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Staffing changes made at NIU

Vice president takes on added responsibilities

Published: Monday, March 3, 2014 8:49 a.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 12:12 a.m. CST

DeKALB – Northern Illinois University Vice President Bill Nicklas has few more areas of the university to manage since President Doug Baker announced some staffing changes on Friday.

Nicklas becomes the vice president for operations and community relations. With that title change, he will have responsibility for facilities and human resources added to his existing portfolio of public safety and community relations. He also serves as the liaison to the board of trustees.

“In my long operational experience as city manager and in private business, I’m comfortable with and looking forward to my new duties,” Nicklas said. “I have to say, I’m very pleased with the confidence the president has put in me.”

Baker also announced the selection of Brett Coryell as the university’s new chief information officer and vice president for information technology. This position formerly reported to the vice president for outreach, engagement and regional development. The new position will add duties that have been spread out under other vice presidential areas and will report directly to the president.

Coryell is the deputy chief information officer at Emory University.

Brad Hoey will assume responsibility for marketing and communications. Hoey has served the university for 23 years, most recently as director of communications and marketing. He replaces Kathy Buettner, who will no longer serve in that capacity.

Baker has asked Steve Cunningham to devote his full attention over the next few months to sorting through pension reform issues on behalf of the university to clarify the new retirement landscape and help NIU employees. He has agreed to take this on, but has expressed interest in pursuing other employment opportunities when that work is completed.

One additional change is that Police Chief Tom Phillips will be added to the president’s Operations Cabinet.

“This is a time in our institution’s history where we all need to be pulling in the direction of the president and board’s direction,” Nicklas said.

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