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IU Northwest News

Meet Michelle Dickerson


Getting to know IU Northwest’s new executive director of finance

Thursday Aug 25, 2016


The next time you’re mingling with colleagues at an Indiana University Northwest meeting or function and you spot Michelle Dickerson across the room, don’t be shy about introducing yourself for there is likely something you have in common with the new finance chief.

Named the Executive Director of Finance in July, Dickerson succeeds Marianne Milich, who retired this past summer.

Dickerson is great at crunching numbers, obviously, but she also loves chocolate, Caribbean vacations, jazz music, skiing and running 5Ks. She tags along with her husband, Ken, to national jazz concerts and White Sox games (to eat the hot dogs). She volunteers for a women’s shelter and Habitat for Humanity in Chicago and is active in her church and sorority. She enjoys visiting her sister and family in Texas and stopping by the universities, UT San Antonio and Sam Houston, to check on her college student nephews.

Born and raised in the Glen Park neighborhood of Gary and a graduate of Lew Wallace High School, Dickerson lives on the South Side of Chicago but still hangs out in Gary quite a lot while visiting her mom. In fact, now that she’s in Gary for work every day, Dickerson jokes that she’s going to gain a few pounds from working at IU Northwest because mom insists on preparing her favorite home-cooked meals.

Dickerson is well-qualified to manage all things fiscal at IU Northwest. With a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Purdue University and a master’s in business administration from Northwestern University, Dickerson has worked in finance leadership roles in both for-profit and non-profit environments.

She says she is happy to be working in higher education, an environment that favors helping beyond the university borders.“I’ve always enjoyed working in an environment that values giving back to community, and those who need assistance,” Dickerson said. “So I said that my next move would be in an organization that continued to give back and support my community. Working in Gary opens up an opportunity to give back in the very community I grew up in.”

In her role, Dickerson will oversee the Office of Fiscal Affairs, which is responsible for long-term financial and resource planning and analysis, budgetary development, establishing and analyzing financial policy, and providing financial services to campus constituents. She will also oversee the Office of Human Resources.

Over the next year, Dickerson said she will work towards implementing additional means of increasing efficiency, transparency and communication within the various schools and departments as it relates to fiscal operations. She also hopes to see her campus colleagues increase their level of participation when it comes to managing their departmental budgets.

Previously, Dickerson served in financial leadership positions at the Gateway Foundation in Chicago since 1997, first as Controller, and, most recently, as Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. Gateway Foundation is a national, not-for-profit healthcare organization, where she was involved in the full range of finance-related activities. Dickerson also worked in finance, budget and audit roles at Building Better Futures (BBF) Family Services, Canteen Corporation and McDonald’s Corporation.

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