Hello, my name is Chris Foster and I am the AVP of Student Financial Services at the University of North Texas (UNT). I have worked in Texas higher education for the past 20 years – 14 years at UNT and 6 years at Texas Tech University.
As part of my role at UNT, I lead all areas of Student Financial Services and serve as the functional lead for PeopleSoft Student Financials module for our flagship institution (University of North Texas) as well as the University of North Texas at Dallas. I lead a team that is responsible for the effective operation of student accounts (tuition/fee assessment, billing, refunding and tax reporting) as well as the configuration and management of the Student Financials module and any integrations with third-party vendors (Nelnet, RMS, StarRez, ID Works/Identisys, etc.). I serve as an advisor to university departments on the best approach to assessing tuition and fees and administer the process of tuition calculation for over 40,000 students. One of the most enjoyable aspects of my role is being able to lead student financial projects and strategic initiatives which involve a change to business processes and technology operations.
During my tenure at UNT, my role has transitioned from being institution-specific to serving all institutions within the UNT System (UNT, UNT Dallas and UNT Health Science Center at Ft. Worth). From 2015-2017, I served as the Student Financial Functional Lead for the UNT System Financial Systems Support Team. In that capacity, I served as the SF module lead for all of our UNT System institutions. In 2016, I had the opportunity to lead an effort to redesign the tuition, fees and waiver setup for our UNT Health Science Center. We were able to implement business processes and setup which significantly streamlined the tuition calculation and waiver processing, while reducing manual account adjustments.
Prior to 2015, I served as the Associate Director for Student Accounting and University Cashiering Services at the University of North Texas where I was responsible for configuration and management of the SF module, assessment of tuition and fees as well as oversight of University ID Systems. In Fall 2014, the Texas Legislature adopted TEC 54.017 which required all public universities in Texas to offer a fixed-rate tuition plan. I served on the core implementation team for both the UNT Eagle Express Tuition Plan and the UNT Dallas FOCUS Tuition Plan. As part of the Eagle Express Tuition Plan, I lead a multi-phased project to design and implement self-service tuition plan selection as well as the creation of the Eagle Express Incentive (an up to $3,000 tuition rebate for timely graduation).
While at Texas Tech University, I served as Billing and Collections Manager for the University Libraries. During my time in this position, I designed a home-grown billing and collections system which included automated interfaces to both the ALEPH Integrated Library System as well as Banner Student Financials.
I have been a member of the HEUG since 2012 and have attended Alliance since 2013– presenting at Alliance 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020 (virtual). I have also had the opportunity to attend and present at our regional SCHRUG conferences as well as participate in the SF PAG Collections whitepaper in 2014. One of my favorite things about the HEUG is seeing the positive impacts that each of us can bring to other schools by sharing our insight and experiences.