The Opportunity

Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, the Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships directs operations to effect accurate, efficient, and timely delivery of student aid in compliance with regulations and formulates campus financial aid policies and fund utilization strategies to ensure access and affordability of a California State University, Chico education to its students. The director, who is expected to function with a very high degree of autonomy, has significant responsibility for formulating and administering policies and programs; identifying broad objectives; directing crucial programs; and managing significant human, financial, and, often, physical resources. Through subordinate managers, the director will oversee the accountability and stewardship of campus resources (operational, financial, and human) in a manner consistent with campus and system-wide compliance goals and objectives. In addition, the director oversees the development of systems and procedures to protect organization assets.

The Position

Role of the Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships for California State University, Chico

The director will be expected to formulate campus financial aid policy and fund utilization strategies to support the University’s strategic goals and will participate in the development of industry regulations. The incumbent will have campus responsibility for accurate, efficient, and timely delivery of student aid and scholarships in compliance with federal, state, University, agency, and donor laws, regulations, policies, and terms, and will oversee the awarding of over $137 million to more than 12,000 students annually. The director will be expected to maintain current knowledge of applicable rules and standards of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), as well as other associations and agencies to whose rules and standards California State University, Chico adheres.

History of the Position

Dan Reed, the longtime Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships, has announced his retirement at the end of 2021. Additionally, an associate director within the department is also retiring. Michael Dills-Allen, University Registrar, has been named Interim Director.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

  • The new director must exhibit the qualities of a highly collaborative leader who invites a broad spectrum of stakeholders to share their energy, ideas, and investment in the overall financial aid and scholarship application and awarding processes.
  • California State University, Chico is described as a warm, friendly environment with a culture of collaboration; marketing of the numerous financial aid programs and scholarships offered through the institution, in tandem with its warm and inviting culture, will be of utmost importance.
  • With the ever-changing demographic of potential students, the director must be knowledgeable about the regional culture and demographics, nimble at assessing demographic trends, and adept at communicating with enrollment colleagues and transitioning as enrollment trends continue to change.
  • This is a working director and highly visible position; as such, it is expected that the director will be able to fully focus on the strategic elements of the role while also managing to balance the immediate with the strategic.
  • Expertise with (or the ability to learn quickly) the California State University (CSU) system-wide PeopleSoft system will be an advantage in immediately acclimating to the position.
  • The new director will want to take the time to get to know and establish positive relationships with the large Enrollment Management Advisory Council to understand their roles, talents, and contributions to the success of the financial aid and scholarships department, as well as all enrollment management operations.
  • Experience with collective bargaining will be helpful, though not required.
  • As with all senior leadership at California State University, Chico, the new director will be expected to exhibit the six roles of a leader, as defined in the California State University, Chico Leadership Model, including:
    • Structuring work
    • Managing talent
    • Inspiring performance
    • Building teams
    • Using and sharing information
    • Facilitating change

Measures of Success

The Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships will work with the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management to determine specific measures of success and related timetables. Following an appropriate period of acclimatization and in consultation with the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, the following may define measures of success for the incumbent.

  • The director is a visible and engaged leader throughout campus and is collaborating with all constituents on admission initiatives.
  • The director has developed an across-the-board and clear understanding of the institution’s financial aid and scholarships strategy so that all internal stakeholders can articulate and support it.
  • The director has successfully managed expectations and adeptly managed to prioritize requests from across campus.
  • In collaboration with the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, the director has developed and initiated plans for leading the financial aid and scholarships teams in the next phase of their development by providing an inspirational, strategic, and statistically supported vision for short- and long-term financial aid goals.
  • The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office will continue its reputation as a strong, highly functioning, well-regarded, and resilient team that works with synergy and shared purpose, readily collaborating across departmental and division lines with a demonstrated commitment to enrolling and retaining students who will thrive at California State University, Chico, graduate and become engaged alumni.
  • The director has remained current in the oversight and interpretation of all rules and regulations pertaining to financial aid funding, budget, compliance, and other related institutional best business practices.



