Lone Star College seeks a compliance-minded, student-centered, and collaborative financial aid leader to serve as its next executive director, financial aid system operations. This is an on-site role, and the anticipated start date for the successful candidate is early fall 2023.

The Position


Reporting to the senior associate vice chancellor for financial aid, the executive director of financial aid system operations (executive director) manages the daily operations of financial aid system operations and implements LSC’s policies and procedures to support an ecosystem of accurate, timely, and compliant awarding and processing of federal, state, and institutional aid. The executive director serves on the financial aid office leadership team and collaborates with the senior associate vice chancellor, director of financial aid technology, and executive director of financial aid student services to identify and mitigate potential areas of vulnerability and risk within the financial aid operations. They are expected to actively maintain up-to-date knowledge of financial aid regulations, policies, procedures, criteria, and requirements; coordinate audit activities with auditors; and execute the audit plan.

The executive director oversees and ensures accurate stewardship and compliant administration of in-house and third-party verifications, R2T4s, reconciliation, loan processing, Pell Grant, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and state aid programs. They provide leadership, guidance, and support to ensure accurate and timely filing of all US Department of Education (DOE) and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) required reports, communications, and notifications.

Other key responsibilities of the executive director include:

  • Creating new processes and improving current procedures to increase compliance and student service efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Liaising with the LSC financial aid community and campus partners to ensure financial aid compliance is executed effectively across the institution.
  • Monitoring regulatory updates from DOE, THECB, Texas state legislature, and internal policies.
  • Completing, verifying, filing, and auditing required federal and state reports.


A bachelor’s degree, at least seven years of related work experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience are required. Work experience must include at least three years in a manager or director-level position.

The search committee invites applications from candidates with strong knowledge of federal and state financial aid programs, including emerging trends in financial aid, working knowledge of the regulatory environment affecting student financial aid, and the ability to identify and analyze complex compliance issues. The executive director role requires advanced skills in using technological tools and systems to support and deliver financial aid programs and services to students. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate evidence of success in working expediently and professionally with multiple stakeholders.

The executive director will be expected to successfully complete all NASFAA Professional Credentials within one year of hire, according to the schedule provided by the senior associate vice chancellor for financial aid.

Additionally, campus stakeholders indicated that the executive director should be someone who:

  • Can appreciate the complexity of Lone Star College’s financial aid office structure, which is geographically disbursed amongst the various campuses, but operationally centralized.
  • Can assess risk and provide prudent advice.
  • Has strong financial aid back-end operations experience.
  • Is able to support collaboration and creativity within a portfolio of functional areas.
  • Exhibits a collegial work style and is oriented towards finding mutually beneficial solutions.
  • Has a history of successfully streamlining processes.


The executive director position has been vacant since March 2022, and the senior associate vice chancellor has been performing the duties of the executive director since that date. The position has been reviewed and upgraded, with elevated training and quality assurance responsibilities as part of the portfolio.


The new executive director will find a highly dedicated and collaborative group of colleagues on the financial aid leadership team and among the faculty and staff at Lone Star College. Combined with Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Mott’s commitment to ensuring a robust compliance infrastructure, the successful candidate in this search will have a solid foundation to build on. Within this context, the following will be the key priorities and likely challenges awaiting the successful candidate.

