Senior Director of Financial Services, Student Accounts at Northeastern University

Northeastern University is seeking an experienced student accounts professional with high energy, an ability to thrive in an atmosphere of continuous improvement, along with a dedicated discipline for bringing together complexity (in scale and scope) and compliance to serve as Senior Director of Financial Services, Student Accounts.  Reporting to the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Dean of Student Financial Services, the senior director will oversee 14 professionals in the Student Accounts office and will work collaboratively as part of the Enrollment Management division.  They will partner widely across campus to effectively coordinate all credit and debit recordings for billing and collection of over $1.8 billion in tuition fee revenue annually, and for accurate disbursement of more than $500 million in institutional, federal, state and private financial aid.

The Position

Oversight:  The Senior Director of Financial Services, Student Accounts (Senior Director) will provide leadership and oversight for all student account functions to achieve both the highest level of customer service to students and the most effective collection of revenue. The Senior Director will assist the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Dean of Student Financial Services (AVP) in directing and managing the organizational, budgetary, policy, technological systems, and personnel requirements and activities of the unit.  Possessing a strong organizational mindset, the Senior Director will be responsible for cash management and monitoring all student account-related financial transactions for timely and accurate postings and record keeping.  The Senior Director will provide effective management of all aspects of current and prospective student account receivables including the development, implementation, enhancement and maintenance of comprehensive student account online and in-person services to all Northeastern students. In addition, the Senior Director oversees all functions of Student Accounts including fee assessment, billing, collections, disbursement, reconciliation and compliance with all applicable federal, state and institutional laws, regulations and polices for all student populations.  Importantly, the Senior Director will coordinate with the necessary offices that service the student account to ensure effective student and parent information and services.

Customer Service and Staff Management:  The Senior Director will ensure that the Student Financial Services and Enrollment Management Contact Center staff are knowledgeable and competent in policies, procedures, and all student services. The Senior Director will oversee two direct reports: the Associate Director of Student Account Services and the Associate Director of Student Account Operations and their respective staffs, for a total of 14 staff within Student Accounts. Cultivating an environment of support, collegiality, and transparency will be essential so that staff will be encouraged to work to their potential for the betterment of the student experience.  The Senior Director will hire, provide training, and maintain oversight of all staff in the office. The Senior Director will design, implement and assess training and business processes that fully support student enrollment and retention. Maintaining and increasing the highest level of customer service experience across all service points, including in person or electronic communication, is critical. The Senior Director will advise and counsel prospective and enrolled students and their families or sponsors on the availability of financial aid and the delivery process for receiving it. At times, the Senior Director will represent the University at recruiting events both on and off campus.

Compliance and Technology: The Senior Director will ensure complete and accurate compliance with Federal (HEA Title IV, Title VII, IRS Tax, other) and State regulations/laws and University policies and ensure that compliance is achieved at all campus locations. The Senior Director will coordinate internal/external audit responses for Student Financial Services, create and analyze monthly tracking reports, and provide ongoing financial and service analysis of current operations. The Senior Director provides leadership and oversight to ensure data integrity and will work closely with Data Administration on maintaining the central data warehouse and on related reporting.  Working within a broad accountability framework, the Senor Director will work directly with the Director of Student Financial Services Systems to optimize the use of technology to continually monitor and improve customer experience.  Along with others, the Senior Director will oversee the management of the Banner Student A/R System, and create and maintain programing rules for all aspects of student billing. The Senior Director will manage the many internal and external system interfaces and coordinate with Information Technology Services to implement new business cycles, enhancements and resolve issues.

Institutional and External Collaboration:  The Senior Director will serve as a senior member of the Student Financial Services management team and work collaboratively on all Student Financial Services projects and initiatives. The Senior Director will also work with the AVP, and other enrollment management leaders, to develop and implement the institutional strategy for pricing and student financial aid.  The AVP and Senior Director will coordinate efforts to advise senior Northeastern University leadership on the impact of proposed state and federal legislation and recommend institutional response. The Senior Director serves as a primary contact for student billing and revenue functions to leadership across campus. Collaboration is essential for the coordination of billing and aid requirements and processes with pertinent University offices, including Financial Aid, Admissions, Registrar, Housing, Husky Card and Enrollment Systems.  The ability to research, hire and work with external vendors and form strong partnerships in order to develop and maintain the systems and services they represent to the fullest extent will be essential. The Senior Director will set the standard in defining and assuring a service culture across Student Financial Services. Working with the Student Financial Services leadership team, the Senior Director designs, implements and assesses an industry leading array of financial services programs that support institutional recruitment and retention goals. The Senior Director will maintain a national presence in student finance and business office associations to enhance Northeastern University’s stature. Working collaboratively with colleagues across the University, and serving as a member of the Enrollment Management division, the Senior Director will work to advance both near and long-term institutional goals.

Qualifications, Qualities and Characteristics

The successful candidate for the Senior Director of Financial Services, Student Accounts position should have 8 to 10 years of progressively responsible leadership in student finance, student accounts, bursar and /or business office.  A bachelor’s degree is required; and an advanced degree is strongly preferred.  In addition, they should possess:

  • Experience as a leader, providing vision and clear communication of vision at varying levels of the university and the division;
  • Skills as a mentor and manager able to build an efficient and positive office culture that serves students well and shapes, unifies, and empowers a team to provide highest levels of customer service;
  • Strong project management skills and organizational ability to implement and manage projects across multiple functional areas;
  • Extensive knowledge of A/R technology systems is required, while Ellucian Banner is highly desired, as is an understanding of Cash Net, Powerfaids, FlyWire and related technologies;
  • Strong technological skills with the ability to assess the value of new and proposed systems for billing practices;
  • Knowledge of account receivables and student service performance metrics;
  • Extensive knowledge of federal regulations and requirements for compliance;
  • Experience with complex, institutional strategies and expertise with state/federal funding processes;
  • Ability to analyze and interpret financial data/reports and a track record of implementing performance improvements is essential;
  • Propensity to thrive and flourish in a rapidly changing environment, energized by the opportunity to offer a consistent and disciplined approach to new challenges;
  • Excellent written and oral communications and analytical skills that can provide directive and persuasive initiatives or explanations;
  • Effective ability to prioritize projects and their implementation on an on-going basis;
  • Clear understanding of how to successfully multi-task and engage staff through transparent delegation of responsibilities;
  • Decisive and solutions-oriented work style, punctuated with good energy and stamina;
  • A calm and flexible nature with the aptness to enjoy a complex environment prone to continuous change and growth.

Northeastern University

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 Boston, Burlington, Charlotte, London, Nahant, Seattle, San Francisco/Bay Area, 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 ninety-two 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.

The university is committed to the educational success of its 20,287 undergraduate and 16,631 graduate students, offering need-based aid and a range of scholarships to reward the outstanding achievements of students from all walks of life. 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 3,100 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.

Location

Northeastern’s campus is spread out across 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; Boston 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/. Northeastern University’s campus extends to eight other campuses around the country and around the world, with plans for further expansion.

To Apply

Napier Executive Search is assisting Northeastern University to identify their Senior Director of Financial Services, Student Accounts. For more information, or to nominate someone for this role, contact Robin Reynders (robin.reynders@napiersearch.com) or Mary Napier (mary.napier@napiersearch.com). Interested candidates should submit a résumé, along with a letter of interest describing their 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. All application materials should be submitted electronically to northeastern@napiersearch.com by September 9, 2019, for best consideration.   Credentials will be reviewed as they are received and the search will continue until the position is filled. Offer will be contingent upon completed background checks.

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.

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