The Tuition Plan Consortium, sponsor of Private College 529 Plan (the only 529 plan sponsored by private colleges and universities, not by a state government), seeks an ambitious and experienced leader to serve as its next President and Chief Executive Officer. The President and CEO will be an experienced, entrepreneurial leader who is a skilled relationship manager, a clear and effective communicator, and experienced sales/advocacy professional with a vision for advancing the organization to the next level. The individual who will be most successful in this role will have a commitment to the value of private higher education, an appreciation of the challenges facing students and families regarding college affordability, business acumen to manage and lead the various constituencies with which he or she will interface in this complex organization, and an ability to increase sales of Private College prepaid tuition.
The Tuition Plan Consortium
The Tuition Plan Consortium was founded by a group of private colleges and universities in 1998 to establish, maintain, and administer a prepaid tuition program with the goal of making attendance at independent colleges and universities more affordable for students and families. The passing of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act in 2001 (EGTRRA) included a provision under Section 529 of the Federal Tax Code to permit colleges and their consortia to establish prepaid tuition plans.
In 2003, Tuition Plan Consortium launched a prepaid tuition plan (Independent 529 Plan, re-launched in 2010 as Private College 529 Plan) enabling account owners to purchase tuition at current rates for future use at any participating institution. Since inception, more than 280 private colleges and universities have joined the Plan and committed to accepting prepaid tuition certificates to cover all or part of future tuition costs. The TPC is contracted with OFI Private Investments, Inc., a subsidiary of Oppenheimer Funds, Inc., as plan manager. OFIPI provides investment, administrative, customer service, and marketing support to the Plan.
The TPC is governed by a volunteer board of directors, the majority of whom work at participating institutions. The organization is led by the President and CEO, who is assisted by three staff members focused on operations, member relations, and communications. They manage the activities of the Consortium and Private College 529 Plan on behalf of the Board of Directors and the member institutions. The Plan has current assets under management of approximately $350 million in over 8,000 accounts.
The TPC’s executive office is presently located in St. Louis, MO. It is possible that a hybrid of locations could be considered to accommodate the evolving needs and the leadership of the organization.
To learn more about the TPC, visit http://www.privatecollege529.com/
Current TPC Leadership
Private College 529 Plan operates under the direction of the TPC Board that comprises Directors elected by member colleges and universities. Directors serve without compensation. All costs of administering the program and operating TPC are paid by the member institutions through an annual management fee drawn from assets in the plan Trust. Because account owners do not pay fees, 100% of contributions to the Plan go towards purchasing tuition.
Timothy R. Warner, Chair, Board of Directors
Timothy Warner chairs the TPC Board of Directors. Mr. Warner is Vice Provost for Budget and Auxiliaries Management at Stanford University.
Matthew Hamill, Vice Chair, Board of Directors
Matthew Hamill serves as Vice Chair of the TPC Board of Directors. He is Senior Vice President at the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO).
Robert Huth, Jr., Secretary and Treasurer, Board of Directors
Robert Huth, Secretary and Treasurer of the TPC Board of Directors, is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Stetson University.
Nancy Farmer, President and Chief Executive Officer
Nancy Farmer became the President and CEO of the Tuition Plan Consortium in 2005 and is retiring in 2017 after eleven highly successful years in this role. Prior to this position, she spent 20 years in public service. She served three terms as an elected member of the Missouri House of Representatives, after which she was appointed Deputy to the Missouri State Treasurer, managing the day-to-day operations of the Treasurer’s office. In 2000, she was elected as Missouri State Treasurer, where she actively promoted the state’s 529 savings plan.
Position Overview and Responsibilities
Reporting to the Chair of the Board of Directors, the President and CEO has responsibility for the continued growth and long-term success of the TPC and Private College 529 Plan. The primary role of the position is to achieve ongoing growth in the number of Private College 529 accounts and in total assets under management. Working collaboratively with educational leaders at private colleges and universities throughout the United States, the President and CEO will also lead efforts to increase the number of institutions participating in the Plan. Leadership of the TPC also involves a sustained relationship with OFI Private Investments, Inc. The President and CEO works with legal counsel, regulatory agencies (including the Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Department of the Treasury), and TPC board committees to continue to improve the attractiveness of the product offering and to implement and monitor the investment performance of plan assets.
The President and CEO works in partnership with the Board of Directors to develop and implement strategic plans and to set organizational goals. He or she will have responsibility for leading and maintaining an effective organization that ensures sound, prudent fiscal management and efficient, effective delivery of services to member institutions and to account owners in Private College 529 Plan.
The key accountabilities of the President and CEO include:
- Conceptualizing and implementing effective marketing programs targeting consumers and financial advisors in cooperation with OFI Private Investments to grow the number of accounts and assets of the Plan and to ensure its long-term viability
- Promoting TPC and Private College 529 Plan to all of its stakeholders
- Active, hands-on leadership and creative partnership with the Board of Directors and existing member institutions in recruiting a broad spectrum of new colleges and universities to participate in Private College 529 Plan
- Serving as a dynamic spokesperson for the Plan with the media and other constituencies to increase awareness of, and support for, private higher education, as well as the importance of planning and saving for college
- Managing the professional staff of the TPC to achieve the objectives of growing Private College 529 Plan accounts and assets under management and recruiting additional institutions to participate in the Plan
Professional Qualifications and Personal Qualities
The successful candidate will possess the following knowledge, skills and abilities:
- An understanding of the financial services industry, especially 529 products, is preferred
- An ability to devise, implement, and modify specific growth strategies for Private College 529 Plan
- Proven ability as an articulate and persuasive spokesperson
- A thorough understanding of private higher education
- Experience leading and managing in collaborative, team-oriented organizations/businesses
- A track record of developing and managing a fiscally responsible operation/business with an emphasis on producing results
- A commitment to access and affordability of higher education, with an appreciation for the challenges colleges and universities, especially private institutions, confront
- Experience serving on a volunteer board of directors is preferred
- A Bachelor’s degree is required, and a Master’s degree or earned Doctorate is desirable
Personal qualities of the President and CEO will include:
- Mature, flexible, tenacious and creative in conceptualizing and implementing strategies to produce rapid results with minimum direction
- The highest personal and professional integrity
- Strong interpersonal skills; an open, collegial style, including the ability to manage divergent opinions and to foster consensus among varying interests
- Ability to function in a small, “hands-on” organization as both a leader and a team player
- Superior organizational skills and ability to balance the multiple demands of a wide variety of constituencies
- Focus on customer service
- Excellent written and oral communication skills, with the ability to inform and motivate an array of audiences
- An appreciation for and an ability to advance diversity and inclusion in working with stakeholders and in recruiting member institutions
- Willingness to learn, adapt and manage in a changing work environment
- Willingness to travel at least monthly
Applications and Nominations
The Tuition Plan Consortium has retained the services of Neumann Executive Search Partners to assist with this search. Review of applications, nominations, and expressions of interest will begin immediately and will continue on a confidential basis until an appointment is made. Background checks will be performed on all final candidates. Applications, expressions of interest, and nominations should be sent in confidence to:
Andy Evans, Partner
Melissa Trotta, Ed.D., Vice President
Neumann Executive Search Partners
The Tuition Plan Consortium/Private College 529 Plan is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Recruitment for the President and CEO will be conducted in accordance with all applicable federal and state equal employment opportunity and affirmative action laws, regulations, and guidelines, including, without limitation, laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ethnic heritage, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, age, military service eligibility, veteran status, marital status, and disability.