Members of the Brown Community,
I write to share news that Beppie Huidekoper, executive vice president for finance and administration, has informed me of her plans to retire in early February 2015. Beppie has been an exceedingly valuable member of the senior administration, and while I know this is a well-deserved next step, I join with countless others across campus in stating, simply, that we will miss her. In the coming weeks, I will announce plans for identifying Beppie’s successor.
Beppie joined the Brown community in October 2002. During her twelve years of service, she has provided steadfast leadership in a range of areas that are essential to the University’s operation. She has been responsible for overseeing the University’s budget and financial planning, human resources, facilities, internal audit, labor relations, insurance and risk, investments, and all business operations. Beppie has served in this important role at a critical juncture in Brown’s history, with the University’s ever increasing academic ambitions, and during tumultuous economic periods. She has done this with warmth, humor and exceptional skill.
The University’s success in recent years would not have been possible without sound financial stewardship. During the last decade, Beppie worked with the senior administration and Corporation to develop and implement financial and capital plans to support the goals of the Plan for Academic Enrichment, increasing the size of the faculty, moving to need-blind admission, and providing the facilities necessary to advance the University’s mission. When the global financial crisis occurred in 2008, reducing Brown’s endowment by approximately one-third, Beppie was instrumental in developing and implementing a phased approach to enable Brown to adapt in thoughtful and sustainable ways.
Beppie has worked to attract other valuable leadership to Brown, including Karen Davis, vice president for human resources; Joseph Dowling III, vice president and chief investment officer; Ravi Pendse, vice president for computing and chief information officer; Steve Maiorisi, vice president for facilities management; and John Luipold, assistant vice president for real estate, among others. She has also been determined in instituting systems to ensure efficient and effective administration. For example, she sponsored and helped implement the Banner student information system and the Workday integrated administrative system. She also established a risk management network to focus University leadership on identifying and addressing enterprise risks.
The evolution of Brown’s campus would not have been possible without stable funding models. Under Beppie’s leadership, the University has invested more than $1.3 billion in strengthening classroom, research and campus life facilities, as well as upgrading technology and transportation infrastructure. She also helped re-orient Brown’s approach to real estate, leading to strategic growth in Providence’s Jewelry District, and making it possible for Brown to acquire and renovate facilities that now house the Laboratories for Molecular Medicine, School of Public Health, Alpert Medical School, and the School of Professional Studies.
Among Beppie’s enduring achievements has been her commitment to the people of our community, particularly Brown’s staff. Beppie leads the Administrative Leadership Group, and she was instrumental in creating the annual Brown Employee Appreciation and Recognition (BEAR) day to honor staff members for their service and contributions.
We will have many occasions to celebrate with Beppie prior to her February departure. Until then, please join me in thanking Beppie for her inspiring service and dedication to Brown.