Gil Villanueva, associate vice president and dean of admission at the University of Richmond, has been named vice president for enrollment at Rhodes College. He will assume the role in July, when President-elect Jennifer Collins takes office, and will provide high-level strategic direction for the college’s admission, enrollment services, and financial aid operations. In addition, Villanueva will be responsible for collaboratively developing and leading a comprehensive, data-informed enrollment strategy consistent with Rhodes’ vision, strengths, culture, and values.
“After a comprehensive nationwide search, Gil Villanueva was selected from an extraordinary pool of candidates to lead the enrollment division’s efforts in preparing for higher education’s competitive and challenging future and in recruiting classes of diverse, academically excellent students who will thrive at Rhodes,” says President-elect Collins. “He brings a deep wealth of experience, remarkable energy and vision, and true compassion for students to our community.”
Villanueva has led complex strategic initiatives and comes to Rhodes with three decades of experience in recruitment, admission, and enrollment management. Before assuming the role of assistant vice president and dean of admission at the University of Richmond in 2009, he had worked as dean of admissions at Brandeis University, as senior associate dean of admissions at Bucknell University, and as assistant dean of admissions at Harvey Mudd College, where he began as an admission counselor.
Villanueva was promoted to associate vice president and dean of admission at the University of Richmond in 2014. Under his leadership, the college’s total number of student applications has increased dramatically, including the numbers for Early Decision, Early Action, domestic students of color, and international students. Along with significant growth in academic profile and increased selectivity, enrollment of underserved students and Pell Grant eligible recipients has risen as well. Villanueva has managed recruitment territories in Boston, Fairfield County (Connecticut), Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Richmond, Santa Barbara, San Diego, San Francisco, and Tampa. He also strongly values collaborating with various departments to enroll academically talented and diverse students from other nations.
“Because of the provisions of the mission and strategic plan, bold leadership, student-centered academic enterprise, compelling value proposition, award-winning physical plant, electric location, civic engagement, strong student outcomes, and fiscal stewardship, Rhodes College is poised to continue to bolster its stature among the nation’s top national liberal arts colleges,” says Villanueva. “I very much look forward to partnering with President Jennifer Collins, campus leaders, trustees, the enrollment team, faculty, staff, students, alumni, college counselors, and friends of the college to realize institutional goals and to advance the college.”
In national organizations, Villanueva has held leadership positions including serving as chair of the Board of Directors for The Common Application, member of The College Board’s Guidance and Admissions Assembly Council, and chair of its Southern Regional Council. He is an American Higher Education Representative for the United States Department of Overseas Schools. Villanueva’s other professional associations include the Greenlight Equity Collaborative, National Honor Society, and National Association for College Admission Counseling. He is a 2014 alumnus of the Senior Leadership Academy presented by Council of Independent Colleges and the American Academic Leadership Institute.
A native of Manila, Philippines, Villanueva earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pitzer College and a master’s degree in education from Bucknell University.