0908 13 038 selectCornell University announces a national search for their next Director of Financial Aid. Applications and nominations are invited.

About the University

Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. The inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery and engagement. The main campus located in Ithaca, NY, Cornell's far-flung global presence includes the medical college's campuses on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Doha, Qatar, as well as the Cornell Tech campus located on Roosevelt Island in the heart of New York City. Cornell offers a rich array of services, programs, and benefits to help employees advance in their career and enhance the quality of personal life, including employee wellness, workshops, childcare and adoption assistance, parental leave, and flexible work options.


About the Position

Cornell University seeks a dynamic, innovative, and strategic leader to serve as its next Director of Financial Aid. Reporting to the Vice Provost for Enrollment, the director will lead a team of 30 financial aid professionals and a comprehensive financial aid program that awards more than $265 million annually in support of the university’s need-blind admission policy and need-based financial aid policy. This position presents a significant opportunity to help shape the vision for the future of financial aid at one of the country’s most prestigious institutions.  

WEB UP 2016 1379 012 select 3The Director will work closely with the Provost, Vice Provost for Enrollment, and other campus leadership to establish effective financial aid policies, practices, and communications strategies, and provide leadership in the national conversation on access and affordability in higher education. The Director will work with the Undergraduate Office of Admissions Office and the Office of University Registrar on messaging and recruitment strategies to clearly and consistently communicate Cornell’s affordability and substantial financial aid to current and prospective Cornell families as they navigate the college process and experience. The Director will also work collaboratively with many on- and off-campus partners, building strong, transparent relationships and representing the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment..

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree and advanced training/accreditations, with at least seven years of experience in higher education or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Demonstrated understanding of Federal and University scholarship and grant programs, compliance, and laws;
  • Proven experience designing, directing, and leading organizations and programs;
  • Strategic leadership experience;
  • Excellent interpersonal, organizational, presentation, written, and oral communication skills;
  • Strong customer-service orientation and experience providing high-caliber support to students and families;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop effective working relationships and to work in a collaborative fashion with students, parents, administrators, and staff;
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and expectations with a calm disposition and diplomacy;
  • Action-oriented approach and ability to work independently;
  • Ability to handle confidential material with discretion and professionalism;
  • Experience leading/directing a financial aid or related compliance function.


0185 10 198 selectPreferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or equivalent preferred;
  • Working knowledge of PeopleSoft Campus Solutions and other related technologies;
  • Experience in a large, decentralized, multi-location research university;
  • Expert-level knowledge of significant federal student aid programs/requirements including Title IV, FERPA, GI Bill, and Federal School Code;
  • Demonstrated experience with external compliance audits (Uniform Guidance) strongly preferred;
  • Strong working knowledge of Department of Education resources.


How to Apply

Interested candidates should send a cover letter describing their interest in and qualifications for the position and a resume electronically to DFACU@wspelman.com. The subject line in the email should be DFACU. Confidential inquiries may be made by contacting Megan Spelman by email to Megan@wspelman.com or by telephone at 585-366-4329.  For full consideration, all application material should be submitted by June 29th, 2018.

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

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