Jefferson Blackburn-Smith, Vice President of Enrollment Management, Enrollment Management Division

Jefferson Blackburn Smith



Jefferson Blackburn-Smith assumed his position as vice president of enrollment management on March 1, 2012. He came to Otterbein from The Ohio State University, where he was the senior associate director of undergraduate admission and first year experience for seven years.

Blackburn-Smith joined the Office of Undergraduate Admission and First Year Experience at OSU in 1995, serving as assistant director of telecounseling and associate director before becoming senior associate director in 2004. Between 2004 and 2011, Blackburn-Smith developed and implemented long-term and annual strategic undergraduate recruitment plans that achieved a 74 percent increase in applications, 32 percent increase in enrollment of students of color, 8.6 percent increase in non-resident enrollment, and 3.8 percent increase in international student enrollment. During this time under his leadership OSU also saw a 4.8 percent increase in first year student retention, as well an increase in the academic profile of incoming classes.

Blackburn-Smith was previously vice president of marketing for The Hayward Company and general sales manager for International Readers Service Bureau, Inc. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from OSU. He is the author of three novels.


  • Nearly 30 Ohio colleges are still accepting applications for fall 2019
    Akron Beacon Journal, June 23, 2019
  • Higher Education: Student Scarcity, Columbus CEO, Feb. 20, 2017
  • Calls for diversity after Otterbein student reports incident of racial hate, 10 TV, April 4, 2016
  • Is It Possible To Negotiate Your College Tuition? 10 TV, Feb. 11, 2016
  • Out-of-State Enrollment Rises at State Flagship Universities
    US News, June 13, 2016
  • Admissions: The Challenges of Connecting With Students
    The Huffington Post, Feb. 7,  2013
  • Managing Student Employees in a Recruitment Setting. College and University, Blackburn-Smith, Jefferson; Lembo, Laura, 1998