Areas of Expertise (9)
Access and Education
Higher Education Affordability
Dr. Robert J. Alexander serves as the dean of admissions, financial aid, and enrollment management at the University of Rochester, with responsibility for more than 70 staff members, an operating budget of $9.4 million, and distribution of over $330 million in student aid. As a first-generation college graduate, his twenty-year professional career is animated by a passion for higher education’s transformational impact on a diverse array of students.
Alexander is active with the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the American Association of College Registrars and Admission Officers (AACRAO), the College Board, the Association of Governing Boards (AGB), and the American Marketing Association (AMA), speaking at national meetings regarding enrollment management and marketing strategies. His work has appeared in national publications, including the Association of Governing Board’s Trusteeship Magazine.
Prior to the University of Rochester, Alexander held senior administrative and teaching roles at various institutions across the United States. As vice president for enrollment and communications at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, his work increased undergraduate net revenue per student, doubled the representation of domestic students of color and the proportion of international students. As an academic leader and instructor of management, Alexander helped revamp the undergraduate curriculum and developed and taught in Millsaps’ nonprofit management program, combining Liberal Arts and Business concepts to provide skills for graduates to positively impact their communities.
While serving as the associate provost for enrollment at University of the Pacific in northern California, Dr. Alexander coordinated strategic plans that dramatically increased prospective student interest, increased university-wide enrollment to record levels, while simultaneously improving academic quality and financial metrics. As assistant vice president for enrollment management at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, Alexander’s efforts during and following Hurricane Katrina successfully restored enrollment and improved the institution’s reputation and impact on its surrounding community.
University of Pennsylvania: Ed.D., Higher Education Management 2012
Tulane University, A.B. Freeman School of Business: M.B.A., Management and Marketing 2005
Tulane University: B.S., Psychology 1999
Selected Media Appearances (2)
Rochester remains strong New Dean of Admissions Robert Alexander discusses how this top research university has found 'opportunities' amid the obstacles and challenges of 2020.
University Business print
When Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans in 2005, Robert Alexander was the assistant vice president for enrollment management at Tulane University.
How to Write About Coronavirus in a College Essay
US News & World Report online
"For some young people, the pandemic took away what they envisioned as their senior year," says Robert Alexander, dean of admissions, financial aid and enrollment management at the University of Rochester in New York. "Maybe that's a spot on a varsity athletic team or the lead role in the fall play. And it's OK for them to mourn what should have been and what they feel like they lost, but more important is how are they making the most of the opportunities they do have?"
Selected Articles (3)
Institutions Must Begin the Work of Cost TransparencyPenn AHEAD
Dr. Robert Alexander
Prospective students need accurate, complete, and individualized information about their expected costs to determine the institutions to which to apply, and to appropriately plan for how to pay the costs. We’ve asked experts to give their take on the key ways colleges and university can address the college affordability crisis and be more transparent on the costs of college.
Everybody's Talking...But What Can We Do?Penn AHEAD
Dr. Robert Alexander
As enrollment officers become more engaged in the strategic planning efforts of their institutions, our focus will continue to widen beyond the old reporting lines of admissions and financial aid, broadening to include closer relationships with student retention, academic program development, and marketing. At institutions on the cutting edge, multidivisional efforts already underway reinforce the value for current students on our campuses, not only during the sales portion of recruiting new students but also throughout their educational experience. We’re beginning to think beyond graduation, to how institutions and alumni can deliver ongoing value through engagement in career networking and mentoring, fundraising activities, and as potential recruiters to perpetuate a virtuous cycle and sustain our colleges into the future.
Wanted: A President with a Compelling VisionPenn AHEAD
Dr. Robert Alexander
Selecting the right president is the most important thing a board must do. But close behind is the need for the board to insist that board members and the president agree on and work together to carry out a strategic vision.