Aaron Basko has been named vice president for enrollment, marketing, and communications at the University of Lynchburg, effective May 1. He previously served as associate vice president for enrollment management under Mike Jones, who is retiring May 2.
“I am confident that Aaron will continue the great work of reimagining admissions at the University of Lynchburg,” President Dr. Alison Morrison-Shetlar said. “He has been a crucial asset to us over the past 18 months, and I look forward to working closely with him in the years to come as we continue our success in recruiting and retaining students.”
Basko came to Lynchburg in November 2021 after a stint as vice president for enrollment management at Sweet Briar College. He also held key roles at Salisbury University in Maryland (2008-20), Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania (2001-08), and Rivier College in New Hampshire (1998-2001).
In his role as AVP at Lynchburg, Basko helped increase the 2022-23 first-year class by 22.3%, resulting in an additional $1.1 million in revenue. Early decision applications tripled during Basko’s time, and he led a strategic overhaul of financial aid packaging and scholarships.
In collaboration with the Office of Marketing and Communications, Basko also reviewed and reinvented the visit process, leading to a significant jump in campus visits.
“I’m honored to serve the University of Lynchburg in an expanded role,” Basko said. “The University is a fantastic community, and it’s integrating what students learn in the classroom with practical experience in a really unique way.
“It’s training leaders who are not just good students, but good people who want to make an impact on their community. It’s a really exciting time to be able to help shape the future of the University.”
At Salisbury, where Basko served as assistant vice president of enrollment management and career services, he delivered the largest and most diverse incoming class in university history, including a 14% growth in first-year students and a 20% increase in diversity in Fall 2019.
At Franklin & Marshall, he co-led an enrollment team that transformed a 15-year decline into a five-year turnaround. His team reinvented all aspects of customer service, publications development, programming, outreach, and diversity recruitment. During his five years there, applications grew by 64%, with the yield rate increasing from 27% to 30%.
Basko has a master’s in history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor’s in international studies from West Virginia Wesleyan. He has written and presented extensively and is a regular columnist for the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Basko’s experience transforming admissions at Lynchburg features in some of his recent articles for the Chronicle.
“This is the kind of place where students step onto campus and fall in love,” he said. “I’ve heard it over and over from alumni whose lives were transformed by this place. The University has an incredible story to tell, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to help that happen.”
A 40-year veteran of higher education, Jones came to Lynchburg in 2014. He led an institutional rebrand in support of Lynchburg’s move to university status in 2018. As vice president for enrollment, marketing, and communications since 2021, Jones successfully merged the two units, reinvented enrollment, and led the turnaround in admissions and financial aid.
Before joining Lynchburg, Jones, a former newspaper reporter with a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University, led communications and marketing efforts at a number of nationally renowned institutions, including the University of Virginia, the University of Utah, and the University of New Hampshire.
“Mike has been an essential pillar of my tenure at the University of Lynchburg, and we will miss him dearly,” Morrison-Shetlar wrote in an email to the campus community. “His dedication, vision, support, and guidance have been invaluable as we reimagine this University together.”
The University of Lynchburg is hiring an associate vice president for marketing and communications to support Basko and lead the Office of Marketing and Communications. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.