New vice president brings a wealth of experience

Jeff Janz eager to help reach the goal of increasing the college’s retention and graduation rates

Jeff Janz, vice president of retention and completion brings over 30 years of student services experience. (Photo by Celine Cotton/MATC Times )

A man in a black t-shirt and jeans strolls into the gym, waves slightly to a friend, and takes his place, eagerly awaiting the start of the Stormers basketball team’s last home game in the gym at  Alverno College. Seated next to him is a tall slender man with a perfectly coiffed afro chatting with his young daughter. Most likely didn’t recognize that these are the two individuals chosen for the challenging task of leading the college’s student enrollment, retention, and completion strategy into the next decade and hopefully beyond.

Jeff Janz, vice president of retention and completion, and Amir  Law, vice president of enrollment management, created an immediate bond when they were hired at the same time in October  2019.  

“If you see us together you know that we are a little different because he is about a foot taller than me,” he joked. “I think we both bring a point of reference to the table “He added that their budding friendship has been a  bonus.

“It is absolutely beneficial because we commiserate with each other, we have a lot of meetings together, so we get to compare notes, and get along very very well,” Janz said.

Both administrators bring a  substantial amount of experience to their new jobs. Law brings it with his considerable experience in the Guided Pathways model and years of experience in the community college environment. While Janz, who grew up in Milwaukee, brings over three decades of student services experience. After working at the University of Illinois in Chicago and the University of Wisconsin, he spent 18 years at the University of Whitewater before moving to  Marquette University. 

“I’ve always had student services-related positions,” said  Janz. “However, sometimes as I  moved into different roles I got less and less actual student contact. While that was challenging at first, I began to realize that I could help students even better by training the trainers who work with students. 

Over the summer, due to financial hardships, Marquette was forced to eliminate over 70 positions, including Janz’s position as  Associate Vice President of Student Affairs/Adjunct Professor of Management. He saw this as a  rare chance to broaden his career scope: “I had the first chance in my career to look for more opportunities. The irony was the  first position available was five minutes from my office and it  was this position at MATC.” Janz sees great promise in the guided pathways concept and likes the idea that, among other things, his work involves overseeing the scheduling of classrooms and retention coaching.  He also loves his title. “What my title says is what we all do,” he said. “My title might be an actual noun but retention and completion for students is what we should be here for. If we are  not here for that, what are we  here for?”