David R. Beam
M.A. Political Science, 1967
Ph.D. Political Science, 1976
A nationally recognized scholar in the study of intergovernmental relations and organizational structures in American government, Dr. David Beam has been a consistent example of excellence for graduates of the Department of Political Science and the college.
Dr. Beam earned both his M.A. and Ph.D. from NIU, and was one of the earliest students in the political science doctoral program. While at the university, he impressed his colleagues and professors with a dissertation that used new quantitative research methods as a framework for studying the origins and applications of structural and organizational patterns in local governments.
In 1969, Dr. Beam was appointed the first research staff member of the newly formed Center for Governmental Studies at NIU. During his time with the center, he was, as a long-term colleague noted, “instrumental in producing the research reports needed to fulfill the center’s first, funded research projects.” He also helped establish the state’s first fellowship program designed to assist minority students undertaking full-time graduate studies.
During a tumultuous time of political change in the United States, Dr. Beam was an insightful commentator to both scholarly and professional groups in government and public affairs who were grappling with the evolution of the nation’s intergovernmental systems. By combining his degrees’ emphases in American government and public administration, Dr. Beam further distinguished himself as a key staff member of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.
Starting in 1987, Dr. Beam served as the director of the graduate program in public administration at the Stuart School of Business Administration at the Illinois Institute of Technology; and he continued to serve until his retirement in 2003. As a scholarly writer, Dr. Beam has published 11 books and major reports, and authored over 45 scholarly articles. For his many contributions to the field, Dr. Beam has been honored with many awards, including the prestigious Daniel J. Elazar Distinguished Federalism Scholar Award and the Donald A. Stone Award for Distinguished Scholarship on Intergovernmental Relations. His career is a sterling example of graduates of the College of Liberal Arts and Science’s programs who make significant contributions at both the national and global level.