Membership Spotlight - Ray Lutzky

The Mission of NAGAP is to support, advance and engage graduate enrollment professionals by promoting integrity, excellence and collaboration through education and professional development.

Ray Lutzky

Senior Director of Enrollment and Admissions at Cornell Tech

NAGAP Executive Board, Publications Chair

New York, New York

Education:  BS in Electronic Media Arts and Communication from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, MS in Public Relations from Syracuse University, and a PhD in Communication and Rhetoric from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Ray Lutzky currently serves as the Senior Director of Enrollment and Admissions at Cornell Tech in New York, where he’s been working for just under 2 years, but his career in Higher Education Administration spans well over 10 years. Before moving to Cornell Tech, Ray worked at New York University.

Ray’s preparation for his career is impressive. He holds a PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in communications and rhetoric, an MS in public relations from Syracuse University and a BS in electronic media arts and communication again from Rensselaer.  With this solid training in public relations and communications one can see how Ray has become such a success in the field of higher education. Ray first realized that he wanted a career in higher education when sat with his then Vice President for Enrollment at his five-year reunion and was convinced he should apply for a job in that office. He’s been on the fast track ever since.

When asked about current challenges faced in graduate enrollment management he responded with an issue many of us face in our current roles, which is the challenge of “creating opportunities for faculty to gain a greater appreciation of our process”. Faculty are a necessary piece of any enrollment and recruitment strategy. In order to be successful they must understand the intricacies and necessities of the recruitment, application, and admission process that helps to develop the desired incoming class. 

What advice would Ray impart to those just starting their career in higher education, specifically Graduate Enrollment Management? He wants to make them aware that “there is more in common between undergraduate and graduate enrollment management than most people think, and there are many transferable skills and practices – often GEM professionals feel pigeon-holed in graduate education.  I don’t think this is the case”. It’s great advice for someone trying to shape their career and trajectory when considering appropriate jobs and roles within their chosen university.

Ray has attended 6 Annual NAGAP Conferences and 2 Professional Development Institutes, and has plans to attend the upcoming conference in Toronto. Says Ray about his experience – “My takeaways have changed over time, and now I view interactions with colleagues at various institutions as the most educational part of it for me.”  Ray goes on to say that “NAGAP has provided me with valuable insights and opportunities to refine and demonstrate my thought leadership in writing and in presentations.  I’ve developed a genuine network of professional colleagues I trust.”

What does Ray do when not leading the enrollment team at Cornell?  He enjoys cooking, skiing, hitting the gym, traveling and visiting art museums. A fun fact about Ray is that he was an extra in the 1996 movie “Sleepers”. When Kevin Bacon blows his whistle in the prison cafeteria fight scene, 16 - year old Ray is in the front row of the boys that turn around. A movie star in the making maybe, but an accomplished enrollment professional for sure.