Thursday, July 7, 2016

Alfred University announces leadership changes: Pierce retires, Woughter takes on new responsibilities

ALFRED, NY (July 7, 2016) -- Earl Pierce Jr. will be retiring after 27 years at Alfred University, first as director of Financial Aid and for the past six years as vice president for Enrollment Management, President Mark Zupan announced today.
Kathy Woughter, vice president for Student Affairs, has agreed to take on additional responsibilities as vice president for Enrollment Management on an interim basis.  The transition will begin Aug. 1, when Earl steps aside from day-to-day management of the division. He will continue as a consultant for three months until his retirement becomes effective Nov. 1.
“I want to express my sincere appreciation to Earl for his dedicated work on behalf of our University over the years,” said Zupan. “During his tenure, nearly 40 percent of AU’s current alumni base had their financial aid packages determined by Earl, a process he made more about the students, their families and their circumstances, than on what computer modeling and aid formulas might suggest.
Zupan announced a scholarship will be created in Pierce’s name to honor his “dedication and commitment to Alfred University for the past 27 years.”
Pierce joined Alfred University in 1989 as director of Financial Aid.   He had previously served as senior associate director of Financial Aid at Temple University from 1987-89, and as assistant dean of Administration at Peirce (stet) College from 1983 to 1987 and director of Financial Aid from 1977 to 1987.
He is active in the local community as a member of the Alfred-Almond Central School Board of Education, and as its president for the past 15 years. He is also a member of the Steuben Trust Company Scholarship Committee, is a past Boy Scouts of America cub master, and coach of youth soccer and Little League. Professionally, he was for several years a member of the Sage Scholars Advisory Board Member, and remains a College Board voting delegate, and member of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, Eastern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association.
“I am grateful to Earl and Kathy for their efforts to assure a smooth transition that will be in the best interests of our University,” Zupan said. “Kathy will have an opportunity to guide the new recruitment cycle for the Class of 2021 from the beginning, and Earl will offer us the benefit of his considerable expertise, particularly in the area of student financial aid.”
The University will immediately begin a search for a new director of Financial Aid, Zupan said. “We will be working with the Enrollment Management Committee of the Board of Trustees, chaired by Steve Heine with vice-chair Carolyn Clark, to identify a firm to conduct the search for this very critical position for Alfred University.”
Zupan also expressed his thanks to Woughter “for her willingness to take on new responsibilities, which will allow us to explore a model in use at many other institutions that emphasizes the student experience and satisfaction beginning at the time of recruitment through their enrollment and ultimately their transition to becoming alumni.”
Woughter has been the vice president for Student Affairs since 2004. Prior to being appointed VP, she was the director of the Career Development Center at AU. Before that, Woughter worked in Residence Life and coached men’s swimming at Alfred State College.  She has a master’s degree in Counselor Education from Alfred and a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Secondary Education from Geneseo.
She serves on the national board of Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education (NASPA) as the Region II chair, overseeing activities in a seven-state region, and served as the 2012 NASPA Conference Chair. Her colleagues bestowed upon her the Abigail Allen award in 2011 for outstanding service to women at Alfred University, and students awarded her an “Alfie” for outstanding staff contributions to student life. In the community, she is on the Jones Memorial Hospital board.  Active with the Allegany County United Way, Woughter served on its health impact council and on the search committee for its new executive director.