NWC appoints new dean of enrollment management

Northwestern College has appointed Kenton Pauls as its new dean of enrollment management. The director of enrollment services at the University of North Dakota since 2001, Pauls will begin his new role the first week of March.

“We are very excited Kenton will be joining our administrative team,” says President Greg Christy. “His personal Christian commitment, character and integrity, along with a winsome personality and over 15 years of experience in Christian and public higher education admissions, combine to make him an excellent person to lead our enrollment efforts.

“His strengths are many,” says Christy, “but his greatest strengths are leadership and communication skills, expertise in marketing, and an exceptional ability to manage data. This unique gift set will allow him to excel at both the art and science of enrollment management.”

As dean, Pauls will provide strategic leadership and vision to the admissions and financial aid staffs. He will also work closely with other Northwestern officials to design and support implementation of a comprehensive retention plan.

“I’m excited to be better able to connect what I care about most with what I do best as a professional,” says Pauls. “I care most about Christ and furthering God’s kingdom while I also have a passion for the life-impacting outcomes of a solid liberal arts higher education experience. As a product of Christian higher education, I understand the lasting personal and professional impact it can have.” 

Pauls earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, Canada, and served the institution as a senior admissions counselor for five years. He received an M.B.A. from the University of North Dakota.

In his current position, Pauls has played a key role in branding efforts, led new student orientation, served on the student financial aid task force, provided oversight for the UND Family Association, trained student ambassadors and worked in retention efforts. A frequent presenter at national conferences on topics ranging from marketing and the use of data in recruitment to predictive modeling, Pauls also has led training seminars in recruitment effectiveness for one of the nation’s foremost higher education marketing and consulting firms.

Pauls says he looks forward to learning more about the Northwestern story in his first few months on the job. “I will seek to get to know the authentic nuggets that make Northwestern effective and distinctive, including the culture of student life and the academic experiences students encounter. I want to understand what works well and to get to know my staff so I can identify how to maximize their strengths. I hope to foster a positive culture of innovation which breeds new ideas that will impact recruitment and retention success.”

Pauls will replace Ron De Jong, who will retire this summer after 40 years of service in Northwestern’s admissions, external relations and advancement offices.