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Suzanne McCray

Suzanne McCray

Vice Provost for Enrollment

Associate Professor of Higher Education

Enrollment Services and Admissions

(EMSP)-Enrollment Management Support

Phone: 479-575-4883

Fax: (479) 575-7515

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An associate professor in the Higher Education program, Suzanne McCray also serves as the Vice Provost for Enrollment Services (which includes Admissions, Financial Aid and Academic Scholarships, Graduation and Retention, Nationally Competitive Awards, Registrar) and the Dean of Admissions.  She directs the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards as well.

She is currently serving as chair of the Southwestern Regional Council (College Board). She is also a member of College Board’s national Advanced Placement Higher Education Advisory Council and the Capstone Champions Task Force. For three years, she served on the national program review committee for the Coca-Cola Scholarship, and she is in her twelfth year on the national selection committee for the Stewart L. and Morris K. Udall Scholarship review and her third on the Critical Language Scholarship review. McCray is an active member of the National Association of Fellowships Advisors, serving as its president from 2003-2005. She has edited six volumes of essays on the topic of nationally competitive scholarships. The most recent is Roads Less Traveled and Other Perspectives on Nationally Competitive Scholarships (2017). She received the 2012 Associated Student Government Faculty of the Year Award and the 2017 Honors College Distinguished Leadership Award.

She earned a B.A. (high honors) and an M.A. in English from the University of Arkansas, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Tennessee.

  • the student experience and nationally competitive awards
  • advising ethics
  • enrollment management issues
  • strategic enrollment management
  • trends in higher education
  • internships
  • HIED 5643                                         Internship Seminar in Students Affair
  • HIED 6243                                         Trends, Issues, and Problems in Higher Education
  • HIED 6483                                         Strategic Enrollment Management

PhD in English, University of Tennessee, December 1990 

MA in French, University of Arkansas, May 1990

MA in English, University of Arkansas, May 1980 

BA in English, University of Arkansas, May 1978

 

           

Books

Cochran, R. & McCray, S. (2015). Lights! Camera! Arkansas!From Broncho Billy to Billy Bob Thornton. Fayetteville, Arkansas: University of Arkansas.

 

McCray, S. & Cutchins, D. (Eds.) (2015). All before them:  Student opportunities and nationally competitive fellowships. Fayetteville, Arkansas:  University of Arkansas Press.

Contributors include Robert Garris, Executive Admissions Dean of the Schwarzman Scholars Program; Serena Wilson, Director of the Mitchell Scholarship Program; Tara Yglesias, Deputy Secretary of the Truman Scholarship Program; Doug Cutchins, Past President of the National Association of Fellowships Advisors; and fellowship advisors from across the country.

 

McCray, S. (Ed.) (2013). All in:  Expanding access through nationally competitive scholarships, Fayetteville, Arkansas:  University of Arkansas Press.

Contributors include William Gates Sr., Regent Emeritus University of Washington; Andrew Rich, Executive Secretary of the Truman Foundation; Tara Yglesias, Deputy Executive Secretary of the Truman Foundation; Frank Gilmore, President of the Goldwater Foundation; Carol Madison Graham, board member of the Marshall Scholarship and Carnegie UK Trust; and fellowship advisors from across the country.

 

McCray, S. (Ed.) (2009). Leading the way:  Student engagement and nationally competitive awards, Fayetteville, Arkansas: University of Arkansas Press.

Contributors include Marianne Craven, Managing Director of Academic Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State; Michael Lenardo, Director of Science Programs, NIH Oxford Cambridge Scholars Program; Mike Mallory, President of the Ron Brown Scholar Program; Colleen Quint, Executive Director of the Senator George J. Mitchell Research Institute; Patti Ross, Vice President of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation; and others.

 

McCray, S. (Ed.) (2007). National scholarship competitions:  Serving students and the public good, Fayetteville, Arkansas: University of Arkansas Press.

Contributors include Richard Light, Harvard; Mark Bauer, Yale; Mary Tolar, Director of Civic Engagement, Kansas State University; Mary Denyer, Assistant Head of Scholarship Administration of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission; Tara Yglesias, Deputy Secretary of the Truman Foundation; Carol Madison Graham, Executive Director of the US UK Fulbright Commission and board member of the Carnegie UK Trust; and others.

 

McCray, S. (Ed.) (2005). Beyond winning:  National scholarship applications and the student experience.  Fayetteville, Arkansas:  University of Arkansas Press.

