Meet John Kawauchi, New Vice President

John Kawauchi 1John Kawauchi was appointed as Vice President for Enrollment Management, Marketing and Information Technologies effective June 1.  He comes to Lake Superior State University during a time of significant change within higher education – nationally, regionally and within the state of Michigan.  His personal background, experiences and skills, although different from what higher education administration has traditionally attracted, are a great fit for LSSU and its future plans.

On a personal basis, John has found a bit of his true calling in higher education after spending most of his career in the private sector. He worked for firms such as Merrill Lynch, Jackson National Life, Nationwide, and JPMorgan Chase. John was born and raised in a small college town (Ithaca, NY), as the son of Japanese-American immigrants after World War II. Later he became a first-generation student at Cornell University and subsequently the University of Chicago for his MBA.

Due to his background and experiences, Kawauchi understands the importance of education to students and their families, the challenges of going to college and obtaining a degree, today’s intensely competitive higher education marketplace, the value of a successful university to the community, and the culture, collaboration and teamwork it takes for a university to succeed.

Overall, higher education consultants have recently stated that higher education marketing and enrollment management has changed more in the past 3-5 years than the past several decades, particularly due to demographics and new technologies.  To help meet these challenges, John brings a fairly unique and appropriate combination of traditional higher education and private-sector strategic “business” management experience to LSSU.

From 2014-18, John served as the Vice President of Marketing and Enrollment and a key member of the President’s Cabinet at Western State Colorado University (WSCU) in Gunnison, CO, while leading the implementation of a Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) team and function.  Like LSSU, WSCU is a small, rural, public liberal arts college with some similarities in its enrollment management priorities.

John and his wife Marisa have two boys, Zachary and Jonathan.  Jonathan is currently pursuing an engineering degree at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana.