Northern Illinois University

Northern Today

Earl 'Gip' Seaver
Earl “Gip” Seaver

Brian O. Hemphill
Brian O. Hemphill


Reorganization focuses on student
recruitment and success

June 29, 2009

NIU officials have announced a reorganization aimed at improving student success from enrollment through graduation.

Effective July 1, a new unit called the Office of Student Academic Success will provide what Provost Ray Alden calls a “one-stop shop” for coordination of all services that support student academic progress, including early alert programs, mid-semester grade checks, special initiatives for building student leadership and financial literacy programs. Student Academic Success will be part of NIU’s umbrella Academic Advising Center.

Vice Provost Earl “Gip” Seaver will head the new initiative.

Seaver joined the Provost’s Office in 2003 following an impressive career as professor of speech-language pathology, including 11 years as director of NIU’s Speech and Hearing Clinic and 13 years as chair of the Department of Communicative Disorders. Since joining the Provost’s staff, Seaver has been in charge of undergraduate academic affairs, a role he will retain in the new organizational structure.

Vice President Brian O. Hemphill also receives new duties in the reorganization as he takes on responsibility for enrollment management.

As vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Hemphill will assume responsibility for the offices of Admissions, Student Financial Aid, the Scholarship Office and Enrollment Operations beginning July 1. Hemphill will continue to manage Student Affairs as he integrates the enrollment function into a more holistic program of student support services.

Hemphill joined NIU in 2004 after serving as associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students at the University of Arkansas, and associate dean of students at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. In addition to his administrative role at NIU, Hemphill is an associate professor of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education in the College of Education. His experience at Northern includes providing services that enable students to successfully transition to college life and participate in learning experiences beyond the classroom.

“NIU has long enjoyed a reputation for providing an outstanding experience for students, both inside and outside the classroom,” Provost Ray Alden explained. “With these changes, we are realigning our efforts to bring a more holistic approach to student recruitment, enrollment, support and success. We want to attract students who are interested in developing an integrated skill set from a wide range of academic and campus life experiences. The well-rounded graduate is what employers are looking for, and we want to nurture and expand the experience that creates those graduates.” 

NIU President John Peters said the reorganization supports priorities laid out in the university’s new strategic plan.

“This is a welcome focus on student success beginning at the very earliest point of contact with prospective students and carrying through to their graduation from NIU,” Peters said. “I’m pleased that the enrollment management function will now be represented on my cabinet, and that once we enroll those students we can provide a much more coordinated approach to ensuring their academic success.”