Seeking a leader in the field who can provide visionary and strong leadership for the financial aid program, the University of the Pacific announces a search for its next Executive Director of Financial Aid. The Executive Director is a key institutional leader in developing and implementing financial aid strategies to meet enrollment and revenue goals. Candidates must possess deep experience with forecasting net tuition revenue, and they must be able to demonstrate evidence of understanding the partnership between the institution and student, from the time of recruitment through graduation, to maintain the student’s enrollment status. The individual selected for this role will have the opportunity and responsibility to identify strategies to engage the staff and others in the campus community to support the success of students on all three campuses through: careful management of aid policies and processes in order to ensure the University is maximizing net tuition revenue by allocating its resources efficiently and in accordance with all applicable regulations; excellent student-focused service; and innovative educational efforts to increase the understanding of students regarding options to finance their education and the immediate and long-term ramifications.

The Executive Director of Financial Aid reports to the Vice President for Enrollment Management and works collaboratively with the Vice President, College Deans, campus-based Admissions Directors, financial affairs and institutional advancement staff, and key faculty in programs on all campuses to ensure a seamless experience for students, and those who support them, as they progress from recruitment through graduation. To be successful, the Executive Director must be able to properly manage financial aid programs, inspire and lead the Financial Aid staff, possess technical acumen, effectively partner with campus leaders, and lift the program to the next level in terms of providing information and service to students.

University of the Pacific

Drawing on its rich legacy as the oldest chartered university in California, University of the Pacific (Pacific) is a student-focused, comprehensive educational institution that produces outstanding graduates prepared for personal and professional success. The student body thrives in Pacific’s small classes and dynamic cultural environment, while our distinguished alumni are transforming their communities every day.

University of the Pacific is a nationally ranked university with three distinct campuses united under one common goal: to educate and prepare the leaders of tomorrow through intensive academic study, experiential learning, and service to the community. The university offers more than 80 undergraduate areas of study in 11 schools and colleges, more than 30 graduate and professional programs and 12 accelerated programs.

The University’s distinctive Northern California footprint includes its Stockton Campus, widely recognized as one of the most beautiful private university campuses in the West; its San Francisco Campus, home to the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and graduate programs in health care and technology fields; and the Sacramento Campus, home to the Pacific McGeorge School of Law and graduate programs in health, education, public policy, public administration. The student population is made up of more than 3,600 undergraduates and more than 1,300 graduate and professional students. Pacific students benefit from small class sizes with an average class size of 18 and a student-faculty ratio of 13:1.

Position Overview

The Executive Director of Financial Aid is a key member of the Vice President for Enrollment Management’s leadership team and works collaboratively with the Executive Director of Admission in supporting undergraduate and graduate admissions, academic, and student life goals. Under the leadership of the Vice President, the team develops policies and strategies to advance the University’s enrollment goals, with the Executive Director providing expertise related to financial aid leveraging and revenue forecasting. The position has operational responsibility for undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools financial aid programs; in addition, the Executive Director is responsible for the administration of federal Title IV funds throughout the university and for student loan programs campus-wide.

Essential Functions

The Executive Director of Financial Aid:

  • Collaborates with other administrators under the leadership of the Vice President in formulating and administering a broad range of policies and procedures that advance the University’s enrollment goals based on a deep understanding of those goals, expert knowledge of the federal legislative and regulatory environment, federal and institutional need analysis methodologies, and a keen understanding of University of the Pacific’s place in a competitive environment.
  • Serves as the institutional expert on strategic financial aid practices, including packaging, leveraging; and is able to provide net tuition revenue projections that include enrollment and discounting.
  • Develops and administers an array of undergraduate and graduate financial aid strategies and programs (need-based, merit, hybrid) as well as policies and procedures that will best support our enrollment objectives and promote the full participation of aided students in the educational and social community we are striving to create.
  • Develops and implements assessment strategies to ensure that our undergraduate financial aid investments are cost-effective in meeting the University’s primary objectives.
  • Works seamlessly with the Directors of Undergraduate Admission and Graduate Admission in the recruiting and admissions process.
  • Works proactively with the merit program faculty directors to recruit and support the best students possible for their programs.
  • Ensures compliance with federal and state regulations, conformity to consortium agreements, MOU’s and effective stewardship of institutional funds. 
  • Provides leadership in the areas of regulatory compliance, funds management and policy development.
  • Provides three campus-wide leadership in developing collaborative programs and administering federal funds, working with senior administrators in the graduate and professional schools and with their financial aid staffs and policy development.
  • Works collaboratively with the array of offices serving enrolled students to provide the best possible service to students and parents, including the provision of information and education to enhance their financial literacy.
  • Ensures that communications with students and parents are transparent and honest, to create both a welcoming, inclusive community and a clear understanding of mutual obligations, policies and procedures.
  • Leads, manages, and develops staff to carry out the mission of the undergraduate and graduate financial aid office in: counseling families, awarding aid and managing funds, and ensuring consistent training and a strong service orientation.
  • Actively supports effective teamwork within and outside the financial aid offices.
  • Contributes to shape Pacific’s response to enrollment management related public issues and government relations and represents Pacific in state and national policy discussions.
  • Given Pacific’s dynamic academic environment works closely throughout the new program development process to ensure that the program designs are compliant with funding guidelines from the State of California and the Federal government leadership.
  • Coordinates and maintains the key components of the automated delivery system.
  • Directs the planning and oversight of department budget.
  • Prepares federal, state and university reports.
  • Completes FISAP reports.
  • Researches and prepares information for ad-hoc reporting critical in maintaining state and federal certifications.
  • Participates as requested in financial aid fundraising efforts and stewardship activities.
  • Performs other related duties incidental to the work described herein.


  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree
  • Seven to ten years of experience in financial aid in higher education that demonstrates increasing levels of responsibility for staff supervision and financial aid strategy.
  • Experience in automated financial aid systems, preferably the Ellucian Banner system, and possesses the technical acumen to advance the utilization and effectiveness of these systems to benefit all users.
  • Must have experience in the maintenance of confidential records and knowledge of office management principles and procedures. 
  • Demonstrated excellent supervision and team management skills; ability to support and expect an office ethos of student-centered customer service.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as across three campuses collaboratively and to use sound judgment and initiative.
  • Excellent (thoughtful & articulate) interpersonal, verbal communication and writing skills.
  • Excellent organizational and analytical skills.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Suite; web management a plus. Ability to adapt to emerging technology.
  • Ability to balance and prioritize multiple projects, meet strict deadlines, and analyze non-routine issues effectively.
  • Ability to perform duties using highest level of confidentiality, discretion and respect for others.
  • Knowledge of budget management.
  • Positive attitude, proven ability to work successfully with diverse populations and demonstrated commitment to promote and enhance diversity and inclusion.

Application Process

The University of the Pacific has partnered with Keeling & Associates in this search process. Application materials should include a resume and a letter of interest and must be sent, preferably as PDFs, to The subject line of the email should read “Executive Director of Financial Aid – Pacific.” A confidential review of applications will begin on February 28, 2019, with materials received by that date receiving full consideration.

Confidential inquiries and nominations should be addressed to Jeff Ewing, Senior Consultant for Executive Search, Keeling & Associates, at

University of the Pacific is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or other legally protected characteristics.