MSUM has hired a new vice president of enrollment management and student affairs, Dr. Yvette Underdue Murph. Underdue Murph joins MSUM by way of Mississippi Valley State University, where she was the assistant vice president of enrollment management and student affairs.
Underdue Murph brings almost 20 years of experience in education from several universities across the nation to her position, which combines into one the duties formerly split among two vice presidents. Prior to education, she worked in banking for 12 years. However, the stock market crash of 1987 changed her career path.
“It was on that particular day that I said, ‘OK, I’m done with banking. I need to go back and get my degree, because if I’m wanting to retool and get a new career, everybody is asking for a bachelor’s degree,’” she said.
Underdue Murph first experienced working in higher education while enrolled at Cambridge College in Massachusetts. She noticed communication between the main and regional campuses regarding financial aid was “fragmented.” She went to the dean and asked if her banking knowledge could be put to use in the education setting and was hired as a financial aid liaison.
Because of her non-traditional path to education, Underdue Murph has a passion for the “adult learner” and transfer students.
“I’ve been there, understand it and have a greater appreciation for looking at how one can start late in life with a degree path,” she said.
However, her passion doesn’t stop there. Underdue Murph wants to make sure all students have a “seamless enrollment experience” that will then guide them through their required curriculum, to graduate and also bring them back as active alumni for the institution.
Underdue Murph said she is excited to work as a team with the other faculty to enhance enrollment and the student experience.
“I respect institutional knowledge,” she said. Her vision is to have an “integrated, data driven, enrollment management philosophy” on how the department will work.
This would allow data to be shared between departments, creating a collaboration synergy. This synergy would allow the department to better understand where students are coming from, what they are looking for and how MSUM can provide them with that experience.
BY ALISON SMITH