Contributors include John Rowett, Warden of Rhodes House; Jonathan Taylor, Chair of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission; Elliot Gerson, American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust; Gordon Johnson, Provost of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship; Louis Blair, Executive Secretary of the Truman Scholarship Foundation; Mary Tolar, Deputy Secretary of the Truman Foundation; Alice Ilchman, Director of the Jeannette K. Watson Fellowships of the Thomas Watson Foundation; Warren Ilchman, Director of the Paul and Daisy Soros Foundation; and advisors from across the country.

 

Presentations

McCray, S., & Warrick, P. (2016 May). Building an Awards Office that Effectively Increases Student Opportunity. Duke University. Durham, North Carolina. [Invited (I)]

McCray, S., & Wallace, O. (2016 February). Helping Late Bloomers Attend College. College Board Southwestern Regional Forum. Dallas, Texas. [Peer Reviewed (R)]

McCray, S., Warrick, P., and Chang, R.  (2015 July). A Different Point of View:  Collaboration Strategies from Awards Offices in Unusual Locations. National Association of Fellowships Advisors. Oakland, California. (R)

Lee, H., Morris, J., McCray, S., Brzinski, J.  (2015 July). Creating Intellectual Communities to engage Underrepresented Students:  A Path to Fellowship Opportunities. National Association of Fellowships Advisors. Oakland, California. (R)

Garris, R., & McCray, S. (2015 July).  Schwarzman Educational Foundation Chat. Interview with Robert Garris, Global Director of Admissions for the Schwarzman Scholars Program. National Association of Fellowships Advisors. Oakland, California. (I)

McCray, S. (2015 July).  Ethics and NAFA.  National Association of Fellowships Advisors. Oakland, California. (I)

McCray, S., McDonald, S. & Waggoner, W.  (2014 February). Admissions Speak:  What Does it All Mean, College Board Southwestern Regional Forum. (R)

McCray, S.  (2014 April).  Advanced Placement and Retention and Graduation Rates at the University of Arkansas. Advanced Placement Higher Education Advisory Council (College Board National Committee). New York, New York. (I)

McCray, S. & Cutchins, D. (2014 July).  The NAFA Code of Ethics and its Importance to New Advisors. Session organizers at the New Advisors Workshop: National Association of Fellowships Advisors, Des Moines. (I)

Filar, C. & McCray, S. (2014 June).  Best Practices and Evolving Fellowships Advising Strategies. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Workshop: Fellowship Advising at Large Universities. Tallahassee, Florida. (R)

Warrick, P., Fernando, G., McCray, S., & Veatch, E. (2013 July). The Candidate with the One-Track Mind:  An Advising Challenge. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Biennial Conference. Atlanta, Georgia. (R)

Morris, J., McCray, S., Vardaman, B., Warrick, P., Tolar, M., & Brown, A.  (2013 July). Life Beyond Scholarship Advising. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Biennial Conference. Atlanta, Georgia. (R)

McCray, S. & Cutchins, D. (2013 July). A Workshop on Ethics and Advising (with introductory remarks by S. McCray).  Session organizers at National Association of Fellowships Advisors Biennial Conference. Atlanta, Georgia. (I)

McCray, S. (2012 July). Implementing an Ethical Approach to Advising. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Workshop: Developing Expertise.  Stanford, California. (I)

McCray, S. (2012 July). Facilitating Student Writing. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Workshop: Developing Expertise.  Stanford, California. (I)

McCray, S.  (2012 June).  Defining Success for Competitive Awards Offices. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Workshop: A Holistic Approach to Advising. Richmond, Virginia. (I)

McCray, S., & Vardaman, E.  (2012 February). Advanced Placement and Student Success. College Board Southwest Regional Forum. Little Rock, Arkansas. (R)

Apodaca, E., McCray, S., Munson, E., & Prieto, E. (2011 February). Strategies for Success. Presentation and panel discussion at the College Board Southwestern Regional Forum. Austin, Texas. (R)

McCray, S. (2011 July). Honoring the Code:  Ethics and Advising (plenary speaker). National Association of Fellowships Advisors Biennial Conference. Chicago, Illinois. (I)

McCray, S.  (2011 July). NAFA’s Role in the National Conversation about our Schools: the Varieties of High School Experiences and the Transition to College Scholarship Programs. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Biennial Meeting.  Chicago, Illinois.  (R)

McCray, S., Morris, J., Powers, B., Shivamoggi, J, Wallach, & S. Warrick, P. (2011 July). National Foundations, Fellowship Advisors, and NAFA:  Past, Present and Future. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Biennial Conference. Chicago, Illinois. (R)

Knepshield, L., McCray, S., & Yglesias, T. (2011 July). Unintended Consequences:  A Look at State and Federal Legislation Affecting Access to and Instruction in Higher Education. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Biennial Conference. Chicago, Illinois. (R)

