Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs



Kathryn Buettner
Kathryn Buettner



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News Release

Contact: NIU Office of Public Affairs
(815) 753-1681

August 20, 2009

Kathryn Buettner named
NIU’s vice president for university relations

DeKalb, Ill. — Kathryn (Swanson) Buettner has been named Northern Illinois University’s new vice president for university relations in an announcement made today by President John Peters.

Buettner, who currently serves as vice president of external affairs at NIU, has been tapped by Peters to lead a newly consolidated university relations division that includes external affairs, board of trustee operations, public affairs, publications and media services. This reorganization of NIU’s communications departments within a single division of university relations takes effect immediately.

“In an era of declining state resources, NIU must rethink its communications strategies,” Peters stated. “Until now, NIU’s three primary communications departments (public affairs, publications and media services) have been located in three different university divisions.

“Kathy Buettner understands the changing world in which the university must operate and will do an outstanding job in bringing these three departments together to work in conjunction with campus representatives to develop a clear, concise, university message,” Peters stated. 

Buettner was hired by NIU in 1995 to develop a government relations program at the state level. As the university’s chief representative to state government, she helped convince the General Assembly to pass several major higher education legislative initiatives, including a law that now permits public universities to retain tuition revenues locally. Buettner also developed a federal relations office at NIU and works closely with the Illinois congressional delegation. Through her work with the congressional delegation and staff, NIU has received substantial federal support for key research endeavors. 

Buettner continues to serve as staff liaison to the Legislative, Audit & External Affairs Committee of the NIU Board of Trustees. In 2006, at the request of NIU’s president, she assumed responsibility for operating support of the university’s board of trustees.

Buettner is a graduate of Wheaton College (Ill.) and holds a master’s degree in public administration from NIU. She served as adjunct faculty in the NIU graduate public administration program and spent a number of years in senior positions in Illinois government before joining NIU.

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