Office of the Senior Vice President
Joan T. McDonald
As the Senior Vice President of Enrollment Management at Drexel University, Joan McDonald oversees the enrollment of approximately 9,000 new undergraduate and graduate students each year. McDonald joined Drexel in 1996 as a director of undergraduate admissions, and in 2000 was appointed Dean of Enrollment Management. In 2004, she was promoted to Vice President and assumed responsibility for the University’s $350 million financial aid portfolio. Named Senior Vice President in 2009, she serves as a member of the President’s Cabinet and advises the Administration and Board of Trustees on enrollment trends, financial aid policy and student demand. She oversees a team of 100 professional and support staff who recruit nationally and internationally as well as qualify and select students for the University. She also oversees the Enrollment Management Strategic Communication Group, which annually wins national and regional awards for both electronic and print communications.
Since McDonald's appointment in 1996, student enrollment at the University has increased 184% to 26,000 students in 2013 from 9,158 students in 1995 for an average annual growth rate of 10%. The academic quality of enrolling students has increased significantly with the freshman SAT average increasing 118 points to 1226 in 2012 from 1108 in 1995. The University now draws more than one-third of its undergraduates from outside of its region, across the United States, and internationally. The 12th largest private non-profit university in the nation, Drexel educates students on three campuses in the Philadelphia region; on a satellite campus in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and on a campus in downtown Sacramento, California. For the 12th consecutive year, Drexel has been named one of the best national universities by U.S. News & World Report and is ranked as one of the top universities in the country as a “school to watch” for innovation in undergraduate education.
McDonald also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Drexel University School of Education where she teaches a popular course in enrollment marketing, and she frequently speaks regionally and nationally on trends in college choice.
In addition to University service, McDonald chairs the Board of Directors for Campus Philly, an economic development organization focused on attracting and retaining new talent for the Philadelphia region. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Philadelphia Futures, and the Delaware Valley Science Fair.
Prior to joining Drexel, McDonald held administrative positions at the University of Chicago and Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. She holds a graduate degree in higher education administration from Loyola University Chicago and a baccalaureate degree from Marquette University. Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, McDonald now resides in Haddonfield, New Jersey with her partner, Margaret M. Guenveur.