St. Bonaventure University’s director of human resources has been named to an innovative institute that is tasked with developing policy solutions that will help surmount obstacles preventing students from enrolling in, paying for, and graduating from college.
Erik Seastedt, who joined the university community in 2016, is one of 50 individuals serving on the newly formed Higher Education Committee of 50 — or Forward50. The committee was formed by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) with grant funding provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Seastedt has 29 years of professional human resources experience, 14 of which are in higher education. As human resources director at St. Bonaventure, Seastedt applies the knowledge he obtained throughout his career to invigorate the human resources function at the university with a focus on advocacy, engagement, and accountability.
“For St. Bonaventure to have a seat at such an important table is impressive, and a tremendous reflection on not only Erik’s experience and skill set, but his desire to advocate for increasing college accessibility for students,” said Dr. Dennis DePerro, president of St. Bonaventure.
Seastedt has worked in the public higher education sector as well, including serving as the chief human resources officer for the University of Alaska system and holding positions in human resources management in Nevada and Wyoming. As the human resources director for a public school system, Seastedt worked to improve labor relations with seven unions. In his first human resources role, which was at a 1,000-employee non-profit organization serving individuals with disabilities, Seastedt helped improve communication within the company and evolve its brand-new human resources function.
“I’m humbled to be a part of this initiative and will work hard to bring the Bona perspective to the table,” said Seastedt.
Forward50 — composed of college presidents, members of governing boards, enrollment managers, admissions staff, financial aid and bursar leaders, students, and other forward-thinking leaders from all sectors of postsecondary institutions — will spend the next year examining policy areas related to access, affordability, accountability and transparency. The committee will produce four white papers that will include practical recommendations for members of Congress, and will be available to the broader policy community for review and comment in fall 2018.
“What all of these members have in common is the ability to think about how student aid can meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s students,” said NASFAA President Justin Draeger. “Change is never easy, but this forwarding-thinking group is up to the task. We look forward to seeing the creative, transformative solutions they produce, all with an eye toward student equity, success, accountability, and transparency.”
Members of the Forward50 hold memberships in more than 140 other higher education-related professional associations, with many serving in current or past leadership roles. Learn more about the Forward50 at http://forward-50.org/ and read about what motivated the 50 committee members to apply to take part in this initiative.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.
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