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  • Chair, Department of Special and Early Education - College of Education (6589)
    Special and Early Education
    Northern Illinois University


    As one of six departments in the College of Education, the Department of Special and Early Education (SEED) offers CAEP-accredited undergraduate and graduate programs leading to Illinois educator licensure in early childhood education with special education approval (BS Ed, MS Ed), special education: learning behavior specialist I (BS Ed, MS Ed), or special education: visual impairments (BS Ed, MS Ed) as well as a non-licensure degree in special populations (BS Ed), and advanced training leading to credentials for directors of special education, visual impairment-assistive technology specialists (MS Ed), orientation and mobility specialists (MS Ed), visual rehabilitation therapists (BS Ed, MS Ed), and board certified behavior analysts (verified course sequence; optional MS Ed). The department also offers elementary and secondary endorsements in special education, and minors in disabilities studies in early childhood. The department is highly regarded regionally and nationally for the quality of its graduates and programs that attract award winning faculty and funding from external agencies. This presents a rewarding professional opportunity for a highly qualified, enthusiastic, and innovative leader to join our team and further enhance the department’s regional and national reputation. Furthermore, we seek a leader who embraces NIU’s mission of fostering engaged learning opportunities to a diverse student body and cultivating a strong sense of belonging that empowers and prepares students for meaningful lives.

    Northern Illinois University (NIU) is a comprehensive research university offering programs from the baccalaureate through the doctorate. Colleges include business, education, engineering and engineering technology, law, liberal arts and sciences, health and human sciences, and visual and performing arts. On-campus enrollment is approximately 16,000 students. The university also offers more than 200 off-campus courses each semester to students in communities throughout northern Illinois.

    The main campus is located in DeKalb, 65 miles west of Chicago’s “Loop” and 40 miles southeast of Rockford with education centers in Rockford and Naperville. DeKalb/Sycamore, with a population of about 60,000, is a modern paradox, a rural/urban community. It is simultaneously recognized for its manufacturing and rich farmlands. The site of the first manufacturing of barbed wire and the development of hybrid seed corn are evidence of its diversified history. The blend of industry and agriculture, coupled with the cultural and recreational facilities of the university and supplemented by easy access to Chicago and Rockford, provide an enjoyable environment in which to live.


    Position Summary

    The Department of Special and Early Education at Northern Illinois University seeks an innovative leader to serve as the next department chair. As the chief administrative officer for the academic unit, the department chair provides leadership and direction in the planning, development, and delivery of academic programs and in the promotion of excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service activities.

    Essential Duties and Responsibilities

    The Department Chair is expected to

      • Articulate the department’s actions in pursuit of these aims.

      • Maintain a climate that is hospitable to faculty, staff, and student success,

      • Operationalize the vision, mission, and strategic planning framework of the College of Education.



    Specific responsibilities include:

    • Oversight of the department’s fiscal operations.

    • Coordination of hiring and performance evaluations of faculty, instructors, staff, and graduate students.

    • Collaboration with faculty in determining instructional assignments.

    • Work to advance the accessibility of programs for individuals in the region.

    • Engagement with alumni and community partners.

    • Participation on important committees at the department, college, and university levels.

    Minimum Required Qualifications
    Additional Requirements
    Preferred Qualifications

    • Eligible for tenure at the rank of professor;

    • Ability to lead/mentor faculty in scholarship and grants acquisition;

    • Ability to create and maintain innovative programs;

    • A commitment and record of attracting and retaining diverse and productive faculty and students;

    • Experience with school, community and university collaboration and outreach programs;

    • Demonstrated experience in supervising, developing, and evaluating faculty and staff;

    • Capacity to promote departmental programs to external audiences;

    • Understanding of appropriate technology integration in administration and instruction; and experience with developing and maintaining relations with alumni and donors.


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