Dr. Kelly Brennan named vice chancellor for Enrollment Management at UNCP

Dr. Kelly Brennan

Dr. Kelly Brennan has been named vice chancellor for Enrollment Management at UNC Pembroke.

Dr. Brennan has over 25 years of enrollment experience at higher education institutions and brings expertise in designing processes, initiating new programs and delivering innovative student support services. She currently serves as associate provost for Enrollment Management at The Citadel.

Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings made the announcement following a unanimous vote by the Board of Trustees on Thursday. Brennan was selected following a national search.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Brennan to UNCP in a role that is crucial to the university’s overall success,” Dr. Cummings said. 

“Her extensive experience and forward-looking perspective will be instrumental in shaping the future of our institution and our strategic growth over the coming years. I’m confident her leadership will further amplify the outstanding efforts of our teams in enrollment management to attract and retain highly talented students ready to embark on their educational journey at UNCP, turning their dreams into reality.”

Before joining The Citadel, Brennan held similar roles at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) of the State University of New York, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the University of Alabama.

“I am honored and excited to have this opportunity to join the UNCP community,” Brennan said. “Chancellor Cummings and everyone I met during my visit was open and friendly. This is a special and caring place. An amazing vision is coming out of the chancellor’s office, and everyone on campus is bought into that vision of challenging students to embrace difference and adapt to change, think critically, communicate effectively and become responsible citizens.”

At The Citadel, Dr. Brennan oversees admissions for cadets, the college transfer programs and The Citadel Graduate College, financial aid and veterans success center.

She has been instrumental in the university’s efforts to increase the enrollment and retention of traditional undergraduates, transfer veterans and graduate students. During her tenure, non-traditional and graduate students have seen an 11% spike in enrollment over the past three years. At FIT, she helped extend the institution’s global reach by offering fashion business and design programs in Korea.

She has extensive experience with accreditation, strategic planning and teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Brennan understands enrollment management's critical role in higher education and plans to integrate new technologies into traditional recruitment and retention practices when she begins her role at UNCP on October 2.

“I look forward to working in tandem with the UNCP community to support our students, tell the school’s story and keep enrollment moving forward.

“I am looking forward to partnering with my colleagues across campus to see enrollment continue to grow. Real enrollment starts with the prospective student and moves to alumni. I want to streamline and enhance that experience for our community. I believe this will allow UNCP to leverage its academic quality and sense of community, making our students even more successful,” Brennan continued.

A native of Worcester, Mass., Brennan earned a bachelor’s degree in history, a master’s in counseling and student development and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Alabama.

Brennan and her husband, Dr. William Ulmer, a retired English professor at the University of Alabama, have two sons, Andrew and Jeffrey.