Kimberley Buster-Williams has joined the Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management as director of Admissions.
Buster-Williams arrived July 16 at NIU following a seven-year tenure as director of admissions at the University of Michigan-Flint.
At Flint, she devised successive strategic enrollment plans that raised student numbers from 6,000 in 2006 to more than 8,000 in 2011; during that same period, similar campuses in Michigan experienced static or negative growth.
In a key recruitment initiative, Buster-Williams worked one-on-one with school counselors, providing UM-Flint student success stories that created heightened counselor and student interest in UM-Flint as a primary choice for incoming freshmen (2005-06).
In another initiative, she streamlined the transfer evaluation process, enabling admission counselors to spend less time processing applications and more time recruiting students.
Her new recruitment and marketing strategies garnered a record 45 percent increase in UM-Flint’s freshman class in 2008.
These efforts continued to produce consistent increases in freshman class enrollment, making it the “fastest growing public university in Michigan” and reaching 8,138 students by September 2010, a “historic milestone.”
ConnectMidMichigan noted increases in the following areas: 5.1 percent in transfer students; 6.0 percent in graduate students; 28.2 percent in student veterans; and more than 40 percent in international students.
Through Buster-Williams’ collaboration with the Honors Program on an annual scholarship competition, the university witnessed a significant increase in the recruitment of high-achieving students.
In addition, she doubled the number of applicants with a high GPA (3.7+) and ACT (27+), students who now are graduating and providing excellent success stories that will be effective in drawing future students to the institution.
While at old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., where she served as senior assistant director of admissions from 1998-2004, Buster-Williams had similar successes.
She focused on maintaining current student markets, broadening developing markets and establishing new markets in states farther south. Results after three years showed a 5 percent enrollment increase in current markets, 10 percent in developing markets and 7 percent in new markets.
Buster-Williams, who has published widely, holds a master’s degree in education Administration and an Ed.S. in higher education from Old Dominion University.