Laurie Elish-Piper to lead NIU College of Education

Laurie Elish-Piper
Laurie Elish-Piper

Laurie Elish-Piper, who has served as acting dean of the Northern Illinois University College of Education since 2015, will take over officially July 1.

Members of the NIU Board of Trustees endorsed her appointment last week following a national search.

Dr. Elish-Piper’s vision for the future of the college is informed not only by her extensive knowledge of national, state and local issues, but also her varied experiences as an NIU Huskie,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Lisa Freeman.

“Over the course of her 20-plus year career at NIU, Laurie has served with excellence as a faculty member and in numerous campus leadership roles,” she added. “Her collaborative leadership style and her creativity were evident during the national search. I am proud that NIU was able to recruit, develop and retain someone with Dr. Elish-Piper’s talent.”

Elish-Piper, a Distinguished Teaching Professor and Presidential Engagement Professor in the Department of Literacy and Elementary Education, received her Ph.D. in curricular and instruction studies with an emphasis in literacy education from the University of Akron.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education reading from Saint Joseph’s College and an M.S. in elementary education and reading from Purdue University.

The director of the Jerry L. Johns Literacy Clinic and co-director of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language and Literacy also teaches graduate courses in literacy assessment and instruction, adult literacy and literacy research.

Gabel Hall
Gabel Hall

During her time as acting dean, she has worked with college leadership to reduce spending by 11 percent; built a support team to lead process for Program Prioritization; and improved climate and morale within the college by implementing strategies for collaboration, as well as recognition to engage faculty, staff and students.

“As a long-time faculty member at NIU, I have a deep commitment to the college and to university, so I am honored and humbled to serve as the dean of the College of Education,” Elish-Piper said.

“I approach leadership as a collaborative process, and I look forward to working with faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners to lead the college into the future,” she added. “I am committed to investing in our faculty, staff, and students through professional development, mentoring and engagement experiences so we can make the College of Education the best place to study, teach, work, serve and conduct research.”

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