Updated: Aug 23
By Emily Rosenberg Associate Editor
FSU appointed Iris Godes dean of strategic enrollment management, establishing a permanent administrative position to oversee enrollment and admissions strategy after many years of significant student population declines.
In fall 2022, full-time undergraduate enrollment was down 8% from fall 2021, according to a March 24 Gatepost article.
Godes will begin on May 22. Interim Dean of Enrollment Management Jessica Mireles will continue her work until June 22, then continue to serve in an “advisory position,” according to President Nancy Niemi.
In August 2022, Niemi announced a series of organizational changes that resulted in the admissions and enrollment staff reporting directly to the president. She also dissolved the Enrollment and Student Development Division and eliminated the vice presidential position overseeing it.
As dean of strategic enrollment management and chief enrollment officer, Godes will lead the enrollment management team, which includes financial aid, admissions, and marketing.
Godes has lived in Framingham for over 20 years and currently serves as the associate vice president of enrollment and admissions at Dean College in Franklin. She’s worked in higher education for 35 years, working in enrollment and admissions offices at Quinsigamond Community College, Boston University, Seattle University, and Arizona University.
Godes earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Syracuse University and a master’s degree in psychology counseling from Boston University.
She said she has been looking for a position at Framingham State, adding she is excited to work at a public school where education is “a lot more affordable.
“Anyone that wants a college education should be able to get it. And so I'm hopeful that I can help people manage their way through the enrollment process,” she said.
Niemi said the hiring team picked Godes because she is someone with very strong skills in the field of enrollment who understands the urgency of the work.
She added the team was looking for a candidate who displayed strong team leadership skills and “who understands that admissions is the work of the whole university.”
Godes said when she arrives on campus, she will be looking to engage with as many students, faculty, and staff as possible to understand the best way to tell Framingham State’s story, whether by pulling focus groups together or conducting outreach to student organizations.
“I think that would be a really valuable resource for me to really hear from your own experiences,” she said. “My goal will be to learn as much as possible about what has happened in the past couple of years to start to make improvements for the class coming in 2024,” Godes added.
Niemi said another of Godes’ responsibilities will be to connect departments across the university to the enrollment management team and help “understand the presence” needed to outwardly convey an effective message to prospective students.
She added Godes will also establish a relationship with the departments because it is important that they understand and are involved in the work of enrollment management, adding departments want to know how they can be of service.
Niemi said it is not the responsibility of faculty to perform outreach to prospective students or understand strategic enrollment planning, “but we do expect that divisions and departments will communicate with admissions enrollment management in order to help them understand what's special and intriguing and unique about each of these places.”
Niemi added one of Godes’ first initiatives will be to refocus the enrollment strategy of continuing education.
She said even though undergraduate and graduate admissions are often seen as separate, Godes and new Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education Marilyn Cleary will be working together to develop and execute a strategy to achieve the overarching goal of increasing enrollment.
One of the likely enrollment strategies will be the pursuit of Hispanic-serving institution status, Niemi said. Hispanic-serving institutions have a population of at least 25% Hispanic students. FSU is within 5% of achieving HSI status.
“We want to make sure that we have the infrastructure to support students who are Hispanic,” she said. “If they’re going to be here, we want to serve them.”
Shayna Eddy, associate dean of admissions, said adding a dean of enrollment management will allow the admissions team to work more closely with external messaging. “We have a lot to offer students - academic programs, affordability, and campus life, and streamlining all of our efforts is going to enhance our operation.”
She added she is hopeful that Godes will be able to provide a new perspective on what the Admissions team can do better, and “what enhancements we could be making in future years.
“I am very much looking forward to the upcoming year. We have a lot of work ahead of us for 2024, but I know we have the right people in the right positions to make an impact.”