  • The new executive director will need to be highly intentional and strategic about becoming familiar with the financial aid office’s policies, procedures, and processes and continue to strengthen compliance with federal, state, and institutional responsibilities and obligations while balancing the need for operational and administrative efficiencies. The executive director will leverage the talents of the quality assurance team and oversee the creation and implementation of clear policies and procedures that balance compliance, quality assurance, and service delivery.
  • Lone Star College is in the final stages of program recertification following a Department of Education FSA program review in 2018 that resulted in two findings related to the satisfactory academic progress (SAP) appeal process and awarding of federal aid to students from ineligible high schools. LSC has been diligent and fully committed to updating its policies and procedures related to these findings. Further, it has recently engaged College Aid Services in conducting a mock program review to assess the progress made since 2019. The review has yielded positive feedback and some recommendations for further refinement of processes. The executive director will have a leadership role in analyzing and implementing the recommendations from this engagement.
  • The financial aid staff has been through a period of leadership transitions, organizational restructuring, and general uncertainties exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The executive director will be expected to exhibit strong change management and culture expansion skills.
  • The financial aid training unit has been very well received, particularly in the last two years, focusing on new staff member training programs. The executive director will build on these successes, with SAP, FAFSA simplification, and college campus-level issues as high training and development priorities.
  • The system operations team has several staff vacancies that need to be filled. Like all of its peers, Lone Star College has experienced significant challenges with recruiting and hiring for these positions. The executive director must be strategic and creative in their approach to this task.
  • The financial aid team is in the early stages of preparing for the rollout of the simplified FAFSA in December 2023. The financial aid staff has been engaged in initial training, and the executive director will play a key leadership role in implementing the new FAFSA and planning for its impact on operations and awarding.
  • As is often the case with system-level operations with multiple campus-level partners, stakeholders indicated a strong desire for the executive director to be attuned to the need for consistent and timely communication between the system office and the individual campuses, with an appreciation for the unique culture of each campus.


The executive director, financial aid system operations will work with Senior AVC Venezia to determine specific measures of success and related timetables. Following an appropriate period of acclimatization, the following will define success for the new executive director:

  • The executive director displays a sophisticated and thorough understanding of the nuances and complexities of Lone Star College’s centralized operations in relation to the unique identities and cultures of the individual campuses.
  • Compliance and quality assurance policies and processes are strengthened and balanced with student service delivery considerations, and financial aid staff at the system and campus levels are appropriately trained.
  • Engagement with campus financial aid colleagues is robust and characterized by clear, consistent, and timely communication between the system operations team and campus financial aid colleagues.
  • The simplified FAFSA is implemented smoothly, and a proactive training and assessment program is in place to gather feedback on both staff and student needs related to the rollout of the new process.
  • The executive director is widely seen as a trusted expert on compliance and a champion of student success, consistent with LSC’s mission.
  • Staff training is robust and progressive, particularly for contact center and campus-level colleagues.
  • Staff vacancies have been filled, and morale and a sense of belonging are high.

Institution & Location


Leadership Team

Shannon Venezia, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor Financial Aid

  • Vacant, Executive Director, Financial Aid System Operations
  • Samreen Khurram, Executive Director, Financial Aid Student Services
  • Eddie Simpson, Financial Aid Technology Systems


Financial Aid Management System: PeopleSoft

Student Information System: PeopleSoft

Scholarship Management System: ScholarshipUniverse

Document Management System: OnBase

Financial Aid Breakdown (2021-22 Common Data Set)

Gift Aid:

  • Federal: $69,759,079
  • State: $4,329,511
  • Institutional: $9,438,422
  • External: $1,479,763


  • Need-based: $19,779,139
  • Non-need based: $23,162,807
  • Parent: $321,689

Federal Work Study: $2,673,346

Tuition Waivers: $2,361,723

Financial Aid System Operations

The executive director leads a team of 59 full- and part-time staff, including the following six direct reports:

  • Manager, Financial Aid Communications
  • Manager, Financial Aid Processing
  • Manager, Financial Aid Quality Assurance
  • Manager, Financial Aid Reporting and Reconciliation
  • Manager, Financial Aid Training
  • Manager, Workforce Scholarships

The executive director oversees an operating budget of over $2.7 million and manages the external vendor relationship with ProEducation Solutions for verification and professional judgment.

Organizational chart

Divisional Leadership

Shannon Venezia, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor Financial Aid

Dr. Shannon Venezia is senior associate vice chancellor of financial aid at Lone Star College, a position she has held since December 2021. She provides strategic and compliance oversight for the financial aid team of 100 FTE across eight campuses serving over 25,000 financial aid recipients. Venezia has served in financial aid leadership roles in two- and four-year public institutions and believes strongly in the mission and role of community colleges. Additionally, she is a passionate advocate for students and uses data to help inform decisions to improve the student experience.

Venezia earned her PhD in higher education administration from Ohio University. She also has a master’s degree in adult education from the State University of New York (SUNY) Buffalo State University and a bachelor’s degree in history from SUNY Fredonia. Her dissertation focused on the relationship between financial aid and rural community college students.


