Balaji Rajagopalan

Dean of the College of Business

Balaji Rajagopalan

What year did you start working at NIU? 2016.

Where is your hometown, and where do you live now? Aurora, IL.

Where did you attend school? What degree(s) did you earn?
B.S. in mechanical engineering, Andhra University, India; M.S. and Ph.D. in management information systems, University of Memphis, Tennessee.

Describe your typical day—what do you do while at work?
There is not a typical day as every day is unique. My time is split among activities relating to student success, supporting faculty, and engaging with alumni and the broader community.

What do you like about working at NIU?
People who I work with are incredibly talented and kind.

What advice would you give to students currently attending NIU?
Not putting boundaries on your future will help you unleash your potential.

What is your favorite campus event?
Welcoming new students to campus.

In what ways do you see your colleagues help foster student success?
From helping a student who is having academic challenges to supporting them get through a very difficult personal situation, my colleagues in the College of Business are always there for our students.

What is your favorite memory of NIU?
Basketball game buzzer-beater that the Huskies won.

What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you currently doing it? If not, what changed your path?
I knew I enjoyed teaching and yes, that's a big part of what I have done in my career.

Are you a member of or hold a position within a professional organization? If so, what organization? What is the purpose of that organization and how does being part of this organization benefit you in your role at NIU?
I was a board member with the organization WorldChicago until recently. WC engages in citizens diplomacy to create a stronger understanding of cultures across the world to promote peace. Many of the entrepreneurs from countries across the world have come to speak to our students at NIU.

What community organizations are you involved in?
Among the many that engage with, Innovation DuPage is an organization that fosters budding entrepreneurs.

What do you do to relax or recharge?
Watch sports, listen to music and travel.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your NIU Huskie story?
The idea of Huskies. Never. Quit. resonates with me. I can think of so many situations where things weren't going well but the grit in me didn't allow me to quit. That's what Huskies are made of and that's special.

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