Northeastern University is seeking an experienced leader and collaborative financial aid and student account professional with an innovative spirit, an appetite for complexity, and a willingness to embrace a dynamic work environment to serve as the Deputy Dean of Student Financial Services (SFS). The Deputy Dean will report to and provide support and input to the Assistant Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Student Financial Services. The Deputy Dean will be responsible for leading and managing all aspects of functional operations of the Student Financial Services division, which includes the application and awarding processes for institutional, federal, state and private aid, all student and third party billing, various work study programs, ensuring compliance with institutional, federal and state policies/regulations, and delivering the highest level of student and parent financial counseling services.
To achieve the University’s enrollment goals, the Deputy Dean plays a key leadership role in developing institutional financial services operational strategy (both the strategy to enroll prospective students as well as retain current students) in partnership with the Dean of University Student Financial Services and the Enrollment Strategies Committee. In addition, the Deputy Dean has a significant role in working with the Sr. Director of Financial Aid, Sr. Director of Student Accounts and Sr. Director of the Enrollment Management Call Center (and staff). The Deputy Dean will help manage and execute the overall Student Financial Systems and the system integration with the other University ERP systems. In conjunction with the Dean, they will advise senior administration of Northeastern University on the impact of proposed legislation/ regulation and recommend institutional response. Finally, the Deputy Dean will also support the Dean in managing the division budgetary, organizational and personnel requirements and activities of the Office of Student Financial Services.
The Deputy Dean should have a minimum of eight years of progressive experience in administration and functional/operational management of financial aid programs and/or student billing services. Extensive knowledge of federal regulations, experience with awarding strategies, complex billing processes, and familiarity with state/federal regulations is required. A bachelor’s degree is required (an advanced degree is preferred). The position requires an experienced administrator with strong interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills, strong technological systems background (Banner, Flywire, and CampusLogic highly preferred), as well as demonstrated creative and analytical abilities. A candidate’s proven understanding of the dynamics of a complex and culturally diverse university community will be an asset for consideration.
In addition, the following competencies are integral to the successful performance as the Deputy Dean of Student Financial Services:
Personal Qualities – Reflects Northeastern’s values and management practices in style and personal actions; shows confidence in self, gives personal best and seeks the best from others; exhibits highly ethical behavior and reliability in meeting commitments to others; and sets examples of delivering exceptional student service.
Ability to Leverage Knowledge – Shares information across functions in the organization; transfers best practices and learnings whenever possible; encourages and shares benefits of new skill development, and provides recommendations and input to enrollment leadership.
Change Management – Enjoys the challenge of operating in a changing, complex environment; shows flexibility; tunes into the external environment; provides adaptable solutions with systems and processes; and maintains values and culture while embracing the new and innovative programs for the operation of Student Financial Services.
Customer Focus – Exhibits a customer-orientated and student-centric approach; thinks about services and processes with the student customer foremost in mind; involves customers in developing and improving services; and requests regular customer feedback.
Priority Setting – Sets priorities among many competing tasks and projects; establishes a process for vetting new ideas and incorporating into existing workload; maintains focus on what’s most important; and approaches goals with a creative and innovative mindset.
Leadership – Develops new and original ideas; exhibits wise judgment about which creative ideas and suggestions will work; facilitates effective brainstorming; and establishes an effective process of bringing creative ideas to fruition.
Communications Skills – Internally and externally, communicates with consistency and regularly by providing clear guidelines; and shares information through an efficient use and balance of various communication methods in order to keep all staff informed.
Management & Measurement – Provides clear assignments of responsibility for tasks and decisions; sets clear objectives to which process, progress and results can be monitored and measured; and offers accountability and timely feedback on accomplishments.
Relationship Management – Manages external and internal relationships effectively; proactively listens and communicates needs; partners well to reach objectives and goals of all parties; and actively works to build relationships.
Staff Development/Training – Proactively develops new skills in staff members; invests in professional development; addresses career development needs of staff members; and holds regular career planning discussions.
Marketing – Influences external parties to the benefit of the organization; creates a strong marketing presence and identity; possesses effective negotiation skills; represents division and institution at key external events; and customizes marketing approach to various audiences.
