Northwood University Undergoes Several Leadership Changes

Justin Marshall
Justin Marshall // Courtesy of Northwood University

Northwood University in Midland announced several leadership changes to support ongoing efforts to achieve the university’s 2021-2026 strategic plan.

Northwood is reorganizing to accelerate its enrollment in an ever-changing education landscape for students looking for a hands-on entrepreneurial approach to learning.

“Developing students who drive social and economic progress are foundational elements of our mission and core values, or what we refer to as The Northwood Idea,” says Kent MacDonald, president of Northwood University.

“Which means we also should operate in a way that is true to our beliefs. With a bias for growth, the best path forward is to invest in resources that are hyper-focus on strategic enrollment management.”

The following leadership changes have been announced, with transitions taking place now through early September.

Justin Marshall has been selected to lead Northwood’s comprehensive fundraising campaign and launch a new million-dollar venture fund. His new role will focus on raising funds to invest in the University’s academic mission, amplify “The Northwood Idea,” and improve student access, regardless of their financial situation.

In addition, Northwood is planning a new program to support Northwood students who launch new private companies. More information will be available later this fall.

Murray Kyte has been appointed vice president of advancement. Kyte brings more than two decades of experience in higher education to Northwood. Most recently, he served as vice president of advancement at St. Francis Xavier University, where more than $150 million was raised over six years.

Susie Poli-Smith will return to Northwood as vice president of undergraduate enrollment and financial aid. She will leverage nearly three decades of experience recruiting students and will increase the number of qualified undergraduate students at Northwood. Poli-Smith also brings more than seven years of experience as a financial aid director.

Matt Bennett will return to his alma mater as vice president of graduate enrollment and professional studies. Bennett will reply upon two decades in higher education to help grow enrollment in our graduate programs and Adult Degree Program (ADP) offerings. Bennett has held senior leadership roles within higher education for nearly a decade, including executive vice president and chief advancement officer.

Rachel Valdiserri will take the lead in all marketing and communications endeavors as senior marketing and communications officer. She will continue to position Northwood as America’s Free Enterprise University and remain distinct in an increasingly homogenous marketplace. Valdiserri will lead efforts, including enhancing brand position, web presence, social media, traditional media, and other marketing and communications initiatives.

Pam Christie has been appointed assistant vice president of human resources where she will leverage more than 25 years of human resource experience to oversee Northwood’s ongoing efforts to be one of America’s great campuses to work. She will also lead efforts to monitor and measure progress related to the strategic plan, business plan, and Northwoods objectives and key results.

Lori Isenhart will assume the role of director of human resources. For nearly 30 years, Isenhart served the university in a variety of roles related to human resources and has been an expert related to benefit offerings. She will assume her new responsibilities in mid-August.

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