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Manager, Graduate Financial Aid Systems

Department: Graduate Studies Office Effective Date: November  2010
Grade: USG 11 Reports to: Director, Graduate Academic Services

General Accountability

Reporting to the Director, Graduate Academic Services, the Manager, Graduate Financial Aid Systems ensures the availability and delivery of information required for the University to perform the graduate student income and award functions through supported financial aid systems and services, and investigates and recommends upgrades and new technology. 

The Manager is an integral part of the Graduate Studies Management and Student Information Systems Project teams which are responsible for decisions, planning and direction that contribute to the Graduate Studies Office (GSO) goal of providing professional financial aid records and award systems, payment processes, reporting and self service to the university for students, administrative and academic staff. The Manager is the lead resource for graduate financial aid on the Student Information Systems Project (SISP), and other Graduate Financial Aid Systems projects which includes production systems maintenance, testing, upgrades, research for new functionality and design enhancements for the GSO to fulfill its mandate.

In carrying out his/her responsibilities, the Manager will work collaboratively with the Director, Graduate Academic Services, representatives of the Faculties, departments and the Affiliated Universities and Colleges, and other systems managers in the Graduate Studies Office to build consensus on shared elements, processes and reporting needs. S/he will work closely with data administrators across the University to establish new requirements, the Student Information System teams, Information Systems and Technology, and external software technical support to design enhancements for records management and workflow.

The Manager is responsible for overseeing the University of Waterloo administration of payments on behalf of external award agencies for graduate students.  Tri-Council Awards, Ontario Graduate Scholarships, and other funds for graduate students are administered using complex internal and external procedures, regulations and auditing requirements. In addition, the incumbent is responsible for centrally managed award programs.

Reporting to the Manager is the Financial Aid Data and Systems Analyst. 

Nature and Scope

By 2017, the University of Waterloo plans to double the graduate student population. A high level of organization and management of the financial aid records, application, nomination and payment processes are required for the increasing number of financial aid programs which are essential for the implementation of student support policies, integration with student tuition payment processes; nomination, reporting and payment processes for internal units, and to meet our obligations to external award agencies for payment, record and auditing requirements.  All of these factors ultimately impact on our ability to achieve our graduate enrolment and academic program growth goals. Leadership and collaboration on special projects and in day-to-day activities with academic administrators, staff in the GSO, Information Systems and Technology, and other administrative units are also key to the successful implementation of university-wide systems which support the goals identified in the UW Sixth Decade Report.  Between five and 10 new graduate programs are implemented each year.

The Graduate Studies Office provides academic service support for a number of functions including the administration of program appraisal and approval processes, graduate student recruitment, publications, on-line applicant, student and staff services,  application and admission processing, course enrolment, graduate student financial assistance  and award programs, development and application of academic policies, academic records, theses, graduation, internal and external reporting, workshops and the Annual Graduate Student Research Conference.  The GSO services are utilized by prospective graduate students including UW undergraduate students, external academic administrators and faculty, graduate students, alumni, postdoctoral fellows, UW faculty, UW administrators, and external agencies.

The incumbent’s supervisor is the Director, Graduate Academic Services who reports to the Associate Provost, Graduate Studies.  The following positions report to the Director, Graduate Studies Academic Services:

Statistical Data

Specific Accountabilities

The Manager provides leadership and vision to the student financial aid and self-service modules of the PeopleSoft Student Administration System, and records management and workflow modules of the OnBase Records Management System. The Manager is the primary contact for financial aid systems and the end-users (students, faculty and administrators, and the Graduate Studies Office staff) and the technical staff in Information, Systems and Technology (IST).

The Manager must be able to work and converse in both technical and non-technical terms. The incumbent must have significant knowledge of graduate financial aid and award business processes at all administrative levels across the University in order to produce detailed functional documents to support the complex functional design related to system customizations and other Financial Aid activities including, workflow, document management and reporting. In addition, a significant degree of technical expertise is required in order to analyze and resolve problems, and to support the complex and varied processes for Graduate Financial Aid. This includes an in depth knowledge of the core tables and functionality of the PeopleSoft Student Administration System and OnBase Records Management System.

The Manager must have knowledge and understanding of university document management and retention policies, award and payment regulations, student procedures and financial aid systems processes, programs including new award programs, and academic programs proposed for the next admission cycle.

The Manager is responsible for the administration of internal and external award payment programs managed centrally.  The incumbent is the liaison with external agencies and supports reporting and auditing requirements. The Manager works closely with the Director, Graduate Academic Services and the Associate Provost Graduate Studies to develop nomination and payment regulations; prepares reports and analyzes data for the university committees including the UW Annual Performance Indicators, and data utilized by the Advisory Committee on Graduate Student Support and the Graduate Operations Committee.

The Manager has the primary responsibility for training of staff and faculty users of the Financial Aid systems through online or in-class instruction and production of training documentation.  The Manager develops the materials, conducts presentations and trains the trainers. 

The Manager is responsible for the maintenance of tables and data, graduate financial aid processes, security, scheduled processes, document import process, monitoring reconciliation reports, document retention and document purging in OnBase; management, analyses and solutions for user issues via the Request tracker or other sources. The Manager ensures that required interfaces with other systems, internal and external organizations are developed and maintained.

The Manager oversees the responsibilities and activities of the Graduate Financial Aid Data and Systems Analyst. Data quality, systems maintenance, processing, testing and end-user support and communications are major and complex areas supported by the Analyst in the Graduate Studies Office.  The incumbent is responsible for recruitment, training, performance appraisal, assignments and oversight of special projects for this position. 

The Manager will undertake special projects for the Director or Associate Provost, Graduate Studies as required.

Significant Internal Relationships:

Significant External Relationships:

Working Conditions