Pacific announces new Vice President for Enrollment Management

Chris Ferguson

Chris Ferguson joins Pacific to lead university’s recruitment efforts

Chris Ferguson, a nationally recognized student recruitment and enrollment strategist at Occidental College, is joining University of the Pacific as vice president for enrollment management, the university announced today.

Ferguson, associate vice president of enrollment at the private liberal arts college in Los Angeles, previously served as vice president and dean of admissions at Drexel University in Philadelphia and vice president for strategic enrollment management at The New School in New York.

“We are thrilled that Chris Ferguson will be joining the Pacific team,” said President Christopher Callahan. “He has a superb record of building 21st century recruitment teams and strategies at three private universities and is nationally known for his pioneering work in social media marketing and predictive data analytics to recruit the most talented and diverse classes. He is the perfect fit for Pacific’s future.”

Ferguson will start Sept 14. 

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in behavioral science from Wilmington University, a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Denver and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He served as director of admissions and assistant professor at Wilmington University in Delaware before his service at The New School, Drexel and Occidental. 

Jonathan Veitch, who recently returned to the faculty after 11 years as president of Occidental, called Ferguson “an inspired choice.”

“Chris is the full package,” Veitch said, calling him a “smart, imaginative, creative, empathetic and analytical leader” who “delivered over and over again” and embodies the highest values, principles and mission of the academy. 

Ferguson also has a strong reputation of working closely with faculty on student recruitment and enrollment initiatives.

“I really admire Chris’s collaborative approach and the way he helped Oxy's faculty create partnerships with our entire community, from prospective students and their families to alumni,” said John T. Lang, chair of Food Studies at Occidental and president of the college’s Faculty Council. “As a faculty member I've loved how he's found creative ways to help me realize my scholarly and pedagogical vision while helping advance the college mission."

Ferguson said he was honored to be approached about the Pacific role. He said he is eager to meet and work with the faculty, staff and students to strengthen the enrollment management strategy. 

“The University of the Pacific delivers the breadth of academic programing that is attractive to students,” he said. “In today’s competitive global market, it is essential to offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs that prepare students for successful careers. Pacific is well positioned to do so, and I’m looking forward to working with President Callahan, the leadership team and the faculty to bring a data-driven, enrollment management vision and strategy to the university.” 

Ferguson will succeed Roberta Kaskel, an executive consultant who has served as vice president for enrollment management for the past two years. Callahan credits Kaskel with modernizing enrollment at Pacific and leading it through COVID-19 and other recruitment challenges. She will continue at Pacific through the end of the year.

“We are indebted to Roberta, a top-flight enrollment professional who in her brief time at Pacific built a foundation for success for our future,” Callahan said. “I am particularly thankful that Roberta agreed to extend her time with us to ensure a seamless transition.”

The search team was led by Vice President for Business and Finance Ken Mullen and supported by Alberto Pimentel, managing director and co-founder of the search firm Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates. 

University of the Pacific, California’s first chartered university, is a nationally ranked private institution with more than 6,000 students across campuses in Stockton, Sacramento and San Francisco. The university prides itself on offering students highly personalized educational experiences typically found in a small college setting coupled with the choices and opportunities of a large comprehensive university.