Published November 3, 2023
Dear University Community:
I am writing to share that Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Lee Melvin plans to retire from the University at Buffalo, effective December 31, 2023.
Mr. Melvin was named UB’s inaugural vice provost for enrollment management in 2013 with responsibility for envisioning, developing and implementing an enrollment management strategy to maintain academic momentum and move UB to higher levels of distinction. Mr. Melvin has leveraged his deep understanding of admissions, enrollment modeling, financial aid and scholarships to develop and lead the Office of Enrollment Management, which includes undergraduate domestic and international admissions, graduate admissions operations, financial aid, enrollment systems, enrollment management analytics, Arthur O. Eve Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), strategic content and marketing, and 1Capen.
As vice provost and a member of the president’s cabinet, Mr. Melvin developed an enrollment strategy, including the adoption of holistic admissions, that led to impressive undergraduate application and enrollment growth at UB. Mr. Melvin has transformed UB’s on-campus, off-campus and virtual student recruitment events and initiatives, leading to a 68% increase in the number of applications to UB from 2013 to 2023. These programs have also been critical to students’ decision to enroll at UB and to creating a welcoming campus environment for students and their families.
Through his strategic enrollment planning efforts and enhanced recruitment programs, Mr. Melvin succeeded in increasing undergraduate enrollment by 13% over a seven-year period, with first-time freshman enrollment increasing by 24% during that time. Mr. Melvin also contributed to growth in master’s enrollment in recent years. Deeply committed to enhancing diversity at UB and reducing the cost of higher education, Mr. Melvin has successfully implemented strategies to increase the gender, geographic and racial diversity of UB’s student population, including strengthening pipeline programs and the EOP, and he increased the number of students entering on scholarships.
Using national best practices, Mr. Melvin has substantially improved student services for the benefit of all UB students including transforming financial aid operations, leading to enhanced operations and earlier awarding. More broadly, under his leadership, 1Capen and 1Diefendorf “one-stop-shops” have provided streamlined essential services for UB students.
Mr. Melvin is a national leader in strategic recruitment, enrollment, and admissions and has served as chair of the AAU group for chief enrollment managers. He is a member of the U.S. News and World Report Admissions Advisory Committee and the Cambridge International Education Strategic Higher Education Advisory Council. He is also a founding member of the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success.
Mr. Melvin has shared that, in retirement, he will focus on building his not-for-profit organization to provide free college-prep admissions counseling to students attending low-resourced high schools with no access to a professional admissions advisors.
In the coming weeks, I will announce interim leadership for the Office of Enrollment Management.
Colleagues, please join me in thanking Mr. Melvin for his significant contributions to the university and in wishing him much continued success in his future endeavors.
A. Scott Weber Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs