Northern Illinois University

Northern Today

Christopher McCord
Christopher McCord

Gary Burns
Gary Burns

Susan Mini
Susan Mini

Sue Doederlein
Sue Doederlein

 

New faces, administrative titles coming
to College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

April 21, 2008

by Tom Parisi

Several significant administrative changes will take effect this summer in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, following a reorganization by Dean Christopher McCord.

McCord announced his plan last fall and recently completed internal searches for administrative posts. “The reorganization will make us more responsive to the various missions of the college,” he said, adding that all changes will be effective July 1.

Liberal Arts and Sciences is the largest of NIU’s seven colleges with 17 departments, 385 faculty positions, more than 6,500 undergraduates and more than 1,200 graduate students.

Under the administrative reorganization:

  • Gary Burns, assistant chair in the Department of Communication, will become associate dean for academic administration. Burns will provide oversight of the college’s budget and personnel actions, playing a central role in ensuring the effective allocation of resources to fulfill the college’s mission. He also will lead efforts to promote faculty diversity.
  • Physics Chair Susan Mini has been named associate dean for research and graduate affairs. She will provide leadership in advancing the college’s research and graduate missions. Mini also will be responsible for the college’s management of space, facilities and technology, and she will take the lead on the development of data management and analysis.
  • Sue Doederlein, currently associate dean for advising, will transition to associate dean for undergraduate affairs. She will transfer direct responsibility for the advising office and the bachelor of general studies degree program but will retain oversight of both. Doederlein also will take primary responsibility for all issues involving undergraduate education, including curricular innovation, staffing and instructional effort, recruiting and enrollment management and teacher certification programs. 

“The new configuration will allow us to better focus on fundamental curricular issues,” McCord said. “The changes also will give more visibility to the college’s research and graduate missions, and they will help us approach our decision-making in an informed, data-driven manner.”

Additionally the college will see four new department chair assignments: Colin Booth will succeed Jonathan Berg as geology chair; Beatrix Hoffman will succeed Kenton Clymer as history chair; Greg Waas will succeed Chuck Miller as psychology chair; and Bill Minor will succeed Kay Forest as sociology chair.

Minor will return to sociology after serving as associate dean for curriculum and space, a post being reconfigured in the new administrative changes. Carla Montgomery and Bob Self, who came back from retirement to share administrative responsibilities in the college on a part-time basis, will return to retirement.

“I’d like to take the opportunity to offer my thanks for the efforts and accomplishments of Bill Minor, Carla Montgomery and Bob Self as associate deans,” said McCord, who became dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in July. “They have all done important work on behalf of the university, and they have all made my transition into the dean’s office much smoother.

“I’d also like to congratulate those taking on new roles and thank all of those who are stepping down from positions, including Jonathan Berg, Kenton Clymer, Chuck Miller and Kay Forest. Their contributions have made a difference to the college and university, and we greatly appreciate their service and leadership.”