Elizabeth M. "Betsy" Hicks will join MIT June 19 as director of Student Financial Services. Ms. Hicks has been deputy director of executive programs for planning and program development at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government since 1998.
At MIT, Student Financial Services combines the former Bursar's Office and the former Office of Financial Aid into a new, comprehensive Office of Student Financial Services in the Student Services Center, which serves as a common point of entry for students needing assistance with loans, accounts, financial aid or registrarial transactions.
"We conducted an intensive national search for the new director of Student Financial Services, and Elizabeth Hicks was the strong and unanimous choice of the search committee," said Rosalind H. Williams, dean of students and undergraduate education and head of the search committee. "In the words of one SFS staff member, 'she will be a feather in our cap.'
"Betsy has a national reputation in student financial assistance, most notably from her service as deputy assistant secretary for student financial assistance programs with the US Department of Education from 1995-98. She guided those programs through an extraordinarily difficult era of internal and external changes, emerging with a reputation for strong, fair leadership. No prior political appointee served in this position longer than six months."
As deputy assistant secretary, Ms. Hicks oversaw a staff of 1,200 in Washington, DC and 10 regional offices with a budget of $600 million in fiscal 1998. The federal program delivers 75 percent of total student financial aid from all sources and has regulatory oversight of 15,000 institutions, including colleges, universities, banks and secondary markets.
Ms. Hicks was at Harvard from 1984-95 as coordinator of financial aid and assistant dean of admissions and financial aid. She has an MA in French from Colgate University and a BA in French from the University of Detroit.
"Betsy's service in financial aid at Harvard earned her high praise for her management skills, understanding of financial aid principles, and ability to build collaborative relationships across the entire university. The search committee felt that in her principles and personality, Betsy truly belongs at MIT. We are delighted that she agrees and will be joining us soon," Dean Williams said.
Ms. Hicks's predecessor, Carolyn Bunker, has accepted a position at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Woods Hole, MA.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 7, 2000.