Central College has announced a leadership change, impacting its enrollment management and student development teams.
Carol Williamson, who has been the vice president of enrollment management and dean of admission at Central since January 2009, will now also lead the student development division.
The newly integrated team follows a model used at other colleges and universities, which guides the entire student lifecycle from pre-college outreach to graduation day.
In her new role, Williamson will continue overseeing admission and financial aid efforts and serving as a member of the senior leadership team, while adding the responsibilities of leading Central’s student development functions, which include wellness and counseling services, residence life and student safety, Campus Ministries, the information center, and student leadership, involvement and inclusivity.
In the student development division, Williamson replaces Peggy Fitch, who has served Central as its vice president for student development since 2012 and its Title IX coordinator since 2014. At her request, Fitch will step back into her role as a professor of psychology at Central in the fall 2018 semester. Fitch, who joined the Central faculty in 1992, will also continue as the college’s Title IX coordinator. She specializes in developmental psychology and service learning.
“Peggy has done a wonderful job as the vice president of student development,” said Mark Putnam, president of Central College. “She has been a tremendous advocate for students, but she has missed being at the front of the classroom. We are thrilled to have her expertise back in the psychology department.”
“Carol is a natural choice for this enhanced role,” Putnam added. “She brings tremendous institutional knowledge and support for our mission. Her appointment reflects her talent and experience at Central as a trusted and dynamic leader. This position plays a strategic role in ensuring the college’s mission is fulfilled beyond the classroom. I have great confidence in Carol’s ability to guide this activity for our students and the college. Her involvement with and passion for students will allow her to continue to advance the work of the college on behalf of our students.”
Williamson has a bachelor’s of arts degree in communications with a concentration in student personnel and public relations from Truman State University. As vice president of enrollment management and dean of admission, Williamson has led the college’s innovative recruitment efforts and has helped Central maintain a steady enrollment during times of economic and demographic challenges in Iowa and across the nation.
“Carol is well recognized in the higher education enrollment sector for her high standards and her dedication to innovative and comprehensive programs that are well-defined by data,” Putnam said.
Williamson has more than 30 years of experience in enrollment management. Prior to joining Central, she worked in the admission departments at Truman State University and Southeastern Community College. She also served as the director of admission for Mount Mercy University and was a college and university liaison for RuffaloCODY and Associates, an enrollment management consulting firm located in Cedar Rapids. Before becoming Central’s vice president of enrollment management, she served the college as assistant director of admission, associate director of admission, senior associate director of admission and dean of admission.
Recognized by her peers as a leader in enrollment management, Williamson has served as president and treasurer of the Iowa Association for College Admission Counseling and as chair of the marketing team for Iowa Private College Week.
A 1981 graduate of Pella High School, Williamson has been an active member of the Pella community since returning to her hometown in 2000. She is currently the president of the Pella Historical Society and Museums and is a past board member of the Pella Early Learning Center.
“I am honored to expand my role in serving the college, its mission, and our students,” Williamson said. “All of the professionals in student development and admission are committed to the success of our students. It is a privilege to serve Central in this new capacity.”
Throughout her service in the student development role, Fitch has reshaped the division to support integrated learning, which focuses on intentional connections between students’ learning within and outside the classroom. She also has diligently worked to develop partnerships with Pella Regional Health Center for student health services and with G4S for student safety. She is recognized by her peers as a leader in Title IX implementation.
Fitch has a Ph.D. in developmental and child psychology from the University of Kansas; a master’s in counseling and student personnel administration from the University of Maryland; and a bachelor’s in psychology from Stephens College in Columbia, Mo.
The leadership changes will become effective July 1, 2018.