James Erman has agreed to continue in the post of interim vice president for research and graduate studies at NIU through fiscal year 2010, pending University Council approval.
Erman, a distinguished research professor and former chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was appointed earlier this year to fill the vacancy left by Rathindra Bose, who moved on to Ohio University. Originally the appointment was to last one year.
The vice president for research represents the university as the chief research officer on campus, a cabinet member and advocate for research and graduate-level studies.
“We’re extremely fortunate to have someone as talented and experienced as Jim Erman in this role,” said NIU Provost Raymond Alden III. “This is an important post on campus, and Jim’s willingness to assist us at this time assures a smooth transition.”
Because of budgetary considerations, the launch of an official search for Erman’s successor has been delayed, Alden added. The state just recently asked the university to “hold back” or reserve 2.5 percent of the general revenue budget for the current fiscal year.
“With the mid-year budget reduction, it wouldn’t be cost-efficient to launch the search right now, especially when the office is already in very capable hands,” Alden said. “The search committee will be using the spring semester as an opportunity to prepare recruitment materials for the position, so that we can begin the search early in the 2009-2010 academic year.”
Erman has nearly 40 years of distinguished service to NIU, including eight years as chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He retired in 2006 but maintained an active research program prior to accepting the interim administrative post this past summer.
“Northern has been a good home for me,” Erman said. “I’ve been here since 1970, and I always have tried to do what I can to help move the institution forward.
“Our main priorities will be to try to facilitate strategic planning and the development of multidisciplinary research centers here at the university,” he added.
Bradley Bond will continue as acting dean of the Graduate School. Bond’s appointment this past summer also filled a void left by the departure of Bose, who had dual responsibilities as Graduate School dean and vice president for research.