A bachelor’s degree (master’s degree preferred) plus substantial, documented, professional experience in financial aid offices and staff administration is required. In addition, the following skills will be expected of the director:

  • expert knowledge of policies, regulations, and practices for awarding financial aid, including needs analysis and packaging;
  • expert knowledge of techniques for recruitment and retention of students through the use of financial aid and scholarship leveraging and predictive enrollment modeling;
  • advanced problem identification, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, good judgment, and decision-making ability;
  • expert quantitative analysis and resource management skills;
  • expert utilization of data and current industry technology in support of the division’s goals and responsibilities;
  • excellent interpersonal and exceptional written, verbal,and presentation skills; and
  • documented experience in project management, organizational effectiveness, staff management, and leadership of a large team.


In addition to the stated qualifications for the Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships position, stakeholders at California State University, Chico indicated that the following personal characteristics would be sought in the new director:

  • the ability to translate financial aid knowledge to others;
  • one who exudes confidence;
  • a creative thinker;
  • one who is student-centric and responsive;
  • one who understands the student demographic at California State University, Chico and is culturally sensitive;
  • a leader who has the ability to accept and lead change;
  • one who has the ability to assess data and prioritize the demands on staff time;
  • one who can lead across functional areas;
  • one who will be a key contributor to the University’s success initiatives;
  • one who has the ability to forecast and who will share policy changes immediately with senior leadership;
  • one who is knowledgeable about, and sensitive to, the challenges facing first generation students;
  • one who has the ability to see with a 360-degree view from the professional administrator’s viewpoint to that of students and parents;
  • one who endeavors to maintain the current strong positive and productive culture of the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office;
  • one who will be a true advocate for the staff;
  • one who has the capacity for self-assessment;
  • one who is intellectually curious and willing to take risks;
  • one who will take the time to understand the current processes and look at all sides of a problem;
  • a good listener who is also humble;
  • a manager who will listen to new ideas when cases are presented with the appropriate rationale;
  • a relationship builder;
  • is accessible to staff and students;
  • is energized by leadership; and
  • one who has a strong sense of humor and is empathetic.

Institution & Location

Overview of the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office


Jerry Ross, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management and Interim Director of Admissions

Jerry Ross, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management at California State University, Chico, began his role on April 27, 2020. He comes to California State University, Chico from the University of Florida (UF), where he was Chief Operating Officer for UF Online and managed marketing, curriculum, data analysis, and strategic planning. He previously served as University Registrar at Purdue University as well as Syracuse University. Ross also worked at West Virginia University and the University of Southern Mississippi. He holds a BA, MA, and EdD from the University of Southern Mississippi. He has been a frequent presenter at national conferences and publishes on such topics as enrollment management, leadership, technology, FERPA, and partnering with faculty.

For a complete organizational chart for the division of enrollment management, go to:—november-2021.pdf


Institutional Overview

The Mechoopda Maidu Indians were the original inhabitants of the area issued as the Rancho Arroyo Chico land grant to William Dickey in 1845. General John Bidwell—pioneer, statesman, and founder of Chico—subsequently bought the grant. In 1887, Bidwell donated eight acres of cherry orchard, and construction began on Chico State Normal School. The campus opened in 1889 with 90 students and five faculty members. The first class of teachers graduated in June 1891. Chico State Normal School became Chico State Teachers College in 1921. The legislature converted its teachers colleges to state colleges in 1935, and Chico State Teachers College became Chico State College. In 1972, the college became California State University, Chico.

Art Galleries and Museums: The Turner Print Museum features a collection of over 3,000 fine art prints spanning six centuries, while the Jacki Headley University Art Gallery presents contemporary exhibitions featuring regional, national, and international artists. Student-centered galleries include the B-SO Space and the Master of Fine Arts Galleries. The Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology offers student-curated exhibits, lecture series, and summer camps, and the Gateway Science Museum creates educational programs to teach school children about the world around them.

Athletics: There are 13 Division II men’s and women’s athletic teams, with an all-weather track, putting green, jogging trails, two gyms, a soccer stadium, softball fields, Nettleton Stadium (for baseball), tennis courts, basketball courts, weight room, and other facilities.

Housing: The University provides 2,260 living spaces in six on-campus residence halls and one off-campus apartment complex (University Village).

