Former director of financial aid leaves PSU

For 16 years, Sam Collie worked for Portland State, serving in such capacities as the director of admissions, director of records and financial aid and director of student affairs administration.

After 16 years, Collie left the university. Collie would not comment on the specifics leading to his decision, citing "a lot of complex reasons."

As director of financial aid, Collie oversaw the dispersal of aid monies to thousands of PSU students ever year.

Now, he works for Nelnet, an organization that works with student loans at PSU, acting essentially as the lender. In a phone interview, Collie declined to give more specific reasons for leaving the university.

"It was a new opportunity. I had looked at this opportunity two years earlier," Collie said.

Why this new opportunity was more desirable than his previous, 16-year career at PSU is still unclear.

Dr. Douglas Samuels, vice provost for student affairs, seemed to share Collie’s "new opportunity" sentiment.

"Sam Collie had been here for sometime and decided he wanted to try something different," Samuels said. "This opportunity offered him the ability to stay in higher education in a different capacity."

Of course, with the once-director of admissions, records and financial aid and director of student affairs administration leaving the administration, there is a significant question as to what will happen such programs.

According to Samuels, there is currently a search underway for a new director of financial aid. Yet many recommendations that Collie had made during his time here are still being considered.

Samuels indicated that several such recommendations include hiring additional aid workers and employing technology to improve the financial aid process.

But while Samuels seemed excited by said suggestions and improvements offered by Collie, he also stressed that financial aid at PSU doesn’t report to him any more. Since August, financial aid has been reporting the Office of Finance and Administration currently overseen by Cathy Dyck, the interim vice president for the office.

Ultimately, Collie’s former boss expressed a sense of nostalgia towards his former employee.

"He was a committed professional," Samuels said. "His vision, thoughtfulness, and concern for students will be greatly missed."