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Financial aid director search to restart in spring

November 5, 2015 By Greg Bump

Recent developments in student financial aid will present new challenges to the next director of the Office of Student Financial Aid, says Steve Hahn, vice provost in the Division of Enrollment Management.

Hahn says he has chosen not to make an offer after the recent search for a permanent replacement for Susan Fischer, who retired as director of student financial aid last month. Fischer had led the office since 2005.

Beginning this week, Terry Ruzicka, who has worked as deputy vice provost and chief of staff in the Division of Enrollment Management for the last several years, will serve as interim director of student financial aid. Mary Roggeman, who spent more than 28 years in leadership positions at UW–Milwaukee, will join the division as senior consultant for financial aid and scholarships and serve as a member of the Office of Student Financial Aid leadership team.

A search committee identified candidates for the director position, but Hahn says a number of factors have entered the picture since the search began that suggest it would be best to redo the process.

“The search committee did an outstanding job and recommended some capable candidates,” Hahn says.

One major shift in the financial aid landscape at UW–Madison came last month with the kickoff of the UW Foundation’s comprehensive campaign, “All Ways Forward,” which includes a significant student support component. Already, the university has seen the announcement of a $50 million matching donation from Ab and Nancy Nicholas for undergraduate and athletics scholarships.

Another recent change impacting financial aid is the federal decision to allow schools to award aid from the FAFSA based on the applicant’s “prior-prior year” tax returns. This will be a sea change in financial aid, Hahn says.

“The prior-prior year decision alone is a fundamental change to our award calendar,” Hahn says. “We are going to take this opportunity to do some thinking about our structure and forward-looking reorganization and redo the search in the spring,” Hahn says.

Ruzicka first joined UW–Madison in 2004 as a communications consultant in the Office of the Registrar for the campus e-Grading project, then moved into the roles of special assistant to the vice provost, chief of staff, and her most recent position as deputy vice provost. Earlier, she spent 20 years at UW–Milwaukee in positions including special assistant to the vice chancellor for student affairs, director of the Office of Adult and Returning Student Services, and assistant director of enrollment services.

Roggeman has nearly eight years of executive experience in the private sector, including as executive vice president of Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, an affiliate of Great Lakes Higher Education Corp. During her tenure at UW–Milwaukee she held positions including executive director of financial aid and student employment, associate vice chancellor for student and multicultural affairs, and vice chancellor for student affairs.