The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) in Memphis, Tennessee, is seeking an experienced financial aid professional with leadership skills, compliance expertise, and the demonstrated ability to work in an environment of complexity and collegiality to serve as Director of Financial Aid. As Tennessee’s public statewide flagship health care institution, UTHSC enrolls 3,252 students (2,955 graduate and professional students and 297 undergraduates) in six academic colleges which include: Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, Graduate Health Sciences, and Health Professions. The successful candidate will possess skills in administration of aid for students at the graduate and professional levels with a focus on clear communication of process, customer service, compliance, and financial literacy.
Reporting to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management, the Director will serve as one of several senior leaders within the enrollment management division, which includes the offices of financial aid, admissions, one-stop, and registrar. The Director will collaborate with all administrative and academic divisions to coordinate compliance within the various colleges and programs, acting as both educator in compliance issues, and partner in ongoing program development.
Primary Job Functions
The Director of Financial Aid will oversee policies and procedures related to the development, implementation, packaging, and reporting of all federal, state, institutional, and external financial aid programs for which UTHSC students may be eligible at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels. The Director will develop and maintain a business model allowing for equitable, consistent, accurate, and timely delivery of financial aid. Also, falling under the Director’s purview in coordination with other offices is the completion of federal, state, and SACSCOC accreditation reporting requirements and reconciliation of funds, including but not limited to the Application for Program Participation (E-App), Eligibility and Certification Approval Report (ECAR) and Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP). In addition, as a leader in enrollment management, the Director will be expected to maintain a high level of customer service, timely announcement and disbursement of aid, staff development and management, and collaborative partnership across the divisions of the institution.
Office Management and Customer Service: The Director of Financial Aid will oversee a seasoned staff of six, consisting of two direct reports, both associate directors, and four counselors who report to the associate directors. The Director will provide a solid framework of cohesive team building and establish common goals, to ensure financial aid staff are knowledgeable and competent in policies and procedures. Training and ongoing dissemination of information critical to the financial aid process and division goals will be a priority. As an advocate for staff, the Director will share current information concerning institutional changes and decisions that will impact staff responsibilities and level of service.
The Director will oversee the Financial Aid counseling program that advises students, prospective students, families, and other interested parties interested in obtaining financial assistance and eligibility requirements. An emphasis on personal budgeting, financial planning and literacy, and debt management will be paramount. Providing excellent customer service to all students must be a priority and ensuring the highest level of customer service experience across all service points, including in person and electronic communications, is critical. Ideally, the Director will create a unified vision to the institution and academic divisions to best serve students in all forms of communications about the financial aid application process, and disbursement as well as financial literacy.
Leadership and Collaboration:
The Director of Financial Aid will provide input and counsel to the Associate Vice-Chancellor for Enrollment Management and the Vice-Chancellor for Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs on financial aid-related matters, as well as coordinate the efforts of the Financial Aid Office within the Enrollment Management division and around campus that are directly impacted by the Financial Aid Office. Working together with Deans of colleges and academic programs, the Director will establish rapport and carefully advise and provide options for program compliance, scholarship distribution, and other needs as identified in a mutually productive way. The Director will interpret regulations and develop strategies for the implementation and communication of such regulations across the institution.
As a senior member of the enrollment management division, the Director will work collaboratively and strategically with the Director of Admissions and the Registrar and provide financial aid services and relevant information during recruitment events. The Director will also serve and actively participate on invited committees.
Compliance and Technology:
The Director of Financial Aid will procure financial aid funds from federal, state, and private sources. It will be essential to maintain a working knowledge of federal, state, and institutional regulations as they relate to financial aid eligibility, packaging, disbursement, and reconciliation of funds. In conjunction with the Bursar’s Office, and Office of Finance and Operations, the Director will develop and implement policies, procedures, and technological requirements to automatically establish basic federal financial aid setup actions that are necessary for the institution to process federal student aid, including Direct Loans via the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System.
The Director will continuously oversee the development, modification, and expansion of the Banner student information system, ensuring its effective and efficient use in financial aid processing, reporting, and disbursements. Working with dedicated staff in Institutional Technology Services, the Director will provide leadership and oversight to ensure data integrity, effective programming rules, and systems compliance. Also, with the support of ITS, the Director will optimize the use of technology to continually monitor and improve customer service and student satisfaction within the financial aid portal.
