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Committee on Financial Aid to Students

The committee met three times in 2007-08, once at the beginning of each semester, and finally in mid-April. A main agenda item at each meeting was to hear a status report from the Office of Student Financial Services (OSFS). For most of this period, beginning in mid-2007, OSFS was under acting director Dr. Charles Sorber, while the search for a permanent director was underway. The director search committee included Pat Somers, vice-chair and chair-elect of the committee for 2008-09. In addition, all members of the committee were invited to meet informally with four OSFS director finalists and to provide written comments to the search committee. This provided a reasonable level of committee participation in the search process, which was completed in March 2008. New OSFS director Dr. Tom Melecki arrived in early April 2008. Of the three committee meetings held in 2007-08, Dr. Sorber attended the first two, and Dr. Melecki the third. Dr. Sorber provided the committee with a summary of actions, including training programs and reviews that followed the dismissal of the previous OSFS director in 2007. Reports at all three meetings indicated that the OSFS had responded in a positive way to these 2007 events and was functioning well. Sorber and Melecki also identified a number of financial aid funding issues and how they are being addressed in budget planning, policy changes, and other ways. At the April meeting, OSFS Director Melecki asked for committee help in evaluating OSFS performance. His view was that such an evaluation needed to be seen by students and others as completely independent of the OSFS and its staff. Given this request, there will likely be increased committee activity in 2008-09.

Clark Wilson, chair