Doin Edwin Hicks, a retired Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center and Gallaudet University administrator, passed away on June 9. He was 90 years old. 

Dr. Hicks, already a seasoned administrator, was selected in 1970 as the founding director of the Model Secondary School for the Deaf. While in this role, he managed the implementation of Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. During his 21 years of service to Gallaudet University, he was also Vice President for Research and Vice President for Institutional Research and Planning. He was a tenured full professor in the Department of Educational Administration and Supervision, where he taught a course each semester and directed doctoral student research.  

Doin Edwin Hicks was born on November 11, 1932, and grew up on a small dairy and truck farm in Wasola, a rural municipality in southern Missouri. He attended local public schools, then Arkansas College (now Lyon College) in Batesville, Arkansas. Upon graduation, he was awarded a Ford Foundation fellowship to study education of the deaf and followed that with graduate work in secondary education at the University of Arkansas.  

His professional career began as a classroom teacher and football coach at the Missouri School for the Deaf. After six years as a classroom teacher, he served for four years as principal at the Arkansas School for the Deaf. He then received a two-year fellowship from the Southern Education Foundation for graduate study culminating in the receipt of a doctorate in education, like his master’s degree from the University of Arkansas. 

After receiving his doctorate, Dr. Hicks became director of the Pilot School for the Deaf in Dallas, Texas. The school was a division of the Callier Hearing and Speech Center. During his tenure there, he also directed a major federal grant program for regional services to deafblind children as well as a grant from Captioned Films for the Deaf, a then-new program under the United States Department of Education, to individualize instruction through various strategies, including creative ways to use visual media.  

Following his retirement from Gallaudet, Dr. Hicks maintained a modest private, non-incorporated consulting business for the next 12 years working primarily with state education departments conducting school and program evaluations and workshops for administrators in planning and decision-making processes. He also assisted private, nonprofit professional associations with standards of professional practice and certification programs.  

Public service throughout Dr. Hicks’ career was largely that of volunteer work with professional associations in the field of education of the deaf. He served on numerous boards, committees, and task forces and was the president of two national associations. He also chaired for many years the Committee on Professional Preparation and Certification of the Council on Education of the Deaf, supervising teacher certifications and the evaluation of participating collegiate teacher preparation programs. 

Dr. Hicks’ publications include referred journal articles on a variety of topics, including administration, public policy, and professional practice. He also authored and served as editor on a number of book chapters and monograph reports and the Gallaudet-sponsored journal Directions. He presented more than 100 papers at conventions, seminars, and workshops, including at a number of national and international conferences.  

His awards include numerous commendations, an honorary doctorate, a distinguished alumnus award, and designation by the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees as Professor Emerit. 

Dr. Hicks was predeceased in 2004 by his wife, Wanda McClung Hicks, whom he met during college. Wanda was a specialist in the education of deaf and deafblind persons and a collaborator both in family and professional activities, having shared authorship of publications and made joint presentations with him to families of deaf and deafblind students, both in the United States and abroad. 

According to his daughter, Janet Elaine Vance, G-’81, retired executive director of the Office of Human Resources, Dr. Hicks was an avid gardener, chef, woodworker, golfer, and fisherman. He always said that the closeness, love, and security of family was the most important thing in his life. “There is sadness for the loss of elders, but the joy of marriages and births of beautiful children gives us the knowledge that life goes on, even among the ups and downs of the world around us.” 

In addition to his daughter, Dr. Hicks is survived by his son-in-law Robert Vance; grandson, Alexander Vance; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. He will be interred later this year beside his wife in Sheridan, Arkansas. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Clyde and Delpha Beasley Hicks Endowed Scholarship at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas.

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