Planning – Regularly sets long and short-term goals and develops action plans; creates schedules and task/people assignments; measures performance against goals; and evaluates results.
Process Management – Determines the processes necessary to assess systems, organizes people and activities well; identifies opportunities for synergy and integration; simplifies complex processes; and maximizes resources.
Cost Management – Manages expenses wisely; utilizes an effective internal budget process to manage costs; identifies volunteers and other low-cost options; considers outsourcing activities when accomplished more resourcefully by others; utilizes internal staff talent to maximum degree; and manages vendor relationships paying attention to affordability and service levels.
Student Success Orientation – Addresses immediate needs of students while understanding the long term implications to services and programs, given what issues are repeatedly presented; builds long term relationships with students; and devotes attention to the highest service levels.
Entrepreneurial Spirit – Encourages risk taking while pursuing solutions to difficult challenges; adapts well to changing circumstances; and shows determination to achieve success.
Partnerships – Utilizes and grows Northeastern’s strong and long-standing relationships with corporations, hospitals, foundations, museums, government, non-profit agencies, the public sector, community agencies and other universities.
Diversity – Assists and contributes to developing an organization in which people from different backgrounds, with varying approaches to problem-solving and different ways of perceiving the world, feel comfortable challenging assumptions which leads to a creative environment with an imagination that will propel the university forward.
Technological Innovation – Embraces appropriate technologies that are consistent with the values, needs and interests of the institution; and brings forward new ideas, processes, and systems that leverage technology.
Organizational Effectiveness – Increases levels of efficiency and productivity across the department, division and university.
Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities
The Deputy Dean of Student Financial Services will join a dynamic set of people in offices that are intent on designing and developing an array of operational financial services programs to help students access funds from internal and external sources. They will make recommendations to the Dean and Chief Enrollment Officer regarding opportunities to enhance services, emerging technologies or new programs offered by lenders, government agencies and other funding sources. They will participate in defining and assuring a quality service culture. They will establish an approach combining systems and personnel to deliver to the greater Northeastern University community the highest quality financial services.
They will assist with the development and funding strategy for institutional aid with the Dean and the Enrollment Strategies Committee including determining the packaging model, leveraging, plan and communication strategy.
In collaboration with the Dean, they will direct and manage the Student Financial Services division by providing functional/operational leadership and direction managing human resources, budget and technology with the goal of providing optimum funding and customer service to students and families who require financial assistance. They will establish and implement internal policies to direct operational, financial and personnel functions.
Additionally, in consultation with the Dean, the Deputy Dean will:
- Lead, engage and motivate employees and actively support a positive team culture.
- Provide an effective process for performance management and development that provides measurable goals, clear expectations and solid direction to each team member.
- Provide frequent feedback, recognition and coaching to ensure high performance, professional growth and development. Plan for and support employees in career and professional development opportunities aligned with the organization’s needs.
- Address unsatisfactory employee performance including developing, delivering and monitoring performance improvement plans.
- Facilitate the resolution of employee conflicts.
- Lead and guide employees/team to develop new skills, knowledge and abilities that will enhance their work and development.
- Plan, organize resources, assign and delegate activities and measure results to achieve organization’s expectations.
- Manage change by providing the needed structure and transparent environment. Coach employee/team through changes that impact their day-to-day work.
- Assist employees in navigating business processes and resolving issues.
- Administer and ensure compliance with university policies and procedures.
- Review staffing needs including developing job descriptions and recruitment plans. Lead the selection and onboarding process for new hires.
- Direct the University application for federal/state funding; prepare the scholarship/grant institutional budget; and provide oversight of reporting and reconciliation of campus-based federal funds and Pell grants.
- Assist the Dean in the following: analyzing and interpreting regulations and assure University compliance and protect continued funding, establishing management structure to address new requirements and defend audit and compliance review findings on fiscal management of aid funds.
- Oversee and supervise the functional delivery of all student account services; collaborate with the Sr. Director of Student Accounts Services to do the following:
- Maintain and increase the highest level of customer service experience across all service points—phone, email, website, portal and in person.