Jennifer Mott, Chief Financial Officer

Jennifer Mott is the chief financial officer (CFO) of Lone Star College, overseeing financial operations, facilities, and technology services. She provides strategic financial leadership and is responsible for managing the functional areas of facilities and construction; financial aid; financial planning, analysis, and treasury; financial reporting and operations; real estate and resource development; supply management; and technology services.

Previously, Mott served as deputy director of finance for the City of Houston. She is passionate about financial management and has a proven track record of delivering strong leadership in public service. She is committed to operating Lone Star College in a fiscally conservative manner based on data, efficiencies, and accountability.

Mott graduated summa cum laude with a BA in economics from the State University of New York College at Oswego and received her MA in economics from Boston University. She became a certified chartered financial analyst through the CFA Institute in 2013.


Lone Star College is a model college globally recognized for achieving exceptional levels of success in student learning, student completion, gainful employment, diversity, equity, and affordability. With over 80,000 credit and non-credit students, LSC positively impacts the educational needs of the north Houston area through its eight college campuses: CyFair, Houston North, Kingwood, Montgomery, North Harris, Tomball, University Park, and LSC-Online. In addition, LSC has eight Workforce Centers of Excellence, five satellite centers, two university center locations, and two system office locations.

Lone Star College’s service area covers 2,700 square miles in Harris and Montgomery counties. LSC has almost 1,000 full-time faculty, over 2,500 part-time faculty, over 2,000 full-time staff, and over 1,500 part-time staff. The college plays a significant role in the community, contributing to an educated workforce that supports the region’s economic vitality and civic responsibility. LSC’s story is one of increasing diversity, with more than 60 percent of students coming from historically underrepresented backgrounds. As such, LSC is designated as both a Minority Serving Institution and a Hispanic Serving Institution by the US Department of Education. Lone Star College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates, associates, and four baccalaureate degrees.

Mission and Vision

Strategic Plan 2020 – 2025


Total enrollment: 80,596

Part-time students: 56,635

Full-time students: 23,961

Female: 59 percent

Male: 41 percent

Veteran students: 4,003

International students: 2,825

Hispanic: 45 percent

White: 28 percent

Black: 14 percent

Asian: 9 percent

Multiple races: 4 percent

American Indian: 0.22 percent

Lone Star College Interactive Enrollment Dashboard


Lone Star College’s story is one of increasing diversity, with more than 70 percent of students coming from minority and historically underrepresented backgrounds. Lone Star College’s vision is to be the model minority-serving institution recognized for providing innovative and transformative programming, practices, and curriculum that eliminates the student equity gap.

Through the office of culture and engagement, LSC aims to create a systemwide diversity, equity, and inclusion approach that provides all students, faculty, and staff a sense of belonging and equitable access to opportunities.


Stephen C. Head, Chancellor

Stephen C. Head, PhD, was appointed as the fourth chancellor of the Lone Star College System in 2014. He began work at the college in 1984 and has a thirty-year history of high-level positions at LSC, including serving as president at three LSC campuses and executive vice chancellor. He focuses on student access, equality, success, and completion; academic quality; workforce programs aligned with community needs; and collaborative agreements with educational, business, and local civic organizations.

Head’s values include operating the college on a sound, fiscally conservative model based on data, efficiency, accountability, and common sense. He also emphasizes transparency, ethical behavior, and a culture of high expectations and achievement. Chancellor Head has announced that he plans to retire on August 1, 2023.

Lone Star College System Administration



Lone Star College offers a variety of benefit programs to meet the needs of its employees. Key among these is a generous paid time-off program that includes 23 holidays (including spring break and a two-week winter break), Fridays off all summer, and 20 days of vacation for contract employees.

2022-23 Employee Benefits at a Glance

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin Monday, June 12, 2023, 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 Michel R. Frendian, senior consultant, at mrf@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email info@spelmanjohnson.com.

The approved hiring salary range for this position is $96,107-$110,523, commensurate with experience.

Visit the Lone Star College System website at www.lonestar.edu and the Lone Star College Financial Aid website at www.lonestar.edu/financial-aid.

Lone Star is committed to the principles of equal opportunity in education and employment. Lone Star College does not discriminate on basis of race, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, gender expression, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other protected status in its programs and activities, as stated in the LSCS Board Policy Manual.