Director of Financial Aid

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (U-M), the public flagship university of the state and one of the world’s preeminent research universities, seeks a strategic, forward-thinking and collaborative leader to serve as its next director of financial aid.

Now operating in its third century, U-M continues to explore how it will fulfill its mission to develop leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future. Currently, the university enrolls over 29,000 undergraduate and more than 15,000 graduate students. With stellar faculty in every field, U-M has created an academic atmosphere that is enlightening, worldly and transformative. The University of Michigan is consistently ranked among the top institutions of higher education globally with 263 degree programs, a 97% first-year student retention rate and 102 graduate programs ranked in the top 10 nationally.

The director of financial aid will assume the role following the retirement of Pam Fowler, a nationally recognized thought leader in financial aid, who directed the financial aid team for 22 years. Reporting to Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Kedra Ishop and serving as a member of the enrollment management executive team, the director of financial aid will lead a team charged with administering a financial aid program consisting of federal, state and institutional funds that exceed $1 billion annually.

As a public university with significant resources to invest in students, U-M has had a strong history of being able to influence and shape state and national policies related to financial aid. A deep understanding of the financial aid landscape and all its possible changes, ability to adapt strategy to accommodate those developments, policy expertise and excellent and diplomatic communication skills have been integral to that success, and will be foundational qualities for the next leader.

The successful candidate will possess a strategic understanding of the integral role of student financial aid in supporting student enrollment, student success and student services; and will have knowledge of financial aid trends as they relate to the use and delivery of student financial aid. An experienced leader of people and programs, the new director of financial aid will have an ability to operate in a complex environment; demonstrated skill in leading and developing a large professional staff; excellent communication skills; a thorough knowledge of financial aid policies, processes and regulations; an uncompromising commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, quality service and student advocacy; and experience with the application of current and emerging technologies to the financial aid process.

Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Candidates should provide as two separate documents a resume and a letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the leadership profile, available at These materials should be sent electronically via e-mail to Shelley Arakawa, Patricia Coleman and Amy Crutchfield at The consultants can be reached by telephone through the desk of Francine Heymanson, administrative support for this search, at 949-797-3503.