Sage Search Partners Fills Posts for Tulane and UCLA

June 19, 2020 – Newton, MA-based Sage Search Partners, which specializes in higher education and non-profit institutions, has made two key placements that will help their clients address equity issues as well as the financial constraints of students, which is of particular concern during the current economic crisis as well as the Black Lives Matter movement.

Marvin Smith will join UCLA’s Division of Enrollment Management as executive director for financial aid and scholarships. And Paula Booke becomes director for the Center for Academic Equity (CAE) at Newcomb-Tulane College (NTC).

Paula Hurley Fazli, co-founder and managing partner of Sage Search Partners, spearheaded both assignments.

Mr. Smith, who starts his new role on Aug. 3, brings 30 years of financial aid and administrative experience to UCLA. He currently serves as executive director of student financial services at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), a leading urban research university where students can earn degrees from either Indiana or Purdue.

Mr. Smith is finishing a term on the board of directors of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and is the immediate past president of the Midwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. He is also national chair of the Coalition of University Student Aid Administrators, the association of financial aid directors at large public colleges across the country. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue University.

A National Search

“Mr. Smith shares our values and commitment to providing access, equity and support for highly qualified students from all communities,” said Youlonda Copeland Morgan, vice provost of enrollment management at UCLA. “After an extensive national search, I am excited that Mr. Smith is bringing his expertise to UCLA.”

Mr. Smith will help lead efforts to support UCLA’s enrollment management goals by strategically deploying financial aid resources to increase access, equity and student success, said UCLA. He will be responsible for strategic oversight of FAS policies and procedures and will manage an annual campus-wide financial aid budget of $1 billion. He will also be expected to develop multi-year strategic financial aid plans for the department and specialty schools and will have fiduciary responsibility for ensuring UCLA’s regulatory and financial aid compliance.

“I have been so impressed by a unifying “Bruin spirit” of optimism and excellence,” said Mr. Smith. “I look forward to helping UCLA transform lives and generations through higher education access and success.”

Dr. Booke, meanwhile, is associate director of the Center for Academic Equity and director of the Newcomb-Tulane Summer Experience at Tulane University. She will begin her new responsibilities on July 1. The Center for Academic Equity supports undergraduate students of color, first generation and LGBTQ students at Tulane.

A Deep Commitment

“We are so pleased that Paula will be the first-ever full-time director of the Center for Academic Equity. The creation of this position demonstrates the deep commitment by Tulane’s leadership to CAE and the students it serves, and Paula is ideally suited to lead CAE in this new role,” said NTC dean Lee Skinner.

Dr. Booke created the Proud TU Be First First-Generation College Initiative, summer fellowships and grants program, Equity Thursdays, the scholarship search program and numerous other initiatives and programming for students of color, first-generation scholars, LGBTQ+ identifying students, and DACA- and undocumented students.

Related: Recruitment for Higher Education Leaders Heats Up and Shifts

Dr. Booke received her doctorate in political science from the University of Chicago. Her research traverses the politics of racial and religious identity in American life, pedagogy and the impact of equity and inclusion practices on the undergraduate student experience. Dr. Booke’s current research explores the role of institutional identity affirmation in undergraduate student academic outlook and achievement.

Respected Recruiters

“This knowledge and experience have prepared Paula to jump right into her new position at the CAE,” said the college. “She realizes the effects the pandemic has had on the lives and academic journeys of our students and wants to ensure the center continues to support them during this challenging time and throughout their time at Tulane. She is also ready to expand access to the extensive academic opportunities available within the Tulane community, serving as a gateway to what is possible for all students.”

Sage Search Partners is a national executive search firm which helps mission-driven organizations succeed through the recruitment and development of talent for a wide range of leadership positions. The firm’s clients have included: Harvard University, MIT, Stanford University, Wellesley College, University of Chicago, and many others.

Ms. Fazli co-founded and has co-led Sage Search Partners since 1999, following six years as vice president of a boutique executive search firm. She has partnered with hundreds of higher education institutions, not-for-profit organizations, and foundations to recruit exceptional individuals for a range of leadership positions in academic affairs, student affairs, enrollment management, administration and finance, human resources, research administration, and institutional planning. Ms. Fazli has extensive experience collaborating with search committees and decision-makers at the highest level and helping her institutional clients to navigate leadership transitions.

Related: Academic Sector Pumping Big Fees Into Search Firms

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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