Eric Nichols to serve as vice president for enrollment management
| By Rita Buettner
After a national search, Loyola announced today that Eric Nichols will be Loyola’s vice president for enrollment beginning July 15, 2019. Nichols is currently vice president for enrollment and dean of admission at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., where he has served in leadership positions on the admission team since 2012.
“With the changing higher education landscape and the challenges faced in recruiting undergraduate and graduate students, the vice president for enrollment management role is an integral one,” said Amanda M. Thomas, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Eric brings a great deal of experience and expertise, an understanding of the need for innovative, data-driven decisions in admission, and an appreciation for Catholic, liberal arts education.”
Prior to joining Saint Anselm as director of admission, Nichols worked in admission and career counseling roles for Brown University and Stonehill College. When he visited Loyola, he was struck by the location, the enhancement of Loyola’s career services, and the beauty of the Evergreen campus.
“Being located near a metropolitan area provides students with a fantastic opportunity to access dynamic experiential learning opportunities,” Nichols said. “There is also tremendous potential for growth in graduate programs. It’s an exciting time to have this role at a time when the University is forward-thinking and considering how to grow its footprint in the community.”
In his seven years at Saint Anselm, Nichols has increased the number of prospective students visiting campus by 57% and enrollment by 7%—with the college’s record undergraduate population of 2,000 students for the first time this fall. Five of the six strongest academic classes in Saint Anselm’s history have enrolled during his tenure, and the college has also seen record-high retention and graduation rates in that time. Those metrics have contributed to helping Saint Anselm move up 35 spots in the U.S. News & World Report’s National Liberal Arts rankings since 2012.
“I’m a strong believer in Catholic higher education and the values of a liberal arts education,” he said. “The common thread among the Catholic institutions I’ve been associated with has been the ability to produce not just strong outcomes but also good people—who are more likely to get involved in their communities, and give back to others. I know Loyola is transforming lives in this same way and I’m looking forward to being a part of this community."
Nichols has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stonehill and a Master of Education in Counseling from Providence College.
“One of the biggest challenges in higher ed is affordability,” he said. “Families want to know their investment is a good one, and that’s why Loyola’s commitment to enhancing career services is essential. In addition students are looking for hands-on, applied learning opportunities—and Loyola’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a great addition to the campus.”
Nichols grew up in Quincy, Mass., just outside of Boston, the son of a single mother. He became the first in his immediate family to graduate from college.
“I didn’t see higher ed as a possibility, so I bring that with me in this role. I know there are many students who feel the same way. You need to get in front of those students and let them know it is a possibility,” he said. “I was lucky enough to be able to go to college because of a generous financial aid package. At the time, I didn’t have much guidance through the process. To now be in a position where I can help students like me is hard to put into words. Now I am able to make a difference in a student’s life—not just for first-generation students, but for all students.”