National enrollment and admission leader Lee Ann Backlund has been appointed interim vice president for enrollment and dean of admission, President Marjorie Hass announced. Backlund will serve through the 2021-2022 school year as the college searches for a permanent enrollment leader.
“Lee Ann is known for her innovative leadership, student care, and talent for fostering enrollment growth. I am confident that, in tandem with the ongoing work of our admission staff and our whole community, she will continue the Rhodes tradition of recruiting a high-caliber class of passionate, academically excellent students,” President Hass says.
Backlund announced her retirement from her position as dean of admission at the University of the South, which she has held since 2010, this year. She previously served as dean of admission at Agnes Scott College. Backlund has also served as president of Southern Association for College Admission Counseling and as chair of Common App on whose Board of Directors she continues to sit.
In addition to her role on the chancellor’s cabinet, Backlund took an active role in campus leadership across a wide range of initiatives, including a Posse Foundation partnership, the transgender policy committee, and operations during COVID-19.
“I look forward to working with the enrollment division and the campus community to maintain Rhodes’ high standards for enrollment and student success. It is an honor to have been asked to fill this interim role and I am committed to stewarding it well,” Backlund says.
“I have known Lee Ann and her work for many years and consider her a great colleague and friend. She is respected and beloved in the field, and I know Rhodes’ enrollment is in the best of hands,” outgoing vice president of enrollment & communications J. Carey Thompson says.
Thompson departs Rhodes in May to become vice president of enrollment and educational services at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania.
Backlund will join Rhodes on July 1, 2021. She will not be a candidate for the permanent position.