WPU

FAS Helps William Peace University Navigate Change

Challenge

William Peace University, a 150-year-old institute in downtown Raleigh, N.C., is no stranger to change. Before classes could even start, the school was turned into a Civil War hospital, and then became a Freedman’s Bureau. Today, the private coed university has 1,000 students, and was just ranked first for its internships and internship experience by U.S. News & World Report. With management turnover in its financial aid office and a recent conversion to a new software system, the University needed interim leadership to help navigate through its award period and develop strategies for improving operations.

Solution

“We called on FAS to provide an interim financial aid director because we had heard accolades about their past performance,” said Vice President of Marketing & Enrollment Justin Roy. When the FAS consultant arrived on campus in July 2013 for a six-month engagement, he quickly acclimated to the university and “jumped right in to help us get through the awarding process,” according to Roy. FAS “gave me a good synopsis of what we needed to accomplish and identified some areas for improvement,” Roy said. “Our senior management team achieved a full understanding of the importance and critical nature of financial aid.”

Results

As a result of FAS’ efforts, the financial aid office adopted some new policies and procedures to improve student service and enhance working relationships with other departments across campus. The FAS consultant also helped review resumes, interview candidates and establish priorities for the new financial aid director. “FAS listens to what you say you think you need, and then they interpret it to what you really do need, because you might not be seeing it yet,” said Roy. “That is a strength.”