aschenbrener.jpg

Photo from University of Wisconsin - Whitewater.

The search for WKU’s new vice president for enrollment and student experience continued Tuesday afternoon with a presentation that introduced Matthew Aschenbrener, the second candidate that has conducted an open forum in WKU’s pursuit to fill the position.

Headed by a search committee co-chaired by Acting Provost Cheryl Stevens and Vice President for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement Amanda Trabue, the search yielded four candidates who will present on WKU’s campus, the first of which took place Monday afternoon and introduced P.J Woolston.

Tuesday’s candidate addressed his audience on the topics of the importance of student voices, his professional experience and approach to leadership before opening the floor to questions.

Aschenbrener described his leadership approach as a process in which he listens, learns and acts, where he places value in transparency, accountability and Intentional connections with colleges/divisions for integrated student experience.

One of the things that Aschenbrener spoke at length about was the importance of student voices. His commentary included notes on applicable data that emphasized the impact of recruitment processes.

His commentary on the subject also mentioned the importance of challenges students face instead of focusing holistically on their academic performances and economic contributions to the institution, which he called institutional barriers.

“I have regular communication with my staff and what that means is not only my directors but everybody that works with me,” Aschenbrener explained. 

In relation to his emphasis on transparency, Aschenbrener also focused on collaboration and committee involvement.

“My life is really run by committees,” Aschenbrener said. “I’m on about six committees and each one of them is about collaborative decision making and making sure that there are voices around the table.”

Aschenbrener holds a bachelor’s in mathematics from South Dakota State University, a master’s in public administration from the University of South Dakota and a doctorate in education from the University of Kansas, Lawrence. He has served as the assistant vice president at South Dakota State University, assistant vice chancellor at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater and currently holds the position of associate vice chancellor for Enrollment and Retention at the University of Wisconsin‐Whitewater.

News reporter Abbey Nutter can be reached at abbigail.nutter168@topper.wku.edu. Follow her on Twitter at @abbeynutter.

Abbey Nutter is an academics and facilities reporter for the College Heights Herald. She previously worked as a general assignment reporter.