Ekal, D., Leonard, S., & McCray, S.  (2010 February). AP Access and Equity for Traditionally Underserved Students and Its Impact on Higher Education. College Board Southwest Regional Forum. Austin, Texas. (R)

McCray, S. (2010 May). Campus Support:  Building Strong Faculty Relationships. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Workshop for New Advisors:  Beginning with Confidence. Tucson, Arizona. (I)

Goldsmid, P., & McCray, S. (2010 May). Introduction to NAFA:  A Professional Network for Fellowship Advisors. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Workshop for New Advisors:  Beginning with Confidence. Tucson, Arizona. (I)

McCray, S. (2010 May). Strengthening the Preparation for Interviews. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Workshop for New Advisors:  Beginning with Confidence. Tucson, Arizona. (I)

Boettcher, A., Cargill, K, & McCray, S. (2011 June). Professionalism and Ethics Across the Disciplines:  A Workshop. Council on Undergraduate Research:  Gateways to Best Practices for Undergraduate Research Directors.  St. Louis, Missouri. (R)

McCray, S. (2009 July). Ethics Code and Strategic Plan Process Review. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Biennial National Conference.  Seattle, Washington. (I)

DeCosmo, J., Delaurentis, L., McCray, S., & Vardaman, E. (2009 July). Undergraduate Research: Beyond REUs and Honors Theses. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Biennial Conference. Seattle, Washington. (R)

Cutchins, D., Daniels, M., Green L., McCray, S., & Yglesias, T.  (2009 July).  Successful Modes of Truman Advising. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Biennial Conference. Seattle, Washington. (R)

McCray, S. (2009 July). The Value of Internships and Benchmarks for Selection. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Biennial Conference. Seattle, Washington. (R)

McCray, S., & Powers, B. (2009 July). B. Ethics Workshop. Session organizers at the National Association of Fellowships Advisors Biennial Conference.  Seattle, Washington. (R)

McCray, S. (2008 October). Experienced in Honors. National Collegiate Honors Council Conference. San Antonio, Texas. (R)

McCray, S. (2007 July). Expanding the Curriculum:  National Trends that Could Reshape Fellowship Advising. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Biennial Conference. Washington, DC. (R)

McCray, S. (2007 July). Fellowships Advising:  The Agony, the Ecstasy, the Burnout? National Association of Fellowships Advisors Biennial Conference (panel). Washington DC. (R)

McCray, S. (2007 November). Fund Raising for Honors. National Collegiate Honors Council Conference (panel). Denver, Colorado. (R)

McCray, S. (2007 November).  Research about Honors. National Collegiate Honors Council Conference (panel). Denver, Colorado. (R)

McCray, S. (2006 July).  How NAFA Connects US Students to Opportunities in Ireland.  NAFA Higher Education UK Symposium. Dublin, Ireland. (R)

McCray, S. (2006 July). A Comprehensive Approach to Fellowship Advising:  A Guide for New Advisors. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Workshop for New Advisors. Lincoln, Nebraska. (I)

McCray, S. (2006 July). Establishing the Code:  An Approach to Ethical Advising,” National Association of Fellowships Advisors Workshop for New Advisors. Lincoln, Nebraska. (I)

McCray, S. (2006 June).  Reading Between the Lines:  What US Letters of Recommendation Really Mean. NAFA General Education UK Symposium. Cambridge, England. (I)

McCray, S. (2005 July). Encouraging Student Engagement:  The Role of Foundations and Fellowships Advisors.  Opening address at the National Association of Fellowships Advisors Biennial Conference. Louisville, Kentucky. (I)

Bruce, T., & McCray, S. (2005 July). Serving Students and the Public Good. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Biennial Conference.  Louisville, Kentucky. (R)

Graalman, B., & McCray, S. (2005 July).  Fellowship Offices:  Managing Growth and Surviving Change. National Association of Fellowships Biennial Conference. Louisville, Kentucky. (R)

McCray, S.  (2005 October). Thinking Globally, Advising Locally: Academic Advising and National Scholarship Competitions. Keynote Address at the Major Scholarship Preparation: A Mini-Course at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference. St. Louis, Missouri. (I)

McCray, S.  (2005 October). Moving from an Honors Program to an Honors College. National Collegiate Honors Council Conference (panel). St. Louis, Missouri.  (R)

McCray, S., & Damuth, L. (2004 November). Major Scholarship Preparation:  A Mini-Course. National Collegiate Honors Council Conference. New Orleans, Louisiana. (R)

McCray, S. (2004 November). Recruiting the Right Faculty to Teach in Honors:  Approaches and Incentives. National Collegiate Honors Council Conference. New Orleans, Louisiana. (R)

McCray, S. (2003 July).  The Ethics of Post-Graduate Fellowship Advising. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Conference. Denver, Colorado. (I)

