Student loan shop gets IT modernization team

Student loan shop gets IT modernization team

Stephen C. Hawald is the CIO and systems overseer of the Student Financial Assistance Office.

By Frank Tiboni

GCN Staff

The Education Department last week unveiled a student aid management team that includes a chief information officer to oversee the $200 million to $300 million modernization of the department's loan systems.

Stephen C. Hawald, a former vice president and CIO of United Healthcare Corp. of Minneapolis, will be CIO of Education's Office of Student Financial Assistance. Hawald will oversee the systems that support OSFA, said Greg Woods, OSFA's chief operating officer.

Customer service

As part of an organizational overhaul of Education's loan programs, OSFA is establishing a structure based on its customers: students, schools and financial partners.

'Steve has experience in transferring legacy mainframes to a three-tier architecture in the dental benefits providers unit of United Healthcare,' Woods said.

Hawald will work with Andersen Consulting of Chicago to migrate the office's 11 stovepipe systems into a single systems infrastructure, Woods said.

Education in August chose Andersen to oversee the modernization of its student loan systems [GCN, Aug. 30, Page 1].

The creation of functional offices over time led to an organizational structure in OSFA that no one understood, Woods said.

'The management team before I came here had the same stovepipe flavor as our computer systems,' Woods said.

Besides selecting a CIO, Woods also named general managers for the three tiers within OSFA and hired an ombudsman to receive, review and resolve complaints from borrowers, he said. He also named officers to oversee contracting, communications and analysis.

'The new structure will show that government, in fact, can do a good job,' Woods said.

Who's who in Education's OSFA

  • Greg Woods, Office of Student Financial Assistance chief operating officer
  • Stephen C. Hawald, chief information officer
  • Linda Paulsen, acting chief financial officer; formerly director of accounting and financial management
  • Jeanne Van Vlandren, general manager for students; formerly executive director of Vermont's Higher-Education Planning Commission
  • G. Kay Jacks, general manager for schools; formerly executive director of enrollment services at Colorado State University
  • J. Barry Morrow, general manager of financial partners; formerly vice president of regional operations and servicing at Sallie Mae Servicing Corp.
  • Debra D. Wiley, ombudsman; former executive director of the Pierce County Center for Dispute Resolution in Tacoma, Wash.
  • Robert A. Knisely, director of analysis; formerly deputy director of statistics at the Transportation Department
  • Candace Hardesty, director of contracting; formerly a contracting officer at the General Services Administration
  • Karen Santos Freeman, communications director; formerly a journalist at the Public Broadcasting Service

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