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Graceland Promotes Deb Skinner to Vice President for Enrollment Management and Strategic Growth

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Administration and Staff, Alumni, Press Release

September 15, 2021

Graceland University promoted Deb Skinner (’93) as the new Vice President for Enrollment Management and Strategic Growth. Skinner has been serving as Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at Graceland and will begin her new role immediately.  

Skinner transitioned from director of residence life to the dean of admissions in November of 2019, and after nearly two years has effectively transformed the enrollment culture and outcomes for the Lamoni campus. Graduating from Graceland in 1993, Deb earned a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art, K-12 teaching and coaching. Skinner brings a wide variety of experience to the role, both inside and outside of the university. She has worked at Graceland in a variety of different roles over the last 20 years, including positions in Athletics, Career Services, Educational Talent Search, Enactus (SIFE), Facility Services and as a residence hall director. Her experiences outside of Graceland include residence hall director and coach for Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, and a law enforcement officer, detective and forensic artist in New Mexico. 

Skinner shared: “The experiences I have had as a student and employee at Graceland University were powerful influences in my approach to leadership, culture, and innovation throughout my life’s work.  As an enrollment leader, I look forward to bringing our community together to discuss and re-assess enrollment – both recruitment and retention.  I am honored to serve as Vice President of Enrollment Management and Strategic Growth and believe together we can stay true to who our mission calls us to be and look toward the future.” 

Skinner expands her responsibility for Admissions, Student Financial Services, and Retention university-wide. Her main areas of focus will be to design and deploy a data-driven comprehensive Integrated Enrollment Plan and continue to develop and deepen partnerships for Graceland’s overall enrollment.   

President Patricia Draves said, “Deb’s strong background of leadership and team development, her demonstrated success in innovation, process improvement, and her contagious enthusiasm for the mission of Graceland made her the clear candidate for this mission critical position. I am thrilled to welcome Deb to this position and am excited to have her experience on the Executive Council. I look forward to working with her more closely in the days and months ahead.” 

The Lamoni admissions team recruited the largest incoming class in five years. Graceland also promoted Twong Wells ’97 to Director of Undergraduate Recruitment and Chauntel Ranney ’88 to Director of Admissions Operations for the Lamoni campus.  

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