Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs


News Release

Contact: Tom Parisi, NIU Office of Public Affairs
(815) 753-3635

June 5, 2003

NIU sets sights on administrator
who aims to expand university research mission

DeKalb, Ill.--Northern Illinois University appears to have landed its top candidate--an accomplished scholar, award-winning teacher and experienced administrator--to head up the Graduate School and shape the university's research mission for years to come.

The Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Personnel Committee of the NIU Board of Trustees today recommended approval of the appointment of Rathindra N. Bose as Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, effective July 1. The chemistry professor currently holds the identical title at Kent State University in Ohio.

The full NIU Board of Trustees is expected to confirm the appointment at its June 19 meeting.

Bose will be responsible for maintaining NIU's high standard of graduate studies and for providing leadership in expanding faculty research and scholarly activities. He plans to hit the ground running and already has a list of ambitious goals. Among them: doubling the amount of external funding that the university attracts for research, to $100 million within five years.

"I think it's doable," Bose said. "I want to enhance the existing graduate programs and expand doctoral programs in a couple of areas, mostly interdisciplinary. Achieving these goals will require increased funding, and I intend to work with faculty, the president, the provost and the NIU Foundation to attract more government grants, industrial support, private donations, endowed assistantships and endowed faculty positions."

NIU President John Peters said Bose has a proven record of accomplishment. "We're fortunate to be gaining an individual of Dr. Bose's caliber, reputation and experience," Peters said. "Dr. Bose has an outstanding background and record of scientific achievement in the field of chemistry. He is an experienced administrator, having helped faculty attract and develop external funding for their research. And he will be an excellent addition to NIU as we attempt to expand our research mission."

Bose holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Georgetown University and master's and bachelor's degrees from Rajshahi University in Bangladesh. At Kent State, he has worn a variety of hats during the past 16 years. As a chemistry professor, he won numerous Kent State honors for teaching, including the Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award and a nomination for the Carnegie Professor of the Year Award. He served as chair of the chemistry department for five years before being appointed dean of graduate studies. Earlier this year at Kent State, he was awarded the university's top award for research scholarship.

His primary research interest and activities include the identification of key genes in response to effective cancer chemotherapeutic treatments, mechanisms of heavy metal induced carcinogenesis, elucidation of structures and functions of metallo-proteins. He has secured more than $2.5 million in research grants from such agencies as the National Institutes of Health, the Ohio Board of Regents and the U.S. Department of Education. He also has published extensively in refereed journals and has presented numerous invited speeches worldwide.

Bose replaces Jerrold Zar, who retired last year from his post as Vice Provost for Research and Graduate School Dean. The new title of "vice president for research" is meant to emphasize the university's growing research profile and commitment to graduate studies. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies NIU in its top category for research universities. Only about 4 percent of U.S. universities hold that distinction.

"We wanted to attract the best candidates for this post, and we did," NIU Provost Ivan Legg said. "We are hiring our top choice.

"Dr. Bose was the most well-rounded candidate," Legg added. "He is a successful researcher who has worked with business and industry. He has extensive experience as a faculty member and department chair. We also liked the fact that he is working in a similar role at Kent State, where he has been very effective in promoting interdisciplinary research. That's important because the challenges facing our world today require research across disciplines."

Bose said he was impressed with the NIU community during his campus visits. "It will be a privilege to work with the high quality faculty of Northern Illinois University," he said, adding that the university is well positioned to grow in reputation and scholarship.

"With its engineering and law schools, NIU is a more complete university than Kent State," he said. "I feel fortunate to have an opportunity to work with NIU's visionary and dynamic leadership."

Increasing government funding will require staying abreast of affairs in the nation's capital, Bose added. "I look forward to collaborating with faculty on how to attract more research dollars. I can tell them where I failed and where I was successful. I do talk to representatives of funding agencies regularly and visit them in Washington, D.C. If we know what's happening in Washington and identify areas where funding agencies will be focusing two or three years down the road, then we can help faculty take advantage of those initiatives."

Bose also aims to bolster the transfer of technology from NIU research laboratories to the marketplace. Kent State spun off 11 companies in the last seven years. "I've worked with companies on licensing and patenting of Kent State technologies, and I'm excited about the opportunities at NIU, with its proximity to Chicago and the high tech corridor."

Bose intends to continue pursuing his own research interests--but only after workday hours. "My first priority is to serve the university as a research officer and as a dean," he said.

His wife, Anima, will join him in DeKalb later this summer. They have two grown children. Their daughter, Seuli, is in her first year of medical school at Wright State University, and their son, Sanjeeb, will be a freshman next fall at California Institute of Technology.

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