Educational Institutions In Stress

The pandemic is affecting every aspect of institutional management. Soft enrollment is only one indicator that your college may be out of synch with your prospects.

In the days of COVID-19, it’s not easy accommodating the new expectations of Gen Z students, much less the decline in demographics affecting everyone. Soft enrollment is only one indicator that a college may be out of synch with what prospects want. What is needed is a strategic, actionable, and effective plan for change.

That’s where I can help.

I am Stephen Dill and I am uniquely qualified to address your situation.

Stephen DillA Strategic, Comprehensive Approach

My methodology is to assess your campus in-depth, identify gaps, and recommend solutions. Then I will assemble the resources necessary and assist your team in implementing the plan. My assessment is comprehensive, addressing all points of customer contact:

    • Messaging – all of it! Marketing (including branding), admissions, finaid, athletics, student life, internal communications, PR, alumni relations, and development
    • Student Experience – student life, residence life, dining services, student activities
    • Marketing – goals, systems, implementation, measurement, and optimization
    • Campus Experience – everything from the campus tour to building signage and landscaping

While Stephen’s title was Marketing, his influence was felt throughout the Wheelock campus and community. We relied on his sharp eye to improve our presentation everywhere: building maintenance, campus tours, signage, alumni messaging, new academic programs, PR, dining hall menus – the list was endless.

Roy Schifilliti, VP Administration, Institutional Effectiveness and Innovation

Actionable and Effective

I will be your special assistant for business strategy to answer your questions, set your expectations, and interpret your experience. My emphasis will be on:

    • Providing an action plan that you and your leadership team will use to improve the impact the whole campus community will have on prospective students.
    • Recommending and implementing new marketing systems and campaigns to cut through the uncertainty of the pandemic to significantly increase brand awareness and lead generation.
    • Bringing in partners to augment your marketing and enrollment teams until enrollment revenue rises to the point you can consider hiring some of these skillsets in-house.

I will be there for you. On-site and virtually – I will be available whenever you need me as often necessary to see the results you seek.

When I first met with Stephen, I asked him to pull no punches – I wanted to know what it would take to turn Cottey into a marketing-conscious community and to grow the global awareness of this amazing women’s college. He wasted no time accelerating a static brand roll-out; redesigning our enrollment collateral and messaging; infusing new energy in our social media to increase awareness, engagement and growth; and launching the “We Are Cottey” blog with faculty and student contributions. He contracted with a media agency to capture and create 36 videos to increase the value of and traffic to our YouTube channel; working with Finance and other departments, he recommended staff changes that benefited the College. Stephen managed the search for freelance consultants, a digital agency, and his own replacement. He took every opportunity to meet with students, faculty, staff, or alumna and made those encounters teaching moments. Stephen left Cottey College wiser about brand, messaging, and digital marketing.

Jann Weitzel, Ph.D., president, Cottey College

About Stephen Dill

An architect by training and license, I am a product of the liberal arts – taught to see the big picture and follow it down to the smallest details. Since 2011 I have worked in colleges to reverse declines in enrollment, applying my skills across departments to identify and align campus experience elements that were working against recruitment and retention goals.

In architecture, public buildings of 50 years or more are assessed for strength and durability. Very often the structure is sound, but the envelope and infrastructure need updating. The same is also true for colleges. The principles and programs are sound, but the messaging, systems, and experience need upgrading to meet the needs of today’s new generation of students. Add to that the uncertainty of a future framed by COVID-19 and you have a very different recruitment challenge than you and your team have ever faced.

For many colleges right now, time is of the essence.

What you need is new ideas…fast! I serve as an idea instigator, someone to instill new energy and perspectives into your established team to help them break out of habits and methods that they have been practicing for so many years. Together we will help you pivot to restore your confidence in your ability to attract and retain those who need what you and your institution offer.

If you are not certain that the future of your institution is secure (and who could be in this unprecedented time?!), would it make sense for us to talk?

Contact me at or text/call 339-364-1105.

Career details available on my résumé: Stephen Dill-Chief Marketing Officer-2022

Contact Me!

You were successful because of your combination of expertise and personality. You have a way of taking charge of a situation in an enjoyable manner. Lots of humor and banter that softens the impact of change.
Gary Cox, President, Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU)


Call or text: 339-364-1105

Time zone: UTC-7:00 (Pasadena, CA, USA)

%d bloggers like this: