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Political scientist Matthew Streb will spend year as associate to President John Peters

August 25, 2010
Matthew Streb

Matthew Streb

Matthew Streb, an associate professor of political science at NIU and frequent expert source in the news media on political matters, has been appointed to a year-long post serving as associate to President John Peters.

Patterned after American Council on Education fellowships, the new NIU one-year position is designed to provide a leadership development opportunity for junior and mid-career faculty members. It is an extension of the presidential academic leadership development initiative, launched in 2008 as a result of NIU strategic planning.

Streb was tapped to serve as the first associate to the president and is charged with developing a formal Associate to the President fellowship program that will include a recruitment and selection process open to NIU junior and mid-career faculty.

Peters is developing this new program to provide NIU faculty with an opportunity to obtain hands-on administrative experience for one year and expose them to all facets of institutional operations including academic, student affairs, finance, facilities, government relations, communications, board operations and fundraising. Streb will serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet during the year as well. 

“Dr. Streb is an energetic and talented educator who already has demonstrated leadership abilities, including high-level communication skills and a gift for working with students, the media and the public,” President Peters said. “We hope this coming year will help Matt take those abilities to an even higher level.”

In the Chicago region and beyond, Streb is well known among members of the media who rely on his political research and expertise to provide context to news reports.

He is a weekly contributor to WROK radio in Rockford and frequent guest on WNIJ radio, the local NPR affiliate. Streb’s research and commentary also has been featured on C-Span’s Washington Journal and cited in such publications as the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Times, Washington Monthly and Chronicle of Higher Education.  

Like Streb, President Peters also is a political scientist by training who specializes in American politics.

“In addition to politics, I’m fascinated with how universities work, and this new position will allow me to see all facets of the university,” Streb said. “While I will miss the classroom, the opportunity to work with and learn from President Peters was too great to pass up.”

Streb received his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 2000 and came to NIU in 2005. For the past four years, he served as director of undergraduate studies in political science, where he led development of the D.C. Congressional Summer Internship program and helped revamp the department’s honors program and undergraduate assessment procedures.

A regular featured speaker at summer orientation, he teaches courses on Congress, political parties and elections, polling and public opinion, American electoral democracy and undergraduate research methods. Streb also has served as chair of the NCAA Certification Steering Committee and as a member of the Forward, Together Forward Scholarship Committee and the Academic Convocation Committee.

Streb is the author of two books: “The New Electoral Politics of Race” (University of Alabama, 2002) and “Rethinking American Electoral Democracy” (Routledge, 2008).