(Pictured left to right): Alicia Schatteman, Laurie Elish-Piper, Carol Sumner and Bárbara González
Interim Executive Vice President and Provost
Laurie Elish-Piper considers NIU a place of possibilities and opportunities for students who might otherwise lack paths to higher education.
Since her arrival in 1995, Elish-Piper has actively engaged in the university's work to support and advance social mobility through providing learning experiences that are accessible, affordable and transformational.
As dean of the College of Education from 2016 to 2023, she launched the college's Partnering to Lead and Empower District-Grown Educators program to address the teacher shortage while meeting future teachers and school leaders where they are. Her team also signed two dozen 2+2 agreements giving students at community colleges seamless transfer pathways to NIU College of Education bachelor's degrees. She also became a powerful voice in Springfield, advocating for or against legislation or proposed policy changes that impact educator preparation.
The Distinguished Engagement Professor and Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction previously served as director of NIU's Jerry L. Johns Literacy Clinic and co-director of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language and Literacy.
Professional roles off campus include serving as president of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers, chair of the Illinois Association of Deans of Public Colleges of Education and as a member of the board of directors of the International Literacy Association and the Alignment Collaborative for Education governing board.
Elish-Piper holds a Ph.D. from the University of Akron, a M.S.Ed. from Purdue University and a B.S.Ed. from Saint Joseph's College.
Her research examines literacy leadership, literacy coaching, teacher professional development, literacy assessment, family engagement and struggling readers. In 2021, she received the A.B. Herr Award for outstanding contributions to the field of reading.
Carol A. Sumner
Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Carol A. Sumner came to NIU from Texas Tech University (TTU), where she became the first person to hold the university's CDO title, led the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and established the Office of Institutional Diversity.
She oversaw TTU's First Generation Transition and Mentoring Program, Dream Resource Center, Office of LGBTQIA Education and Engagement, TRIO Student Support Services, the Office of Academic Enrichment and more. She also was instrumental in TTU maintaining its designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.
Sumner earned bachelor's and master's degrees at Illinois State University and her Ed.D. from Arizona State University.
Among numerous initiatives throughout the NIU campus and beyond to establish an equity-minded community, the Division of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion offers a wealth of training, resources and programs through Prevention, Education and Outreach and Social Justice Education, as well as through each of NIU's diversity and cultural resource centers.
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Alicia Schatteman's interest in teaching about nonprofit management, public administration and citizen participation brought her to NIU's Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies in 2010.
The associate professor became acting director of the center in 2019 and took on the role of director in 2020. She also has a joint appointment in the Department of Public Administration in the School of Public and Global Affairs.
Holding a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Rutgers University-Newark, she has served as a Provost Fellow since July 2021, facilitating faculty leadership development initiatives. She was primarily responsible for the Emerging Faculty Leadership Program that launched in fall 2021.
Responsibilities of the vice provost for Academic Affairs include undergraduate curriculum, academic standards and admissions policies; oversight of the undergraduate academic support units and the preparation and editing of the undergraduate catalog; and coordination of certain state and institutional programs related to undergraduate education, such as the Illinois Articulation Initiative.
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Bárbara González joined NIU in July of 2017 as associate professor and director of the Division of Statistics. Two years later, she became the founding chair of the NIU Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science. In 2021, she was named became associate dean for Academic Administration in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
González previously taught and served in administrative roles at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Roosevelt University. She earned her Ph.D. and M.S. in statistics at Cornell University and completed her bachelor's degree in mathematics at the Universidad Simón Bolívar in Caracas, Venezuela.
Responsibilities of the vice provost for Faculty Affairs include fostering faculty engagement; facilitating tenure, promotion and sabbatical processes; establishing faculty development opportunities; and exploring ways to recognize faculty excellence and contributions.
Other duties include leading academic labor relations efforts and ensuring that resources and staffing decisions align with and support the university's strategic direction and priorities.