wise move by the trustees. It’s very unusual for a school of this size to not have someone in this position,” Dunn said.

Swegan has a bachelor’s degree in education, sports marketing and information and a master of arts degree in college student personnel, both from BGSU.

He worked 25 years at BGSU, beginning in 1986 as a graduate assistant admissions counselor and rising to assistant vice president for enrollment management and director of admissions in 2010.

In his resume, Swegan said that as chief admissions officer a record number of incoming freshmen and transfers were recorded in 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2010; and in transitioning from quantity to quality, he said brought in the strongest academic class in more than 25 years with a 3.3 grade-point average and average 22.6 ACT score.

Swegan said he increased minority enrollment from 8.97 percent of the freshmen class in 2001 to 20 percent for four consecutive years, 2010 through 2013.

Enrollment at YSU has dropped the last three years after near- record numbers in previous years.

In creating the position in April, YSU trustees said: “Our future stability rests primarily on our ability to maximize enrollment.”

Further, the rationale for creating the position says YSU and Central State University are the only institutions in the Interuniversity Council that don’t have an executive officer solely charged with enrollment management. Also, YSU’s Northeast Ohio competitors have devoted significant resources to maximize enrollment efforts.

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