Interview WITH: Joe F. Head

By West, Kim | College and University, January 1, 2008 | Go to article overview

Interview WITH: Joe F. Head


West, Kim, College and University


Joe F. Head, is Dean of University Admissions and Enrollment Ser- vices at Kennesaw State University (ksu), and has more than 35 years of experience in admissions and enrollment services. After completing an M.Ed, in higher education at Georgia Southern Uni- versity, Head immediately landed a position as Director of Admissions and Associate Registrar at Tift, a Baptist women's college. Previous to his full-time graduate studies, Head had served as an admissions counselor at Tift. While in graduate school, he held a full-time position in the registrars office. After five years at Tift, Head took a position as Director of Recruitment at Georgia Southern; in 1982, he moved to ksu. He became the youngest president of GACRAO in his time. Head is a frequent contributor to journals as well as a frequent presenter at professional conferences. In the late 1990s, he chaired an aacrao task force that resulted in the establishment of the GACRAO Institute for Strategic Enrollment Management, a state model for professional development.

Head has a reputation for excellence and innovation, particularly in the areas of 24x7 interactive-transactional technology and enrollment management techniques. He was a case faculty member in the field of collegiate telecounseling for eight years. In 2003, The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia recognized Head with a Bench Marking Best Practices Award for several innovations: the Freshman Admission Predictor; document imaging; the High School Guidance Counselor Service Center; the electronic push of application and testing data into banner and NolijWeb; prospective student information retrieval technology; registration "Tried" report; and the web-based Georgia High School Directory. In 2004, GACRAO presented Head with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and aacrao awarded him the APEX Innovations in Technology for Admissions Award.

Note: Additional information relating to those topics discussed below is available as downloadable Adobe or PowerPoint files at www.kennesaw.edu/admissions/professional.

YOU ARE NEARING RETIREMENT AT KSU. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT RETIRING?

I am taking a wait-and-see approach to retirement. On one hand, my wife recently retired; on the other hand, I have a daughter who is a freshman attending a private college. I have not reached the point where I have accomplished everything I want to, either at ksu or in the enrollment services profession. There is always something new and exciting on the horizon.

YOU ARE STILL YOUNG. DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS FOR AFTER RETIREMENT?

Since I still have a desire to utilize the knowledge I gained in the field, I have given thought to offering consulting services. However, in the past, it has been difficult for me to take an extended vacation, so I intend to take some time off before I take on anything else. This will give me time to travel with my family and to pursue my favorite hobbies of calligraphy and writing about local history.

I NOTICED THAT YOUR EARLY CAREER BEGAN AT A SMALL PRIVATE SCHOOL. HOW DID YOUR EXPERIENCES THERE SHAPE YOUR CAREER?

My start at a small private college proved excellent preparation for an admissions career. It gave me hands-on experience with the broad spectrum of admissions operations. In the long run, I found it a superior experience to that of many of my contemporaries. Managing a budget and supervising field representatives, as well as maintaining good relations with other offices and faculty, were challenging experiences. Of course, in those years, there were many other aspects to stay on top of, such as direct mail and telephone operations. I came from a generation of admissions officers that did home interviews. In many ways, the home interview presents a pure example of matching a student to an institution, of identifying and converting a prospect to - hopefully - an applicant who later makes a deposit and enrolls. Early on, I developed an interest in the telephone as a basic tool. …

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