McCray, S. (2003 November). The University of Arkansas Honors/Humanities Project:  An Interdisciplinary Course Success Story. National Collegiate Honors Council Conference. Chicago, Illinois. (R)

McCray, S.  (2002 October). Ethical Approaches to Assisting Undergraduates with National Scholarship Applications. National Collegiate Honors Council Conference. Salt Lake City, Utah. (R)

McCray, S. (2002 October). Securing Funding for Undergraduate Research. National Collegiate Honors Council Conference. Salt Lake City, Utah. (R)

McCray, S. (2002 June). How to Evaluate University Rankings in the UK. National Association of Fellowships New Advisors Workshop. Portland, Oregon. (I)

McCray, S.  (2001 June). Elocution Lessons?  An Ethical Approach to Fellowship Advising. National Association of Fellowships Advisors Biennial Conference, Tulsa, Oklahoma. (I)

Vice Provost, Division of Enrollment Services, 2009-present

With the support from upper and central administration, created an enrollment services division which now includes Admissions, Office of Financial Aid and Academic Scholarships, Student Information System (PeopleSoft), Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, and the Registrar’s Office. Wrote an internal proposal for and was given funding to create an Office of Graduation and Retention.   Manage a division of 120 full-time and 400 part-time staff members with an overall budget of $19M and a scholarship budget of $37M.  Hired key positions including a Registrar and Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment, an Executive Director for Financial Aid and Scholarship (combining two disparate offices into one), and an Associate Vice Provost for Graduation and Retention. Proposed and implemented a pre-enrollment initiative that allowed the University to enroll incoming students in 6-10 hours prior to orientation, improving the experience for freshmen and assisting colleges in predicting course needs.

            Dean of Admissions, 2009-present

Embraced the charge to increase the first-time, full-time freshman cohort and undergraduate enrollment. Developed a strategic marketing plan, doubling the number of recruiters; created and then expanded a regional recruiter program; revamped and expanded entire communication plan, involving colleges and other units.  Supervised the implementation of ImageNow and Slate; streamlined the credential evaluation process, reducing review time per application from two months to less than two weeks. And successfully increased enrollment with 68.8% growth in the first-time full-time cohort since beginning the effort in 2009, a 52.7% grow in freshmen with a 30 ACT or higher, a 73.5% increase in number of students eligible for the Honors College, a 106% increase in the number of students receiving AP or IB credit. Undergraduate enrollment increased 50.1% (15,347 in 2009 to 23,044 in 2017); and overall enrollment increased 43.7% (19,194 to 27,588), which lead to the University of Arkansas being named the 10th fastest growing institution in the country.  Working now to slow growth, hitting a specific target number, maximizing revenue and the student experience.

Director, Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, 1998-present

Successfully proposed the office in 1998 as part of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, receiving a small maintenance budget and one full-time assistant director’s position. In 2009 moved the office from the Honors College to Enrollment Services.  Increased the maintenance budget and added a second full-time staff person in 2014 as well as a graduate student.  Advised all 53 of the University’s Goldwater Scholars; all nine Udall Scholars; all four Gates Cambridge Scholars; 17 of 23 Truman Scholars; 5 of 8 Marshall Scholars; and 1 of 10 Rhodes Scholar as well as many NSF Graduate Research Fellows and Fulbright Scholars. 

           

Previous Administrative Positions

Interim Dean, University of Arkansas Honors College, 2008-2009

            Inaugural Associate Dean, University of Arkansas Honors College, 2002-2008

  • A $200M gift from the Walton Family Trust created the University of Arkansas Honors College in 2002.  Provost Bob Smith served as the interim dean for three years. The inaugural Honor College Dean Bob McMath was hired in 2005.

Established a central honors administration, uniting honors programs in each of the colleges. Created Honors College Fellowship (100 full-ride fellowships each year, also providing funds for study abroad and undergraduate research) selection protocol as well as a process for awarding undergraduate research and study abroad grants.  Worked with the colleges to support honors course work.  Increased honors enrollment by 58%.  Also created and became the first director of The University of Arkansas Advanced Placement Summer Institute (sponsored by the College Board). The institute provides a week of training each July for high school Advanced Placement teachers across a variety of disciplines. 

Associate Director, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences Honors Studies, UA, 1997-2002

Assistant Director, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences Honors Studies, UA, 1995-1997

Program Coordinator, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences Honors Studies, UA 1990-1995

Co-Director, Anglo-American Library, University of Cluj-Napoca, Cluj, Romania, 1985-1986

Phi Beta Kappa

2012 Associated Student Government Faculty of the Year Award, University of Arkansas

2017 Honors College Distinguished Leadership Award, University of Arkansas