Associate Vice President, Student Financial Services

Columbia University

Deadline Open until filled
Date Posted February 28, 2014
Type Administrative
Salary Not specified
Employment Type Full-time

Columbia University is one of the worlds most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It aims to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the University to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world. Columbia is one of the top academic and research institutions in the world, conducting pathbreaking research in medicine, science, the arts, and the humanities. It includes three undergraduate schools, thirteen graduate and professional schools, and a school of continuing education. We are committed to attracting and retaining the best and brightest in the workforce to support our mission of excellence in higher education and research.


Reporting to the Deputy Controller, the Associate Vice President, Student Financial Services, is responsible for overall management, leadership, guidance, and operation of all of the departments that comprise Student Financial Services (SFS) functions at the Morningside and Medical Center campuses. These departments include the University Financial Aid Office, Student Accounts, Accounting and Business Management, and Financial Aid Compliance. The AVP has responsibility for a staff of 61 and an operational budget of approximately $7 million.

The AVP is responsible for the management of fiscal services development and delivery to the 27,000 students enrolled at the University and to the various schools and units. The AVP serves as the central Financial Aid Officer and University Bursar, leading fiscal operations related to the billing and collection of more than $1 billion in tuition and student charges and the compliant awarding of $800 million in financial aid. The position collaborates closely with the University Registrar to ensure that the Student Service Center (reporting to the Registrar) is meeting the needs of the student population and is communicating accurate policies and practices. The AVP provides critical input to the Deputy Controller and technical teams regarding functionality requirements for student information systems, relaying requirements from the Student Financial Services team as well as the schools on campus that depend on these systems.

The Associate Vice President of Student Financial Services manages, develops, and implements appropriate strategies, policies, and processes to maintain and improve University financial aid management and student account operations, ensuring an efficient, customer-friendly, and compliant environment; ensures compliance with federal and state financial aid regulations, as well as private donor rules and restrictions as related to financial aid and student accounts; partners with representatives of Columbia University schools and divisions to plan and implement financial aid strategies and processes for students; negotiates and manages service contracts with third-party vendors as appropriate; performs other duties as required.


Bachelors degree and minimum of 10 years of related management experience required. Advanced degree strongly preferred. Direct experience with student financial services/financial aid functions and federal financial aid compliance in higher education environment required. Demonstrated ability to operate successfully as leader in complex organization and to work in high pressure, fast-paced environment required. Excellent analytical, organizational, interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills, including high level of attention to detail and active listening skills essential. Organizational and management experience should include strategic planning, budgeting, change management, process development, and staff management. Demonstrated ability to manage multiple priorities and lead team efforts required. Must be able to problem-solve, troubleshoot, and work independently in dynamic team environment. Demonstrated ability to partner effectively with diverse group of administrators and lead in decentralized academic, business, or administrative organization required. Must be able to negotiate issues, resolve problems, and have strong influencing skills.

The successful candidate will be able to work well with all levels of management, both internally and externally, be flexible in nature, and have sound judgment with a collaborative style that fosters teamwork and cooperation beyond the immediate team to the broader organization. Must have a passion for excellent customer service and commitment to exceptional quality.

To be considered an applicant, all interested parties MUST apply through the Columbia University online employment application system. Paste the following quick link into your browser to access this position posting:

Columbia University is an equal employment/affirmative action employer.

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