Laboratories: Agriculture, Anthropology, Archeology, Art, Biology, Bio-Psychology, Chemistry, Child Development, Computer Science, Consumer Science, Counseling Psychology, Dietetics/Food Nutrition, Engineering, Exercise Physiology, Foreign Language, Kinesiology, Geosciences, Manufacturing, Physics, Physical Anthropology, Psychology, and Agriculture and Biology greenhouses are among the many labs on campus. In addition there are many student computing facilities (three University open-access labs, including a 24-hour lab; 40+ department labs; and seven residence hall labs).

Meriam Library: The University’s library is a four-story building housing close to a million print volumes, with complete Wi-Fi coverage on all floors. It also contains computer labs, private study rooms, and high-tech collaborative learning spaces. Through the Library ReSEARCH Station, users can access more than 100 electronic databases leading to full-text articles in over 41,000 journals and get help with their research online using Ask A Librarian. Special Collections houses the northeastern California collection of books, photographs, and manuscripts as well as the University Archives and the Rare Book Collection.

Performing Arts and Public Events: The University has three theatres, one auditorium, two gyms, and three athletic stadiums, attracting more than 150,000 people from the region to attend activities on campus each year. The School of the Arts presents an active calendar of student performances and art events of all kinds, including the North State Symphony; the annual spring musical; and galleries showcasing work of students, faculty, and invited artists. The Humanities Center hosts an eclectic calendar of speakers and faculty symposia. Chico Performances presents a variety of professional touring artists in music, dance, and theatre. It also hosts the President’s Lecture Series, which has included Mikhail Gorbachev, Desmond Tutu, Jane Goodall, and Shimon Peres.

Preserves: Chico State Enterprises manages several land preserves for the primary purposes of protection, enhancement, research, and education. These include the 3,950-acre Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve, the 300-acre Butte Creek Ecological Preserve, and the 80-acre Eagle Lake Field Station.

University Farm: The 800-acre Paul L. Byrne University Farm offers lab experience in beef, swine, sheep, goat, and organic dairy production; meat lab; ag mechanics; orchard management; and crops, soils, and sustainable agriculture.

About Chico, California

The University’s campus is located right next to charming downtown Chico, with dining, retail, and farmers markets that create a welcoming atmosphere. Just a few hours from the San Francisco Bay area, Chico offers a thriving arts, music, and events scene in a community with one of the lowest costs of living in the state. Named one of the greenest schools in the nation in The Princeton Review’s “Guide to Green Colleges,” most Wildcats live, learn, and work within walking or biking distance of campus. Home to Bidwell Park’s 3,670-acres of hiking, biking, and walking trails, Chico offers endless outdoor recreation opportunities as well.


California State University, Chico is the comprehensive university of the North State with a global reach.

Through excellence of inquiry, innovation, and experiential learning, we develop students who are critical thinkers, responsible citizens, diverse leaders, and inspired stewards of environmental, social, and economic resources.


California State University, Chico will be known as a preeminent university solving the unprecedented challenges of the 21st century.


Strategic Plan

Enduring commitments power the mission of the University, and they fuel students’ drive for success. The new strategic priorities are grounded in the University’s four enduring commitments and will provide the University with focus as it aspires to achieve its new vision statement. To be sure that the campus focus remains acute and keep the University from distraction, three strategic priorities will direct the institution going forward.

The priorities of California State University, Chico are predicated on the primacy of student success enabled by excellence of faculty and staff as well as communication, technology, and philanthropy.

The Strategic Priorities are:

  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Civic & Global Engagement
  • Resilient & Sustainable Systems

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Cultivate and nurture a welcoming and inclusive campus where students, faculty, and staff have an equitable opportunity to thrive.

  • Recognize that historically underserved students have not had equal access or opportunity for educational success.
  • Maximize the recruitment, retention, support, and graduation of diverse students.
  • Eliminate achievement gaps by providing excellence in education and support to all students.
  • Promote hiring and retention that contribute to a diverse and inclusive community that reflects student demographics.
  • Develop and enhance policies, programs, and activities that support an inclusive, accessible, and equitable learning and working environment.
  • Honor the distinct values, beliefs, identities, and cultures of students, faculty, staff, and the community.
  • Address real-world issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion through interdisciplinary and international experiences.
  • Cultivate an environment that embraces diversity of thought, freedom of expression, and respect for others.

