SLU Names New VP of Enrollment and Retention Management

Kathleen Davis has been appointed as Saint Louis University’s vice president for enrollment and retention management. Her term begins July 1.
Amelia Flood | Wed Jun 12, 2019


Kathleen Davis has been appointed as Saint Louis University’s vice president for enrollment and retention management. Her term begins July 1.

Davis was appointed as interim head of enrollment and retention management (ERM) in November 2018. Since taking over leadership of SLU’s admissions initiatives, she and her team have successfully recruited the largest class in University history.

Interim Provost Chester “Chet” Gillis, Ph.D., announced Davis’s appointment on Monday, June 10, after a national search.

“Having come mid-year, she learned our culture quickly, analyzed our needs and delivered on our expectations,” Gillis said in his announcement of Davis’s appointment to the SLU community. “She has made a positive impact in a short amount of time.”

“Kathleen brings strong strategic, operational, retention and communication experience to her new role,” University President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D., said at the time of Davis’s initial SLU appointment in November 2018. “Her familiarity with working with Catholic, Jesuit colleges and universities will be an asset for us. Kathleen is a thoughtful, energetic and collaborative leader who will harness the talent, experience, and energy of our strong ERM staff.”

Prior to coming to SLU, Davis led the enrollment management division at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, and was a North American enrollment advisor for Global Student Recruitment Advisors.

She had served for four years as vice president for enrollment management at Canisius, a fellow Jesuit school. While at Canisius, she oversaw undergraduate, graduate and online enrollment, as well as student records and financial services. One of her priorities was to utilize a campus community engagement approach to recruitment and she met regularly with deans, faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders.

Prior to her work at Canisius, she was dean of admission at Saint Joseph’s College in Maine, and director of graduate admission at St. John’s University in New York.

Associate Provost Michael Lewis, Ph.D., led the search committee for the position.

Committee Members
  • Kira Banks, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology
  • Peter Benoist, University trustee
  • Jordan Glassman, Student Government Association
  • Mark Higgins, Ph.D., dean of the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business
  • Kristine L’Ecuyer, Ph.D., associate professor of nursing
  • Kim Levenhagen, DPT, associate professor of physical therapy
  • Michelle Sabick, Ph.D., dean of Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology
  • Jonathan Smith, Ph.D., vice president for diversity and community engagement
  • David Suwalsky, S.J., Ph.D., director of academic initiatives in the Office of Mission and Identity.


Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers nearly 13,000 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place.

Story by Amelia Flood, University Marketing and Communications