University News

Huidekoper to step down as U.’s top finance administrator

Announcement comes after 12 years of leading efforts to grow endowment

By
University News Editor
Friday, August 22, 2014

Beppie Huidekoper, executive vice president for finance and administration, will retire in February after more than 12 years in the position, President Christina Paxson announced in a campus-wide email Wednesday.

Huidekoper came to Brown in October 2002 after serving as Harvard’s vice president for finance. Among senior administrators, Huidekoper’s tenure is second only to that of General Counsel Beverly Ledbetter, who has been at Brown since 1978.

Huidekoper’s departure comes as the University prepares to embark on a new capital campaign under Paxson, which will launch within the next 15 months.

Huidekoper told The Herald it feels like the right time to retire now that Paxson’s strategic plan has been laid out, the presidential transition is complete and a new provost is entering Brown. She said she is honored to have served at Brown but is ready for a change after 32 years in higher education.

Huidekoper oversaw the University’s finances and operations during the implementation of the Plan for Academic Enrichment — a time of significant growth for Brown — and during the 2008 financial crisis, when the University’s endowment lost about a third of its value, Paxson wrote. The endowment, which was $2.7 billion last February, when the University most recently reported its size, has nearly returned to its pre-recession height of $2.8 billion.

Paxson said Huidekoper was “instrumental” in crafting the University’s response to these economic challenges and praised her “sound financial stewardship” throughout her tenure, including managing the budget amid falling federal funding for higher education. Recent budgets have repeatedly included record highs for both undergraduate tuition costs and financial aid expenditures.

“There have been lots of challenges, and I think that’s what made it interesting and compelling and rewarding,” Huidekoper said.

Paxson also credited Huidekoper with bringing a different approach to Brown’s real estate ventures, which facilitated the University’s expansion in the Jewelry District.

Huidekoper received criticism this summer for the University’s decision to outsource mail operations to Ricoh USA, resulting in all but two Mail Services workers being laid off. More than 900 students signed an online petition for the University to retain Mail Services employees, and a few dozen people staged a protest on campus in July.

During her time at Brown, Huidekoper also helped attract a host of new administrators, including last year’s additions of Chief Investment Officer Joseph Dowling and Ravi Pendse, chief information officer and vice president for computing and information services, Paxson wrote.

Plans to find Huidekoper’s successor will take shape over the next few weeks, Paxson wrote.

3 Comments

  1. Koresh Dahm says:

    Strategic plan is laid out? Beppie, you should not need to flatter Chris, now that you have announced your retirement. There is no strategic plan. Chris could not tell one if it hit her in the nose. Her plan is to BROWNnose Brown alums and students, and hope for the best.

  2. Is Beppie related to Pippi Longstocking?

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