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Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

Lisa Freeman

Lisa C. Freeman was appointed Executive Vice President and Provost in May 2014. She has focused her academic career on bringing people and resources together to solve complex problems. In July 2010, Freeman joined Northern Illinois University (NIU) as the Vice President for Research and Graduate studies, and a Professor of Biology. The Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies is the senior academic officer for research, artistry, and graduate programming. In 2011, she was appointed to the Illinois Innovation Council, a diverse group of leaders convened by Governor Quinn to improve support for innovation and align public and private resources. Since joining NIU, Freeman has also been invited to serve on the boards of directors of the Fermi Research Alliance, the Chicago Council on Science and Technology, and the Illinois Manufacturing Extension Partnership, as well as on the executive committees of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities Council on Research Policy and Graduate Education and the American Council on Education Council of Fellows.

Freeman earned a bachelor's degree in 1981 and a master's degree and a doctor of veterinary medicine in 1986 from Cornell University. She went on to earn a doctoral degree in pharmacology at The Ohio State University in 1989. Prior to joining the faculty of K-State University in 1994, Freeman worked as a postdoctoral fellow and research scientist at the University of Rochester, School of Medicine. In 2004-05, Freeman was a Fellow of the American Council on Education hosted by the University at Buffalo.



The Executive Vice President and Provost is the second highest university official and responsible for a wide array of responsibilities.  The Provost functions as the Chief Academic Officer and leads the Division of Academic Affairs, which includes all of the academic colleges, the university libraries, the graduate school, academic support services, undergraduate affairs, faculty affairs, resource planning, and academic planning and development.  The Division of International Affairs also reports to the Provost as it is a catalyst in supporting NIU’s international students, as well as our study abroad programs, and international university partnerships.

The Executive Vice President functions as the head of Human Resource Services, Affirmative Action and Equity Compliance, Institutional Research, and works in partnership with the President and Vice President of Administration and Finance on all matters related to university budgets and decision making. In addition to the University Council Committees below, the Executive Vice President and Provost serves as a member of the Executive Budget Committee, the President’s Senior Cabinet, Operations Cabinet, and as the facilitator of the Academic Cabinet

Committee Participation