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Contact: Joe King, Office of Public Affairs
March 23, 2006
DeKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees today set the stage for a new era at the NIU College of Business, approving the appointment of Denise Schoenbachler as the next dean of the college.
“We are extremely fortunate to have an individual like Dr. Schoenbachler to lead the college,” said Barbara Giorgi Vella, chair of the NIU Board of Trustees. “Her energy, her enthusiasm and her commitment to scholarship will serve the college well.”
Schoenbachler, who is currently chair of the NIU Department of Marketing, has served on the faculty of the college since 1992, building a reputation for innovation and determination.
“Throughout her career here at NIU, Dr. Schoenbachler has emerged as one of the most creative and dynamic leaders at the university, with a talent for building relationships with colleagues, with alumni and with business leaders,” said NIU President John Peters. “We are excited at the prospect of what will result when she applies those same skills and traits to the leadership of the entire college.”
For her part, Schoenbachler is simultaneously humbled and thrilled to be named dean.
“There is so much energy in the college, so much potential,” she said. “We have an incredible faculty, hardworking students, terrific staff and wonderful facilities. I am honored and excited to have this opportunity.”
Forging a new identity for the college will be among her top priorities, Schoenbachler said. Exactly what that identity will be has yet to be determined.
“Right now, the college has some strong programs with national reputations – such as accountancy and sales. I’d like to take things a step further, find a broader area of study in which the college as a whole can develop a reputation as a center of excellence.”
To identify that niche, Schoenbachler plans to immerse herself in discussions with faculty over the coming months. “Whatever we pursue, it will need to be something the entire college can be excited about and support," she said. “Our faculty has always welcomed innovation and flexibility, and I think once we identify the direction we want to go, they will embrace that goal and make it happen.”
Another top priority will be fundraising.
“To reach the level we aspire to requires financial stability and independence, so finding private support is a must,” she says. “Our programs are well regarded and worthy of support, and I believe our relationships with our alumni and the Chicago business community have matured to the point where building an endowment for the college is a realistic goal.”
Schoenbachler’s appointment as dean caps a distinguished academic career, one spent almost entirely at NIU. She arrived on campus as an assistant professor of marketing in 1992 and began building a reputation as an outstanding teacher (she earned the department’s Excellence in Teaching Award for six straight years) and a prolific researcher with numerous “Best Paper” awards to her credit.
After being named chair of the Marketing Department in 2002, she rallied the faculty into one of the most dynamic units within the college and increased funding for student scholarships by 100 percent. She also helped create two funded professorships and secured the college’s first endowed scholarship in marketing. Schoenbachler also gained a reputation for building partnerships, developing joint programs with a number of other departments across campus. It was also under her direction that the department launched its successful “NIU Apprentice” class, which drew international attention.
A resident of Monroe Center, Schoenbachler, 44, and her husband, John, are the parents of two children: Brett, who graduated from the NIU College of Business last year, and a daughter, Emily, who plans to attend NIU starting next year.