Jefferson Blackburn-Smith assumed his position as vice president of enrollment management on March 1, 2012. He came to Otterbein from The Ohio State University, where he was the senior associate director of undergraduate admission and first year experience for seven years.
Blackburn-Smith joined the Office of Undergraduate Admission and First Year Experience at OSU in 1995, serving as assistant director of telecounseling and associate director before becoming senior associate director in 2004. Between 2004 and 2011, Blackburn-Smith developed and implemented long-term and annual strategic undergraduate recruitment plans that achieved a 74 percent increase in applications, 32 percent increase in enrollment of students of color, 8.6 percent increase in non-resident enrollment, and 3.8 percent increase in international student enrollment. During this time under his leadership OSU also saw a 4.8 percent increase in first year student retention, as well an increase in the academic profile of incoming classes.
Blackburn-Smith was previously vice president of marketing for The Hayward Company and general sales manager for International Readers Service Bureau, Inc. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from OSU.
Areas of Expertise (3)
Selected Media Appearances (6)
Higher Education: Student Scarcity
Columbus CEO online
At Otterbein University, differentiating from Ohio State and other big campuses is imperative. “One of our strategies is understanding how we serve underserved kids and building the right financial aid models for them to be successful,” says Jefferson Blackburn-Smith, vice president for enrollment management. It’s called 360-degree support. [...]
Calls for diversity after Otterbein student reports incident of racial hate
10 TV online
"I think they are very legitimate issues that a community like ours, a learning community, should be talking about,” Otterbein Vice President of Enrollment Management Jefferson Blackburn-Smith said. [...]
Is It Possible To Negotiate Your College Tuition?
10 TV online
"My greatest concern is some of the families that most need additional help, don't know," Jefferson Blackburn-Smith, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Otterbein University in Westerville, said. [...]
Out-of-State Enrollment Rises at State Flagship Universities
US News online
Schools enroll more nonresidents to increase their academic profile and national reputation while generating additional revenue, says Jefferson Blackburn-Smith, vice president of enrollment at Otterbein University, who worked previously as an enrollment officer at Ohio State University—Columbus. [...]
Admissions: The Challenges of Connecting With Students
The Huffington Post online
Colleges and universities do struggle with making the decision to text students. Jefferson Blackburn-Smith, vice president for enrollment management at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, noted that his office has begun sending out short text messages in special circumstances. [...]
Nearly 30 Ohio colleges are still accepting applications for fall 2019
Akron Beacon Journal online
Blackburn-Smith is interviewed about extended college application deadlines
Selected Articles (1)
Blackburn-Smith, Jefferson; Lembo, Laura
A discussion of student-employee management in the college admissions office looks at the philosophy underlying student use in this function, employee recruitment and hiring practices, training and compensation, monitoring of student-employee performance, and the personal and professional rewards of working with student employees in this context. (MSE)