John G. Peters assumed the presidency of Northern Illinois University on June 1, 2000. He is NIU's eleventh chief executive officer, and oversees a comprehensive university with seven colleges and nearly 25,000 students engaged in 120 areas of study.
A native of Strongsville, Ohio, Dr. Peters earned his bachelor's degree in political science at Cleveland's John Carroll University, and a master's in government from Ohio University in Athens. In 1974, he received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Prior to assuming the NIU presidency, Dr. Peters was provost and chief operating officer at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. His distinguished academic career also includes twenty years in teaching and administrative roles at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he earned numerous awards for work in and out of the classroom.
Since assuming the presidency at NIU, Dr. Peters has brought new recognition and expanded resources to the university. Under his guidance, NIU was admitted to the nation's most prestigious public university association, the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) â€” an honor reserved for the top five percent of universities nationwide. Under his watch, NIU ascended to the highest possible Carnegie ranking for research universities, and gained admittance to the elite Universities Research Association. In his first months at the helm, Dr. Peters also secured a $20 million private gift to build a new College of Business, and obtained the university's largest-ever federal grant—$4.2 million for particle accelerator research in NIU's Physics department.
A political scientist by training, Dr. Peters specializes in studies of public policy and Congress. He has published widely, including articles in the Journal of Policy Studies, American Politics Quarterly, American Political Science Review, and Legislative Studies Quarterly, and has co-edited two books on American politics. He is a Fellow of the Center for Great Plains Studies and has served as the associate editor of the Great Plains Quarterly.
Dr. Peters and his wife, Barbara Cole Peters, have a son, Russell, who lives and works in Knoxville, Tennessee.