Civic & Global Engagement

Build stronger and more vibrant communities by connecting the University and community in mutually beneficial ways to effect meaningful change in the world around it.

  • Emphasize University-community partnerships that are collaborative, participatory, empowering, systemic, and transformative.
  • Engage students, faculty, staff, and community members through experiential learning and internship opportunities with the communities of the North State and beyond.
  • Create an environment committed to the active pursuit of global engagement, service, social justice, and connectedness.
  • Instill a culture of philanthropy and social engagement.
  • Broaden opportunities for civic and global engagement in academic programs.

Resilient & Sustainable Systems

Advance environmental, social, and economic sustainability, striving toward a just and resilient future.

  • Work to be climate neutral by 2030.
  • Cultivate knowledge, research, and practice to increase awareness that individual and collective actions have impact regionally, nationally, and globally.
  • Be wise stewards of resources and embrace sustainability and resilience as a way of living.
  • Integrate sustainability and resilience into curriculum, research, and campus operations to better serve students and meet the needs of society.
  • Recover and adapt to significant difficulties or challenges and recognize the University’s responsibility to forge resiliency in the communities it serves.

For a detailed look at the Strategic Plan, visit



Gayle Hutchinson, President

Gayle Hutchinson, EdD, is the 12th president of California State University, Chico and the first female to hold the position in the University’s 133-year history.

Dr. Hutchinson began her career in higher education at California State University, Chico, joining the faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology in 1990. She taught in the classroom for 17 years, earning tenure, promotion, and the rank of full professor. She chaired the department from 2002-2007. She also served as principal investigator and co-director of the Northern California Physical Education-Health Subject Matter Project (1995–2002).

Dr. Hutchinson’s scholarship and grant writing focused on teacher socialization, social psychology of sport, comprehensive school-based wellness programs, and equity in sport and physical education. As a faculty member, she was highly engaged in the Academic Senate and CSU Statewide Senate. She also co-chaired the Chico State Diversity Scorecard Committee that was responsible for drafting the University’s Diversity Action Plan in 2010.

After participating in the prestigious American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows program (2005-2006), Hutchinson applied for and earned the position of Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (2007-2013) at California State University, Chico.

Prior to her presidency, Hutchinson served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at California State University, Channel Islands (CI) (2013–2016), the newest campus in the CSU system. Hutchinson was instrumental in helping to develop CI as one of the fastest growing and more innovative campuses in the CSU.

In the years since taking office as president of California State University, Chico, Hutchinson has conducted a campus-wide listening tour, conducted two campus climate surveys, successfully completed an institutional WASC re-accreditation, developed a new university strategic plan, and developed a new campus master plan. She also led the University’s response and recovery efforts to the devastating Camp Fire of 2018 and the COVID-19 pandemic.

She holds a bachelor of science degree in physical education teacher education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; a master’s degree in teaching analysis and curriculum development from Teachers College, Columbia University; and an EdD in teacher education and staff development from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The scaffold that supports her leadership style is collaboration, shared governance, diversity, innovation, institutional accountability, transparency, trust, and respect.

Academic Programs

California State University, Chico has 7 colleges, 5 schools, and 22 centers and institutes:

  • College of Agriculture
  • College of Natural Sciences
    • School of Nursing
  • College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
    • School of Social Work
  • College of Business
  • College of Communication and Education
    • School of Communication
    • School of Education
  • College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management
  • College of Humanities and Fine Arts
    • School of the Arts

Fall 2020

  • Bachelor of Arts Programs: 37
  • Bachelor of Science Programs: 34
  • BA and BS Options (within the Major): 75
  • Master of Arts Programs: 16
  • Master of Science Programs: 12
  • MA and MS Options (within the Major): 22
  • Minors: 111
  • Certificate Programs: 30
  • Professional Education Credential Programs: 12
  • Other programs offered:
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Fine Arts
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Social Work
  • Master of Teaching
  • Pre-Professional Programs in dental hygiene, dentistry, forensic science, forestry, law, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, theology, and veterinary medicine

The Honors Program offers special opportunities for motivated undergraduate students with high grade point averages. These opportunities range from specially designed courses in general education (Honors in General Education Program) and in selected majors (Honors in the Major Program) to many honors societies that students can join.