- Ensure proactive outreach to advise parents and students of their financial obligations and to reduce late payments/high receivables.
- Review the Student Accounts Calendar which aligns with business demands and student/parent service.
- Provide the highest quality and timely delivery of the following student account services: Billing (Tuition, Fees, Room, Board, etc.), Health Insurance Information/Waiver, Late Fees, Payments, Student/Parent Cash Releases, etc.
- Coordinate with the departments that have student account input, output or service (e.g., Collections, EM Contact Center, Student Loan, Accounts Payable, Student Financial Services, Admissions and Registrar Offices, the Colleges).
Founded in 1898 in Boston, Northeastern is a global, experiential, research university built on a tradition of engagement with the world, creating a distinctive approach to education and research. The university offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in nine colleges and schools, and select advanced degrees at graduate campuses in Burlington; Charlotte, NC; London; Nahant, MA; Portland, ME; Arlington, VA; San Francisco; Seattle; Silicon Valley; Toronto; and Vancouver.
Northeastern started with an innovative idea: that education is about engaging with the world to solve problems and lead change. That distinctive approach, founded in cooperative education, has created an academic culture that infuses both undergraduate and graduate studies. Undergraduates are empowered to chart their own academic path, through more than ninety majors and concentrations and global experiential learning opportunities in 148 countries. Northeastern’s 158 graduate programs prepare students for emerging new fields; students are able to take courses on campus, online, or in hybrid formats, creating the educational experience that best meets their needs. During 2020-21, Northeastern earned $181.2 million in external research awards.
The university is committed to the educational success of its students, offering need-based aid and a range of scholarships to reward the outstanding achievements of students from all walks of life. In fact, the pride and support of the institution is partially measured by the $194.4 million in gifts and pledges in 2020-21. Experiential learning, anchored by a renowned cooperative education program, lies at the heart of academic life at Northeastern. The integration of study with professional work, research and service in countries around the world gives students real-world opportunities and responsibilities. Students explore their path, acquire a deeper grasp of their studies, and develop an understanding essential to lifelong achievement: how to learn and grow outside the comfort-zone of the classroom.
As a university where teaching and research are grounded in global engagement, Northeastern’s impact is being felt in all corners of the world. Students shape the world through experiential learning opportunities with nearly 2900 partners on seven continents; and through the common pursuit of knowledge on a dynamic campus that connects students from 140 countries. Northeastern faculty members collaborate on research with colleagues on campus and on the other side of the world, with a focus on global challenges in health, security, and sustainability. Northeastern alumni, prepared to be engaged citizens of the world before they graduate, are making a difference in 186 countries. Learn more about Northeastern’s exceptional programs at http://www.northeastern.edu.
The Deputy Dean will be based on Northeastern’s Boston campus which is located on seventy-three acres in the venerable college town of Boston. Northeastern has its own stop on Boston’s subway system, commonly called the T. The city, home to myriad colleges, is steeped in American history and full of activities for students, staff and faculty. Over four million people live in the greater Boston area which prides itself on being one of the most livable cities in America. Twenty-one diverse neighborhoods offer more than 600,000 city residents the opportunity to taste, touch, and experience things from all over the world. Neighbors benefit from exceptional medical facilities, vibrant neighborhood business districts, and a solid network of parks, community centers, and libraries. For more about life in Boston, see some of the following links: https://www.bostonusa.com/; http://bostonchamber.com/; and http://www.cityofboston.gov/
Napier Executive Search is assisting Northeastern University identify their Deputy Dean of Student Financial Services. For more information, or to nominate someone for this role, contact Mary Napier (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Laura Robinson (email@example.com) or Thom Golden (firstname.lastname@example.org) Interested candidates should submit a résumé, along with a letter of interest describing his/her unique qualifications and background for the position. Candidates should also provide the names and contact information of at least three professional references. For confidentiality, references will not be contacted without permission. For best consideration, all application materials should be submitted electronically to email@example.com by May 15 and credentials will be reviewed as they are received. The search will continue until the position is filled.
Northeastern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Educational Institution and Employer, Title IX University. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by the law. Northeastern University is an E-Verify Employer.