Northern Illinois University Vice President for Operations and Community Relations Bill Nicklas will retire effective Nov. 1, 2014.
“Bill has served the university well during a time of great transition at NIU,” said NIU President Doug Baker. “His contributions are many in such a short period of time, and I wish him well.”
Nicklas said his decision to retire was a personal one and one that was very difficult to make.
“I’ve been especially pleased to work in the Division of Operations, and to have had the chance to engage with a lot of talented and dedicated individuals who do good and important work every day for the university,” he said. “However, I got a great offer from my family and friends, and I’m looking forward to spending more time with them.”
Nicklas was hired by President Emeritus John Peters as associate vice president for institutional planning and sustainability in October, 2011. He served as acting director of public safety for a brief period beginning Nov. 2012 before being named vice president of public safety and community relations in March, 2013. Last June, Nicklas was named liaison to the NIU Board of Trustees. President Baker tabbed Nicklas for the job of vice president of operations and community relations on February 28, 2014, adding the oversight of Facilities and Human Resources to his duties.
“The Board has greatly appreciated Bill’s drive and commitment as he assumed the role of board liaison,” said John Butler, the chair of NIU’s Board of Trustees. “Since the arrival of President Baker, Bill has been a strong advocate of facilitating and aligning the work of the university with that of the governing board, and he will be missed.”
Most recently, Nicklas has overseen transformative projects on campus that include the ongoing deconstruction of Douglas Hall and Lucinda Ave. extension project, the Stevens Building renovation, widening of sidewalks around campus and the beta testing for implementation of Huskie Pup electric tram service.
“Bill is a collaborator who worked across our complex organization and in the community to promote an environment conducive to student career success,” continued Baker, noting Nicklas’ steady presence.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity that President Baker has given me,” continued Nicklas. “I have several projects immediately in front of me that I will continue to work on.”
Prior to joining NIU, Nicklas served 13 years as chief administrative officer for the City of Sycamore, where he had responsibility for the city’s management, finances, planning and economic development and oversight of the municipal public safety functions. Before that, he had similar responsibilities as city manager in DeKalb from 1992 to 1997.
A graduate of Bucknell University, Nicklas holds both a master’s and a Ph.D. in American history from NIU.