California State University, Chico is accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as a number of professional associations covering all seven colleges.

Centers and Institutes

  • Agribusiness Institute
  • Big Chico Creek Reserve
  • California Mechatronics Center
  • California Pavement Preservation Center
  • Center for Bilingual/Multicultural Studies
  • Center for Economic Development
  • Center for Enterprise Systems and Informatics Research (CESR)
  • Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Center for Excellence in Finance
  • Center for Healthy Communities (CHC)
  • Center for Mathematics and Science Education (CMSE)
  • Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems (CRARS)
  • Center for Water and the Environment (CWE)
  • Chico State Herbarium
  • Education for the Future
  • Gateway Science Museum
  • Geographical Information Center
  • Janet Turner Print Museum
  • Northeast Information Center (NEIC)
  • Passages Adult Resource Center
  • Rural Northern California Clinical Simulation Center (Sim Center)
  • Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology


The Student Body, Fall 2020

Full-Time Equivalent students 15,608

Total Number of Students 16,630

  • Freshmen: 3,044 (18.3%)
  • Sophomores: 2,420 (14.6%)
  • Juniors: 4,443 (26.7%)
  • Seniors: 5,769 (34.7%)
  • Post-baccalaureate students: 954 (5.7%)


  • California State University, Chico average (undergraduate and graduate): 22
  • Undergraduate average: 22


  • American Indian/Alaskan Native: 0.5%
  • Asian: 5.5%
  • Black/African American: 2.8%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 35.6%
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.2%
  • White: 43.6%
  • Two or more races/ethnicities: 5.4%
  • Declined to state: 4.3%
  • Nonresident Alien: 2%


  • Female: 55%
  • Male: 44.9%
  • Nonbinary: 0.1%

California State University, Chico students come from 39 nations, 28 states, and 1 U.S. territory.

97.8% of the total student population comes from California: 27.3% from California State University, Chico’s service area; 11% from the Sacramento Area; 21.4% from the San Francisco Bay area; 22.5% from the Los Angeles area; and 16.6% from the rest of California. The remaining 2.2% are out-of-state or international students.

All students are members of the Associated Students (AS) of California State University, Chico, a multimillion-dollar corporation managed by students. The AS is responsible for the student government, the Chico State Wildcat Store, the Wildcat Recreation Center, Adventure Outings, the student union (Bell Memorial Union), and many other programs for students, including Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE), Child Development Lab (campus daycare), Community Legal Information Clinic (CLIC), Gender & Sexuality Equity Coalition (GSEC), and the Sustainability program.

Some student publications include The Orion student newspaper, The Chico Historian academic journal, and Watershed Review literary magazine.

Freshman Profile

Average High School GPA: 3.47 (admits) / 3.36 (enrolled)

Benefits Overview


Benefits Overview

The goal of California State University, Chico is to provide employees with a robust selection of benefits to meet personal needs in dealing with work/life issues. These include:

  • Medical plans
  • Dental plans
  • Vision plans and hearing aid discount program
  • Flex Cash
  • Retirement plans
  • ScholarShare (college savings plan)
  • Life & Disability insurance


For a detailed look at benefits, visit

Application & Nomination

Application and Nomination
Review of applications will begin February 18, 2022 and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Kendra E. Dane at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Note: California State University, Chico requires that candidates also submit an application through their employment site at:

mandatory vaccinations
Effective September 30, 2021, the CSU will require faculty, staff, and students who are accessing campus facilities to be immunized against COVID-19 or have received a medical or religious exemption. Selected candidates should be prepared to comply with this requirement. The system wide policy can be found at Questions can be sent to: (staff and management positions) or (faculty positions).

Visit the California State University, Chico website at:

California State University, Chico is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against persons on the basis of race, religion, color, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, medical condition, National origin, sex, sexual orientation, covered veteran status, or any other protected status.