Josh Hibbard: New VP of Enrollment

Abigail Duchow, Staff Reporter

Josh Hibbard has been appointed as the new CWU Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management As VP of Enrollment, Hibbard will oversee financial services and enrollment for both new and continuing students. He will also oversee other programs such as Game On! and implement CWU’s strategic enrollment plan “Destination 2025.”

Hibbard has a Ph.D.  in Higher Education and an M.A. in Social Sciences, both of which are from Azusa Pacific University in California. Hibbard also has a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Life Pacific University in California. 

Téa Green

Before taking this new role, Hibbard was the Associate Vice President for Admissions and Enrollment from 2017-19. Before his work at CWU, Hibbard was employed at Azusa Pacific University as the Associate Vice President for Enrollment and Student Success. Before this, Hibbard was a professor at Azusa Pacific University. Hibbard taught bachelor’s level courses such as Organizational Analysis and Cultural Influences in the Workplace. He also taught graduate level courses including Motivational Psychology and Research and Assessment Tools for Leaders.

Some of what the enrollment department at CWU is responsible for is recruiting new students and representing the university to high school and transfer students. The department is in charge of the Ellensburg campus, as well as the satellite campuses. The enrollment department also processes applications to CWU and develops efficient ways to review all the applications CWU receives.

“Ultimately we’re focused on helping students succeed. Our divisional goal is to provide exemplary enrollment management services to prospective, new and continuing students,” Hibbard said.

Part of what Hibbard does to encourage students to pursue higher education is participating in the implementation of the after school program Game On! into communities. 

CWU, Microsoft and the Real Madrid Foundation are all partners in creating the Game On! program. The program teaches soccer skills including leadership and teamwork, which is where the Real Madrid Foundation comes into play. The program also teaches coding skills, which is where Microsoft comes in. Game On! has been implemented into multiple middle schools, high schools and a community center.

Game On! also talks to young adults about the financial aid process, the admission process, writing admission essays and other college related tasks. The program is intended to encourage kids to think about college and get excited about learning. The Game On! program is mainly based in the Yakima School District, and is free for all students. 

“The goal is to create pathways for students that might not have a clear pathway to college,” Hibbard said.

Hibbard described how he took a year in between high school and college to save up to pay for school. He recalled the financial aid process as being complicated even when he was in school. This is part of why Hibbard feels a new financial center would be useful to students. The center would be located in Bouillon Hall and would be an opportunity for students to learn about the financial aid process, scholarships, paying for college and more. The lessons about finances will be broadcast so students could watch them from the convenience of their dorm or anywhere else. This is a work in progress, and phase one of the plan should be launched in late spring. 

The financial center is something Hibbard is excited to implement. At some points in his undergraduate career, Hibbard was working two jobs on top of attending classes to pay for tuition. Hibbard felt there was a lack of financial resources when he was going to college and is excited to help students now. 

“I’m very excited that I’m in a position now where I can actually influence what a university does in supporting students in navigating that perplexity,” Hibbard said. 

Lauren Hibbs, executive director of extended learning at CWU, has known Hibbard since April 2018. She works closely with him to identify the assets and opportunities in the communities CWU is a part of. Hibbs and Hibbard work together to identify and achieve goals for student success. Hibbs enjoys working with Hibbard.

“A great number of individuals are unaware of the necessary components of a strategic plan and what is required to implement and sustain such a plan with fidelity,” Hibbs said. “Hibbard demonstrates both a student-centric and visionary approach to strategic management. As a CWU Alumni, I can share with confidence that we are fortunate to have such talent to enhance the wildcat way.”

Gregg Schlanger, chair of the art and design department, has known Hibbard since about when Hibbard started in 2017. Schlanger and Hibbard have worked together regarding recruitment, admissions and enrollment management. They have worked together on a tuition waiver committee and CWU’s strategic enrollment management plan.

“I feel like he’s really very inclusive in how he pays attention to a lot of people,” said Schlanger, “from the big picture to the smaller one, he’s one of the few at that level that I think really takes in and listens to people and ideas and puts together a plan that benefits everyone.”

Linda Schactler, the president’s chief of staff, was the chair of the committee that hired Hibbard. Schactler has known Hibbard for about six months, and has worked closely with him. Schactler said that Hibbard was the recommendation of almost the entire committee for the job. 

“Josh is really strong in his familiarity with the data that forecasts enrollment, that informs marketing, and that really is the architecture for all of our planning for enrollment, and I don’t mean just recruitment, I mean sustaining a healthy and robust enrollment at CWU,” Schactler said. “He authentically is a smart, funny, high energy person and I know he’s going to do a good job.”