Regency Professor Emeritus William Monat served the College as Chair of the Department of Political Science from 1969 to 1971 before becoming Vice President for Academic Affairs (1976-78), President of the University (1978-84), and Chancellor of the Regency System (1984-86), of which NIU was then a part.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences enjoyed strong development during his time in administrative office. It launched three Ph.D. programs and many other academic initiatives, including the Department of Computer Science and the Social Science Research Institute. Bill also expanded facilities available to the College; the former Rice Hotel (now named the William Monat Building) and the Hoffman Estates Education Center were acquired through his personal efforts.
Throughout his administrative assignments, Bill remained a committed teacher, serving on student advisory committees and offering at least once course each year. From 1983-84 and again from 1987-97, he taught an interdisciplinary upper-division course in American public policy in the University’s undergraduate Honors Program. The course drew students from departments other than Political Science in the College, and from other colleges. Even while living and working as Chancellor in Springfield, he returned to DeKalb each week during the fall semesters to teach government finance administration in the College’s M.P.A. curriculum.
Bill also regularly served on doctoral dissertation committees and was routinely engaged in developing and disseminating new ideas. While an administrator, he authored a monograph on “The Executive Article of the 1970 Illinois Constitution” for the Illinois Commission on Intergovernmental Cooperation (1987), published chapters in two books and two articles in refereed journals, and co-authored the Report of the Permanent Panel on Illinois State Government Reorganization in 1977. At the University’s request, he also researched and wrote The Achieving Institution: A Presidential Perspective on Northern Illinois University, a book published by the Northern Illinois University Press in 2001.
His record of accomplishment at NIU is augmented by his many public-service contributions at the national, state, and community levels. Directorships in the DeKalb-Sycamore area have included the DeKalb Country Voluntary Action Center, the Ben Gordon Community Mental Health Center, the Ben Gordon Center Foundation, and the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra.