Thanda Maceo is an enrollment expert, a family man and the new vice president for strategic enrollment management and marketing.
Maceo has worked in enrollment for nearly 40 years. As a consultant with Ruffalo Noel Levitz and in his role as co-founder of TBM Consultants with his wife, Betty, Maceo traveled across the country to troubleshoot enrollment issues at colleges. Maceo has also worked in enrollment at many colleges, including the University of Cincinnati, Ursuline College, Heidelberg University, all in Ohio and Bethany College in West Virginia.
Dana Cummings, vice president for development and alumni engagement, led the search team for the position, which Cummings said would make enrollment at Franklin College consistent and strong. With experience at several small liberal arts colleges and consulting firms, Maceo’s variety of experience quickly identified him as a worthy candidate for the position.
“We knew we needed somebody who really had a proven track record that they knew how to do it,” Cummings said. “And somebody who could come in here and really help us to, first and foremost, stabilize enrollment.”
Enrollment is often a top priority for colleges. In a study from Simpson Scarborough in the spring, the higher education research and marketing company said that four year colleges could face a loss of 20% in fall 2020 enrollment. “The effect on higher education enrollment could be catastrophic,” the study said.
In this role, Maceo will oversee the admissions, financial aid and marketing divisions of the college.
On a personal level, Cummings described Maceo as having a good sense of humor, along with being smart, engaging and dynamic.
Maceo started working in education on accident, he said. After receiving a degree in economics from Xavier University in Cincinnati, he worked at Procter & Gamble for eight years, traveling as a sales representative and then a key account manager. Events in Maceo’s personal life brought him back to Ohio, and he worked at the University of Cincinnati as assistant director of admissions.
Maceo is excited to walk through Dame Mall every day and interact with students, but he added that working at a college presents new challenges. In his work at consulting firms, Maceo said he and his coworkers joked they would never go back to “the dark side” – working on a college campus.
“This is a job that has a lot of pressure,” Maceo said. “Day in and day out, there is a community of people — constituents — who want to know, ‘How are we doing?’ ‘How many students are coming?’”
Maceo and his wife have a blended family with eight children whom he said, “are all very much contributing to the reproductive program of life” and have given them “a team of grandkids.”
Maceo and his family frequently gather at his home in Sandusky, Ohio. Cummings said he told her a story about his installation of a pool at the house to attract his many grandchildren to spend time at home.
Due to his work at Franklin College, soon Maceo and his wife will relocate to Indiana. Maceo said that this change is difficult, but necessary as he intends to stay at Franklin College for a long time.
“I don’t have anything to prove in terms of moving up the ladder. This is the kind of the job I want to have until I decide I don’t want to do this anymore,” Maceo said. “And then it’s over. So that transition — that whole family issue of the transition, moving here — is still something we’re trying to figure out.”
Before starting at Franklin, Maceo said he was a bit uneasy about what the college would look like during a pandemic. But, he was reassured seeing Franklin College students and faculty following the Fortify Franklin protocol.
“I’m like, wow, Franklin is quite serious about this,” Maceo said about the sanitation stations and universal mask- wearing on campus. “And that makes you feel safe and secure.”