August 2019 - January 2020
To provide interim financial aid leadership to a school in a remote location with limited budget resources.
When the position of financial aid director at Hawai'i Pacific University became available, Jennifer Walsh, Senior Vice President and Provost, and Greg Grauman, Vice President of Enrollment Management, contacted Blue Icon Advisors seeking a consultant to serve as interim director. Because of its location, it often takes an extended period of time for the university to fill key positions, and securing interim staff is challenging.
Blue Icon Advisors provided the school with a unique solution to maximize their limited budget and difficult location: remote leadership. We began the engagement by using a live, online video platform to introduce the remote interim director to the school's leadership and the financial aid staff. The remote interim director then visited the school for one week to get to know the staff and operations, as well as identify any high-priority projects. Each week following the on-site visit, the remote interim director provided up to five hours of coaching and consulting to the associate directors via email, phone, and video calls, answering compliance-related questions, assisting with the annual FISAP, and preparing the office for the upcoming application cycle. The remote interim director also collaborated with and provided regular weekly updates to the vice presidents and other senior leaders.
Hawai'i Pacific University successfully utilized Blue Icon's remote leadership services for five months. This solution worked well for the school because the two associate directors, as well as the other on-site staff, were extremely competent, though not ready to take on the director role. Greg Grauman, Vice President of Enrollment Management commented, "Our financial aid director left on short notice, and we needed a quick solution to get us through a very busy period. Blue Icon's remote leadership services addressed both our remote location and our limited budget, helping us quickly navigate a stressful situation. We were provided with a consultant who is a current financial aid director. The consultant quickly got up to speed and the continued guidance and insights were vital to keeping our operations running smoothly."
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Publication Date: 5/21/2020