Qualifications and Characteristics
Candidates for the Director of Financial Aid position must possess the minimum requirements of a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university in Education, Business Administration, Management or equivalent degree; six (6) years of progressive financial aid experience preferably at the Associate Director level or higher; OR Master’s Degree and four (4) years of progressive financial aid experience preferably at the Associate Director level or higher. Also, candidates must demonstrate a working knowledge of the principles and functions of financial aid packaging, record keeping, planning, Title IV program integrity requirements, FSA and TSAC regulations, federal work study programs, and financial literacy/debt management programming. UTHSC requires candidates who value diversity, equity, and inclusion in all that they do.
In addition, UTHSC will be seeking individuals with the following strengths:
- Extensive knowledge of all financial aid regulations, with the ability to develop compliant policies and procedures conducive to meeting enrollment and institutional goals; must have the ability to accurately interpret and apply federal and state regulations;
- Experience as a mentor and manager, with demonstrated ability to build an efficient and effective office culture that serves students well and shapes, unifies, and empowers a team to provide highest levels of customer service;
- Understands leveraging of institutional programs in structuring financial aid awarding, processing, and promotion of financial strategies.
- Advocates for staff, and for their continued training and professional development, with the ability to influence others through a positive attitude;
- Capacity to work in an environment of complex and diverse academic programs with multiple start dates and period-based budgeting;
- Experience with graduate and professional financial aid and direct loans, as well as undergraduate financial aid;
- Extensive computer and/or technical experience with a student information system, preferably the Banner Information System;
- Values the richness of an environment that prizes the voices of employees and students from a wide variety of backgrounds;
- Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communications skills, combined with analytical competency, that can provide directive and persuasive initiatives and explanations;
- Decisive and solutions-oriented work style, punctuated with positive attitude and stamina;
- Comfortable managing up to share compliance changes, as well as suggested solutions for streamlining communication and processes;
- Appreciation for successfully working within the complexity of a health sciences-oriented institution or other multi-departmental institution with varying colleges and programs;
- Creatively approaches and is excited about working across all units of a high achieving campus environment with respect and energy.
The Institution: University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Mission Statement: To improve the health and well-being of Tennesseans and the global community by fostering integrated, collaborative, and inclusive education, research, scientific discovery, clinical care, and public service.
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center is the flagship statewide, public, academic health institution in Tennessee accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Founded in 1911, UTHSC is the largest educator of health care professionals in the state of Tennessee and operates the state’s largest residency and fellowship advanced training programs, hosting more than 1300 physician residents and fellows in 86 fully accredited training programs that span the state. More than 3,200 students are enrolled in degree-granting programs within the University’s six fully accredited colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Pharmacy, Graduate Health Sciences, and Health Professions.
Each of the doctoral-degree-granting health sciences are headquartered on the main campus in Memphis. In addition to serving as the home of the six colleges, Memphis is also the location of four core, partner, teaching hospitals — Methodist UT Hospital, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Regional One Health (formerly known as The MED), and the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. UTHSC also has three additional major, regional clinical health science locations in Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Nashville. The Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health Professions constitute a major location in Knoxville, which is based at the UT Medical Center. In Chattanooga, the College of Medicine maintains a large campus in close association with the Erlanger Health System. In Nashville, a partnership with Saint Thomas Health system serves as a base for all six of colleges in the state’s capital city. Over 100 clinical education sites are located throughout Tennessee.
Currently, the main campus in Memphis is undergoing a $70 million renovation of its Historic Quadrangle. When complete, this will add state-of-the art laboratory space, meeting and gathering space, upgraded executive offices, and a home for the College of Nursing.
Employing more than 3,900 people on its faculty, staff, and not-for-profit corporation faculty practice groups, and across the state, UTHSC contributes a remarkable $4 billion to the economy of Tennessee. UTHSC graduates have a direct and measurable impact on the delivery of healthcare across the state. The institution is proud of the 95% graduation rate of students; and the even more impressive 96% first-attempt pass rate for boards. UTHSC has educated: seventy-five percent of the state’s dentists, forty percent of its pharmacists, forty percent of physicians, and the lion’s share of the nursing faculty working in the state today. Approximately eighty percent of UTHSC graduates will remain in Tennessee after graduation, serving communities throughout the state.
UTHSC offers great appeal to prospective employees and students alike. It was the first public university in Tennessee to set the minimum wage for full-time employees at $15 an hour and was named among the Top Workplaces in Memphis by The Commercial Appeal for the sixth consecutive year in 2019.
