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. 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, student demand, and allocation of the $145M institutional aid commitment. She oversees a team of 100 professional and support staff who recruit for the University nationally and internationally; qualify and select new students; and assist students and families with the financing of their postsecondary education. She also oversees the Enrollment Management Strategic Communications 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 169% to 24,680 students in 2011 from 9,158 students in 1995. The academic quality of enrolling students has increased significantly with the freshman SAT average increasing more than 100 points to 1209 in 2011 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 14th largest private nonprofit university in the nation, Drexel serves students on three campuses in the Philadelphia region; a satellite campus in Mount Laurel, New Jersey; and a center for graduate study in Sacramento, California. For the 10th 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, the Delaware Valley Science Fair, and the Philadelphia Police Foundation.
Prior to joining Drexel, McDonald held administrative positions at the University of Chicago and Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. She holds a master's degree in higher education administration from Loyola University of 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.