Ken Anselment, the Vice President for Enrollment, spent his last day in office on Monday, May 2, 2022. Anselment served as Vice President for Enrollment since 2011 and was in the Admissions office since 2004. Anselment was one of the longest-tenured Lawrence administrators at the time of his departure at 18 years and the second person to oversee the Lawrence admissions department since 1983.
“I don’t know the University without Ken,” said Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life Linda Morgan-Clement.
His colleague Jennifer England reflected similar sentiments.
“He’s one of the most gifted public speakers that I’ve ever had the pleasure of being around,” England said.
England, one of the few administrators with as long of a tenure at the university as Anselment, also reflected on what Anselment brought to the admissions department specifically.
“To have had him on our team representing us at student day programs and other open houses [was invaluable],” she said.
England also added that the search process to find Anselment’s eventual replacement is in its final stages.
Anselment’s departure is one of many recent departures of administrative staff in recent months, coinciding roughly with the start of University President Laurie Carter’s tenure. Anselment is the second Vice President to leave the University in recent months, the first being Mary Alma Noonan, Vice President for Finance and Administration.
The Student Life office especially has seen several high-profile departures. Dean of Students Curt Lauderdale left during Winter Term as well, and two Associate Deans of Students, the Associate Director of Campus Services, several Residence Hall Directors and other housing staff, the director of the Warch Campus Center, the Bon Appetit manager overseeing dining on campus and the University’s Title IX coordinator have all stepped down. Dr. Eric Mayes was also brought in to replace Dr. Kimberly Barrett as Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Dr. Ashley Lewis was hired as Associate Vice President for Enrollment.
“We are losing or have lost a lot of folks who really have deep institutional memory,” said Morgan-Clement.
Anselment expressed confidence that Lawrence’s institutional culture would not be harmed by his departure. Anselment felt like there are a lot of great people at Lawrence that care about the institution. He feels confident that the people who will be here after he leaves will create the same kind of institution that he was drawn to when he was 34 years old. He cited English Professor Tim Spurgin as an example.
During his tenure, Anselment oversaw the transition of his position from a Dean of Admissions to a Vice President for Admissions. Anselment says that one of the accomplishments at Lawrence of which he is the proudest of is his role in holistically expanding the role of the admissions office on-campus. According to Anselment, the office is much more focused on retaining existing students than it was at the beginning of his tenure.
To further this goal, the Admissions office has forged a strong relationship with the Center for Academic Success in recent years, an office that did not exist when Anselment was first brought in as Dean of Admissions.
Anselment considers the increasing diversity of the Lawrence student body among his greatest successes. That diversity will be critical in maintaining Lawrence as an institution going forward into the 21st Century, said Anselment.
“I love the fact that we’re going into what’s going to be a more challenging demographic season with an incredibly diverse portfolio of students,” he said. “[Our diversity] helps us weather some of the ups and downs that we’re going to see in different parts of the population and in the country going forward.”
Anselment also has a few words for his successor, whoever they end up being.
“Listen, learn as much as you can about this place and what makes it special and who its people are,” he said. “And treat it with the care and respect that it deserves, and always find a way to make it an even better version of itself.”
Click here to read a goodbye message from Anselment.