November 30, 2017

Silvio Vazquez, currently the Dean of Admissions at Westmont College, will start his role as Chief Enrollment Management Officer (CEMO) at Wheaton next semester. President Philip Ryken notified Wheaton staff and students about the hire on Nov. 20.; Vazquez will be the first to hold this newly created position.

“Mr. Vazquez brings a wealth of experience and true expertise to the complex process of admissions,” Ryken said. “He understands how to use data to make good decisions. He also brings a passion for our Christ-centered liberal arts mission, based on his experience at other schools.”

A graduate of Gordon College with an MBA from Boston College, Vazquez worked at Gordon from 1989 to 2009 in various roles connected to enrollment and marketing. He later moved to a higher education consulting firm and worked with colleges and universities nationwide as an enrollment management consultant before coming to Westmont in 2011.

Wheaton created the position of CEMO last year in response to a recognized need for “greater coordination,” Ryken said, between undergraduate admissions, graduate admissions, and student financial services.  The Senior Administrative Cabinet also saw a need to increase freshmen and transfer applicants, as well as overall enrollment in the graduate school.

The search process, chaired by Provost Margaret Diddams and Vice President Dale Kemp, began last spring and culminated in October with face-to-face interviews with finalists. Ryken said that Vazquez made “strong connections” with the admissions team and others on campus during his visit in October. Additionally, Vazquez’s personal background made him stand out. A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he is also a first-generation college student.

“Mr. Vazquez has a compelling personal narrative — not only from his upbringing, but also from his family life today,” Ryken said. He hopes that Vazquez’s background will aid Wheaton’s goal of increasing diversity on campus.

“Year by year over the last decade we have seen a steady increase in the ethnic and international diversity of our campus,” Ryken said. “Seeing this continue is an important goal for Mr. Vazquez, as it is for all of us.”

The College is also currently in the midst of the search process for a Chief Intercultural Engagement Officer. In an email sent out to campus, Ryken notified staff and students that the search committee is currently reviewing applications — after the Nov. 3 deadline — and hopes to fill the position before the end of A Quad in the spring semester.