New student-focused Enrollment VP here to ‘listen, learn’

Paola Marizan

Vice President for Enrollment Management Andrew Wright said his goal for the semester is not to fix, but to accomplish.

“I don’t know if there’s something to be fixed. I know there are things we, as a university, want to do,” Wright said.

Wright said he is here to listen and learn USI’s enrollment process and “work with it.”

“I’ve watched a lot of people screw it up and a lot of people do it right. That’s what shapes what I want to do,” Wright said. “I don’t want to be the person that comes in and says ‘I know it all.'”

He said his goal is to spend a lot of time listening, not only to his team, but to other members of USI as well, including the faculty and students.

Wright, who is the first to take on this position at the university, said he will combine data, experience and suggestions as he moves forward.

“We do want to see some enrollment growth,” he said. “We want to have strategic, steady growth that will benefit us.”

Wright started his career at the University of Akron as a Hall Director in 1992. After four years he took a job at Eastern Michigan University, where he worked as the complex director in housing from 1996 to 1999.

“I decided after seven years of living with freshmen that, while I still enjoyed it, it was time to leave,” he said.

Wright worked for Student Leadership Services for one year as a motivational speaker among other positions, before deciding he missed working at a college.

He returned to Eastern Michigan University as a recruiter. After several promotions, he was named associate director of admissions.

After 10 years at Eastern Michigan, Wright’s headed to Missouri State University, where he was the assistant vice president for enrollment management and director of admissions.

He oversaw all aspects of both the admissions and commencement processes at MSU.

“I got to get them in and get them out. It was a lot of fun,” he said.

While at MSU, Wright said, he “modernized” recruitment efforts, increased enrollment and improved the office “culture.”

“It was very fractured when I started, and when I left it was just a great place to work—a wonderful unit, wonderful team,” he said. “The team was what I was most proud of—not just the numbers.”

Wright grew up in Detroit, Michigan with an “ideal” childhood, he said.

“I grew up in a pretty neat area—great parents, good family.”

Wright graduated with a BA in business administration with a concentration in international business and a minor in marketing from Central Michigan University in 1992. He went on to receive an MBA from the University of Akron in 1995.

Wright said he is a “sports nut”.

“I enjoy golfing, but I am horrible at it,” he said. “Students will probably see me at a lot of the games coming up.”

Wight said he also enjoys fantasy sports.

“I will admit, and I don’t admit this very often, I play fantasy sports,” he said. “It makes sports interesting.”