For more information about UTHSC, go to https://www.uthsc.edu/.
In 1911, the University of Tennessee first launched its Memphis campus, dedicating it solely to health science education and research. Seed programs in medicine, dentistry and pharmacy quickly flourished, and within a few short years, new programs were initiated in health professions, graduate health sciences and nursing. Each of those programs grew to become a college in its own right.
In 1963, the UT Graduate School of Medicine in Knoxville, based at the UT Medical Center, became part of the UT Health Science Center. In 1974, the UT College of Medicine in Chattanooga, based at Erlanger Health System, joined the UTHSC system. In 2014, Saint Thomas Health in Nashville began collaborating with UTHSC to create a Nashville campus.
Today the UTHSC community values excellence, caring, respect, health equity, integrity, diversity and knowledge. As the flagship statewide, public, academic health system, the mission of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center is to bring the benefits of the health sciences to the achievement and maintenance of human health, with a focus on the citizens of Tennessee and the region, by pursuing an integrated program of education, research, clinical care and public service.
Gracing the banks of the Mississippi River in the western portion of Tennessee, Memphis is the second-largest city in the state with more than 1.3 million residents in the Greater Memphis metropolitan area. While Memphis is among the largest cities in the southeast, it ranks among those with the lowest cost of living in the country. Historically, Memphis has been a magnet for people from around the country. The diversity that exists in the city today reflects a confluence of cultures, shaping its vibrant restaurant scene, the Midtown arts scene, revitalized Downtown, cultural and educational offerings and its scenic neighborhoods.
Home to Tennessee’s largest African-American population, Memphis played a prominent role in the American civil rights movement. The city now hosts the National Civil Rights Museum—a Smithsonian affiliate institution.
Memphis has built a reputation as a destination for all foodies, with a diversity of restaurants to please all palates. Internationally known for its barbecue, it typically attracts 100,000 visitors each year for the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. Visitors to the city also find numerous attractions including historic Beale Street and the second-largest urban county park (Shelby Farms Park) in the United States. Those looking to appreciate the visual arts often explore the Broad Avenue Arts District, Go South Main, and River Arts Fest.
Memphis is celebrated as the Home of the Blues and the Birthplace of Rock ‘n Roll. The influence of the city’s diverse residents can be heard in its music. The city is home to Elvis Presley’s Graceland, Stax Records, Sun Studio, and the Blues Hall of Fame. Sports fans have the opportunity to cheer on the Grizzlies, Redbirds and attend the FedEx St. Jude Invitational, and Memphis 901 Football Club.
Memphis is authentically accessible, with ease of travel to nearby cities such as Nashville, Jackson, MS, and Birmingham, AL. The city is also host to International Port of Memphis on the Mississippi River and the Memphis International Airport, currently undergoing a $214 million modernization. The airport is the global hub for FedEx Express in the busiest cargo airport in the United States. In addition to FedEx, Memphis is also home to other Fortune 500 companies such as AutoZone and International Paper.
Essential to UTHSC, Memphis has an active medical district and is the healthcare hub of the Mid-South, well-respected for its biomedical research. UTHSC faculty, residents, fellows, staff and alumni can be found at: two phenomenal children hospitals (Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital), one of the busiest trauma centers in the country (Regional One Health), a top-ten ranked cardiac surgery hospital (Baptist Memorial Hospital), a hospital with a state-of-the-art transplant institute (Methodist University Hospital), a hospital that serves almost 200,000 veterans a year from 53 different counties in the area (Memphis VA Medical Center).
Napier Executive Search is assisting University of Tennessee Health Science Center with the search for the Director of Financial Aid. To arrange for a confidential conversation, please contact Robin Reynders (firstname.lastname@example.org), Catherine Capolupo (email@example.com) or Mary Napier (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Candidates who plan to apply should send a resume, a detailed letter outlining interest in the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and contact information for three professional references by email to email@example.com. Materials will be reviewed immediately and will continue until the position is filled. All applications and nominations will be considered confidential and notice will be given before references are contacted.
The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to, and will not be discriminated against on the basis of, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status.
Inquiries and charges of violation of Title VI (race, color, national origin), Title IX (sex), Section 504 (disability), ADA (disability), ADEA (age), sexual orientation, or veteran status should be directed to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED). Requests for accommodation of a disability should be directed to the ADA Coordinator at the OED office.