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Hillsdale College is restruc­turing some of its admin­is­trative offices to better handle increasing vis­itors and events. Regan Meyer | Col­legian

In an effort to manage a rising influx of vis­itors and events, Hillsdale College is restruc­turing several admin­is­trative offices to better facil­itate com­mu­ni­cation and oper­a­tions between depart­ments.

“We’re trying to build a structure that will support growth and keep things oper­ating in a logical way,” said Chief Admin­is­trative Officer Rich Péwé, noting that admin­is­trators began looking into restruc­turing about three years ago.

Admis­sions vis­itors have increased by almost 100 percent over the past five years and the college has seen a 30 – 40 percent increase in appli­ca­tions, said Vice Pres­ident for Business Devel­opment Doug Banbury. The college also hosts an increasing number of donors and events.

To accom­modate the growth, the various com­po­nents of the reor­ga­ni­zation “align depart­ments that have similar nature and function together,” Banbury said.

One of these changes involves a merging of part of the mar­keting department with Insti­tu­tional Advancement. Bill Gray, until now the director of mar­keting, is becoming Asso­ciate Vice Pres­ident of National Donor Out­reach, moving with a team of three others — Megan Bowser, Gina Gal­lutia, and Jessie Rurka — whom he’s worked with in the mar­keting department.

Noting that the pro­motion is “well-deserved for Bill Gray,” Banbury said the college hopes to see a stronger col­lab­o­ration between the type of fundraising Gray has done in mar­keting and that of Insti­tu­tional Advancement.

Gray said the duties of the new role include expanding the college’s list of active donors, inviting people to take online courses or sub­scribe to Imprimis, and col­lab­o­rating with Insti­tu­tional Advancement to make sure they com­mu­nicate with donors effec­tively. His team is dif­ferent than other Insti­tu­tional Advancement teams, he said, because it markets to thou­sands of people at a time rather than one-on-one.  

“We’re most excited to bring new strategies and tactics to bear on the college’s overall direct response fundraising program, including opti­mization and con­tinuous testing, automation for emails and letters, and data mining/modeling to under­stand our donors and sup­porters better,” Gray said in an email.

Also related to mar­keting, the college’s online learning ini­tiative is under the new lead­ership of Kyle Murnen, who recently com­plete graduate school at Hillsdale and was an assistant to College Pres­ident Larry Arnn. The ini­tiative had decen­tralized own­ership across dif­ferent depart­ments pre­vi­ously, Banbury said.

Murnen said in an email that he is working on a long-term strategy, and his imme­diate plans include course pro­duction, improving user expe­ri­ences, and mar­keting the courses to as many people as pos­sible.

The college is also grouping business units and profit centers — including the Dow Hotel and Con­ference Center, the book­store, online retail mer­chan­dising, and the Rockwell Lake Lodge — to report to Banbury.

These business enter­prises all con­tribute to the the college’s bottom line, Péwé said.

“They’re a helpful tool for con­necting parents and prospective stu­dents with the college, and they also can be a gen­erator of revenue,” Péwé said. “Con­sol­i­dating every­thing to the business ini­tia­tives area is going to tie it all together and allow better growth.”

Event-planning func­tions will report to Péwé in order to better coor­dinate with facil­ities, main­te­nance, AV, dining, and security oper­a­tions. Com­mu­ni­cating, planning, and exe­cuting together “will make for better prac­tices in general,” Péwé said.

Other changes include shifting Infor­mation Tech­nology Ser­vices reporting to Banbury, so that the department can be more aware of the software chosen for campus func­tions and other deci­sions, Péwé said. The financial aid department will report to Vice Pres­ident for Finance and Trea­surer Patrick Flannery to bring the college’s financial ser­vices together. And all parts of the college’s edu­ca­tional out­reach, including Hillsdale Academy and the Barney Charter School Ini­tiative, will report to the provost’s office.

Banbury said for now, the college is focused on realignment and will evaluate hiring addi­tional employees as it goes. The college plans to have this initial reor­ga­ni­zation fully in place by the end of the fiscal year in the summer.

“Ulti­mately we’re trying to put in place an orga­ni­za­tional structure that can support where the college is and where it wants to go,” Péwé said. “That’s probably an endless process.”