Justin Marshall // Courtesy of Northwood University

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

Northwood is reorganizing to accelerate student enrollment in an ever-changing educational landscape and is seeking 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 call the Northwood Idea,” said Kent McDonald, president of Northwood University.

“This means that we must also act in ways that are consistent with our beliefs. With a growth bias, the best way forward is to invest in resources that focus on strategic recruitment management.”

The following management changes have been announced, taking place through early September.

Justin Marshall has been tapped to lead Northwood’s comprehensive fundraising campaign and launch a new multi-million dollar venture capital fund. His new role will focus on raising funds to invest in the university’s academic mission, expanding the “Northwood idea” and improving access for students regardless of their financial situation.

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

Murray Kite has been named vice president of promotions. Kite 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 Polley-Smith will return to Northwood as vice president of student recruitment and financial aid. She will leverage nearly three decades of student recruitment experience and increase the number of qualified students at Northwood. Polly-Smith also has more than seven years of experience as a director of financial aid.

Matt Bennett will return to his alma mater as vice president of graduate recruitment and professional learning. Bennett brings back two decades in higher education to help grow student enrollment in our graduate and adult degree programs (ADPs). Bennett has held senior leadership positions in higher education for nearly a decade, including executive vice president and chief advancement officer.

Rachel Valdisseri will assume a leadership role in all marketing and communications activities as Senior Marketing and Communications Officer. She will continue to position Northwood as America’s free enterprise university and stand out in an increasingly homogenous market. Valdiserri will lead efforts including brand enhancement, online presence, social media, traditional media and other marketing and communications initiatives.

Pam Christie has been named assistant vice president for human resources, where she will use more than 25 years of human resources experience to oversee Northwood’s ongoing efforts to become one of America’s greatest campuses to work for. She will also lead efforts to monitor and measure progress related to Northwoods’ strategic plan, business plan, and goals and key results.

Lori Isenhart will assume the role of Chief Human Resources Officer. For nearly 30 years, Isenhart has worked at the university in a variety of human resources-related positions and has been an expert on benefits offerings. She will start her new duties in mid-August.