Sep 15, 2011
From staff reports
Valerie Miller has been appointed director of student financial aid and scholarships effective Sept. 1.
Miller, who has served as interim director since July, joined the financial aid office in 1996 and during the course of her career at Ohio University progressed from assistant director to senior associate director.
Craig Cornell, vice provost for enrollment management, in announcing her appointment noted that Miller is one of the most widely respected student service administrators at the university.
“Valerie is known throughout campus as a leader who is willing to work behind the scenes to solve problems and help others be successful. She is tireless in her desire to see students have access to and experience success at Ohio University,” said Cornell. “I have faith in her ability to lead the office as we continue to experience dynamic changes in the delivery of financial aid at Ohio University.”
In her role as director, Miller oversees a staff of 26 that averages 70,000 contacts per year with prospective and current students and their families. The office receives over 40,000 aid applications, prepares over 30,000 financial aid offers, and coordinates the management of a $300 million total aid budget that encompasses institutional, federal, state, and private funding.
Miller also is responsible for ensuring that Ohio University complies with all applicable regulations and laws which include Title IV of the Higher Education Act, state mandates, institutional policies, and guidelines concerning endowed and restricted scholarship funds.
Cornell indicated that Miller’s “deep understanding of the nuances of aid awarding, compliance and familiarity with federal and state regulations” played an important role in her selection.
Miller moves into a position that was held for over 20 years by Soni Williams. Under Williams’ leadership, the office began a multi-faceted transition to the new student information system, PeopleSoft. Miller will guide the office through the ongoing conversion process.
Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit expressed confidence in Miller’s ability to provide direction and oversight for a key student service function.
“What is so telling about Valerie is the number of faculty members and academic administrators who can recount how she saved the day for a student,” said Benoit. “Valerie is exceptional and we are fortunate that she will be leading our financial aid and scholarship efforts.”
Miller indicated that she was pleased to have the opportunity to continue in the role of director.
“I have committed my professional life to assisting students and am honored to serve the students of Ohio University,” Miller said. “I look forward to working with my dedicated colleagues in the office of student financial aid and scholarships as we strive to identify scholarship and financial aid resources to recognize academic excellence and to promote access and opportunity for deserving students.”