September 16, 2019
Dr. Hernan Bucheli assumes duties October 1 as Albion College’s new vice president for enrollment management.
Bucheli comes to Albion from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, Calif., where most recently he has served as provost and senior vice president. But in his previous 20 years in higher education, his niche has been focused on enrollment management.
He was vice provost for enrollment and communications at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif.; in his first stint at Notre Dame de Namur he served as vice president of enrollment and external affairs; at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., he was assistant vice chancellor for enrollment and student affairs; at Alliant University in San Diego, Calif., he was system-wide director of enrollment management; and he began his career as assistant director of admissions at Barry University in Miami, Fla.
“Throughout my career I have focused on providing access to quality education for students to enroll in higher education institutions,” he said. “I lived it as a first-generation college student myself and that’s what drives me.”
Indeed, Bucheli, who was born in Ecuador, grew up in rural Clear Lake, Calif., and was a first-generation student, earning his B.A. in international relations from San Francisco State University. He later completed his master’s in communication from Barry University, and his doctorate in education from Northeastern University in Boston, Mass. Bucheli is also an emeritus board member of the Peninsula College Fund, and currently serves on the board of the Foundation for Hispanic Education.
And it was his extensive background and experiences that impressed Albion’s search committee.
“The pool of candidates was very strong, reflecting Albion’s growing reputation in the higher education community,” President Mauri Ditzler said. “The search committee was impressed with Hernan's leadership qualities as well as his background in admissions reinforced with his experience in academic affairs and marketing.”
Added Dee McCormick, vice president for finance and administration and search committee chair: “While Dr. Bucheli looked like a strong candidate on paper, he was even more impressive in person.”
Bucheli (his full name is pronounced air-nahn bew-kelly) expressed excitement about the opportunity to come to the Midwest and work with a college he believes is on the move with an appetite to build enrollment.
“It’s a top liberal arts institution, it’s residential and the campus is taking a journey toward being diverse and inclusive, and that’s very attractive,” he said. “Also, Mauri is a very vibrant leader with a clear vision for the College, and I felt at home when I was on campus. Albion is a special place. It’s an institution that’s going places and that’s exciting for me as a chief enrollment officer.”
At Albion, Bucheli will find himself in a familiar situation in which diversity and inclusion will be hallmarks of future classes. He sees Albion and its plan to look more like a microcosm of America in its student population as a positive step.
“I entered higher education to serve different student populations, and that was my main interest in being a higher education professional," he said. "When you’re looking to build enrollment, to have inclusive messaging and outreach is mission-critical. Another is retaining those students. Students need to feel at home when they enroll. You need to build a sense of belonging and community, and I see Albion as a place where this is taking place.”
It will also be Bucheli’s first foray into the Midwest after growing up and working on both coasts. He will be joined by his wife and three daughters, two of whom are currently in college on the West Coast.
“I came from a farming family,” he said. “So for me, in many ways, going to the Midwest is a lot like home.”
Bucheli will replace Steve Klein, who retired earlier this year.