There are many ways to serve the university that impact faculty, students, curriculum, and governance. Professor Rodney Angotti’s extraordinary career at NIU reflects the wide range of influence one person can have in all of these areas – as a professor of mathematics, a critical figure in the re-formation of the Department of Mathematics in the late 60s, a College administrator for over a decade, and, prior to his retirement, Chair of the Department of Computer Science for over 20 years.
Throughout his academic career, Rod embodied the best values this college represents: intellectual clarity, commitment to principle, compassion for people, and a passionate desire to do things well.
As Assistant Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for 12 years, Rod provided insightful, energetic, and committed leadership to the College and its students at a turbulent time of student unrest and rapidly expanding curricular initiatives. He led the development of a well-organized, highly responsive and cost-effective student advising office. He also led the development of both the contract major and the Bachelor of General Studies degree and was a strong advocate for the Communication Skills program in its early days.
When the fledgling Department of Computer Science needed direction and stable leadership in 1983, the College again turned to Rod whose consummate organizational skills helped to harness the tremendous demand for Computer Science course work. He worked tirelessly to design programs and develop academic policies that enabled students to complete their majors in a timely fashion while adhering to high quality standards. Among his passions was an interest in showing students how to select course work outside of their primary program to enhance and enrich their baccalaureate degree. Nearly all of the interdisciplinary minors that exist in this College today bear the Angotti stamp.
Rod served as the College standard bearer for many students, alumni, colleagues and business associates into the 21st century. He was creative, tireless, and principled in all he did, and was instrumental in advancing the College to its present stature.