August 07, 2008

New Undergraduate Admissions director named

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Patsy A. Reynolds is the new director of Undergraduate Admissions at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

“Ms. Reynolds brings a strong customer service perspective built on her experience in both higher education and banking,” said Victoria Valle, assistant vice chancellor for enrollment management at SIUC. “We are excited about the strength she will bring to the enrollment management team.”

Reynolds will begin her new duties Aug. 13.

Reynolds amassed 20 years experience in admissions at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, beginning as undergraduate admissions officer and then becoming associate director of admissions and later director of admissions. She held the director position from 1984 until 2001.

As director, she co-authored and updated annually the university’s five-year enrollment plan, established and implemented numerous enrollment management strategies and managed the admissions process. She was involved in creating the state’s first “guaranteed” scholarship for minority students. With Reynolds as director of admissions, UTC recorded a record-setting freshman enrollment and was the only four-year Tennessee state university consistently meeting the state-mandated undergraduate minority enrollment goal, according to her SIUC application package.

Immersed in Tennessee banking since 2002, Reynolds was initially assistant manager at AmSouth Bank and more recently assistant vice president and branch manager for Regional Financial Services since 2007. A junior high teacher and coach early in her career, Reynolds was also a merchandise manager for J.C. Penney in Peoria for a time.

Reynolds said this week she’s “very excited to be coming back to higher education. This really is my true passion.” In fact, she said when a former UTC colleague learned of her new position at SIUC, his comment was, “Admissions is so you.” She said he is absolutely correct in his assessment.

“I’m a huge backer of public education,” Reynolds said. “I grew up in west central Illinois and still have family there. I wanted to come home and to be part of a larger university. SIUC has everything I was looking for. I’m aware of the enrollment challenges and I want to study those challenges and look at the retention rates and see what I can do to help. Retention starts with the students you bring in to begin with. I’m looking forward to helping in the effort to improve enrollment and retention and adding stability to the admissions office. I’m just very excited to come back to admissions.”

Reynolds said she’s also pleased she’ll still be fairly close to her children, who are in the Chattanooga, Tenn., area.

Reynolds earned her bachelor’s degree in comprehensive social sciences at Illinois State University in Normal in 1976 and her master’s in community counseling in 1983 at UTC.