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J. Michael Thompson will assume his new role Oct. 9

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J. Michael Thompson Appointed Vice Provost for Enrollment Management

Sep 3, 2014

J. Michael Thompson has been appointed to serve as the Vice Provost for Enrollment Management at University of the Pacific, following a national search. Currently Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management at UC Merced, Thompson will assume his new role Oct. 9.

"J. Michael is an entrepreneurial and strategic thinker with deep experience in higher education and in the business world," said University Provost Maria Pallavicini. "He will be able to move quickly to create our next enrollment plan, help us launch new academic programs and oversee our continued conversion to a data-driven enrollment management model. We are excited to welcome him to Pacific." 

As Pacific's Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, Thompson will supervise the offices of admission, financial aid and the registrar. His role encompasses student recruitment and admissions for students across the University's three campuses and nine schools and college. He will define and structure administrative and student services functions and oversee and coordinate the enrollment functions for undergraduate, graduate and international students.

“This is an exciting time to join University of the Pacific, which is so clearly moving towards the realization of a new strategic vision,” said Thompson. “I look forward to working with Pacific’s excellent enrollment management team to execute that vision, and to being a part of such an inspiring leadership team.”

Thompson brings admissions experience from some of the largest and most prestigious universities in California, having served as the chief enrollment management officer at USC, UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz. Since 2011, he has served as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management at UC Merced. There, he oversees 75 staff in Admissions, Financial Aid and Scholarships, Registration, the Students First Center, Summer Session and University Extension. He has been instrumental in guiding the continued growth of the nine-year old UC Merced campus while also improving student quality and diversity.

Prior to joining UC Merced, Thompson had a career that spanned the corporate world and higher education. He served four years as chief executive officer of XAP Corporation, a large, multinational company that makes student learning and achievement software for high schools and colleges. He also worked for two years as a private consultant for companies serving schools and colleges.

From 2002 to 2005, Thompson was Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at the University of Southern California. There, he was responsible for all undergraduate admission decisions and most communications, recruitment and conversion efforts. Prior to USC, Thompson served for seven years as Associate Vice Chancellor for Outreach, Admissions and Student Academic Services at UC Santa Cruz. Thompson also held various enrollment management positions at UC Irvine, UCLA and Loyola Marymount.

Well known in California higher ed admission circles, Thompson is a frequent lecturer and keynote speaker at conferences across the U.S. and abroad. He has served on numerous senior committees for UC Merced, USC, UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, UCLA and the UC system. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University, a graduate certificate in management from UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management and attended the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. 

Thompson currently lives in Atwater with his wife, Elaine Wheeler, and his daughter, Katie Thompson. 

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