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Bradley Bond named Graduate School dean

April 15, 2011

Bradley Bond has a new title, but he is more than familiar with the job responsibilities.

Bond, 47, of Sycamore, has been named dean of the Graduate School at NIU and associate vice president for Graduate Studies. He has served as acting dean of the Graduate School since 2008, and prior to that, as associate dean.

Brad Bond

Bradley Bond

Bond now assumes primary responsibility for leadership and vision related to NIU graduate programs.

About 6,000 NIU students engage in graduate-level studies in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, visual and performing arts, business, education, engineering and engineering technology and health and human sciences.

With this appointment, NIU has separated primary responsbility for the Graduate School from the overall responsibility for research administration. In the recent past, the title of dean of the Graduate School accompanied appointment as vice president for research.

The two posts remain closely linked, however.

Bond will report to and work closely with Lisa Freeman, NIU’s vice president for research and graduate studies, to expand and enhance graduate-program components that are most intimately related to research, artistry and innovation.

“I am delighted that Dr. Bradley Bond has accepted the position,” Freeman said.

“Brad is both competent and creative. He has significant experience with graduate program administration and enrollment management, as well as a positive vision for expanding graduate education to meet 21st-century challenges. I look forward to working with him to enhance graduate programs and the graduate student experience at NIU.”

Bond said his initial goals include working with others on campus to increase enrollment in a sustainable fashion, to initiate professional development opportunities for graduate students and to strengthen the impact of graduate education on campus and in the region.

“It is a privilege to serve as dean of the Graduate School,” Bond said. “I’m looking forward to shaping this new position on campus and broadening the overall impact of graduate education.”

NIU’s Graduate School is a substantial component of the university because of its large size, with graduate students accounting for about one-quarter of the university’s overall enrollment, and because of its great variety of areas of advanced study.

“Graduate students contribute mightily to campus life and achievement of the university’s mission; and graduate education plays a significant role in shaping the future of the region,” Bond said. “It is impossible to imagine a region sustained by a knowledge-based economy absent the scholars and artists nurtured in NIU graduate programs or absent the research conducted by NIU faculty and graduate students.

“There is a growing sense that the role of graduate education must be purposefully enhanced as a matter of national priority,” he added. “In his January 2011 State of the Union address, when President Obama called for the nation to out-innovate, out-build and out-educate other nations, he captured a sense of the significance that many thoughtful individuals in government, industry and education attach to graduate education.”

Bond holds a Ph.D. in history from Louisiana State University. His research specialties include the history of the American South, race relations and education.

Bond first came to NIU in 2006, when he was named associate dean of the Graduate School. He had previously served in a number of administrative posts at the University of Southern Mississippi, including assistant provost. In that position, his responsibilities included leading the university’s Office of Graduate Studies and overseeing its Office of Institutional Research.

“Long ago, I learned that graduate deans are in an interesting position,” Bond said. “Unlike other deans, they have no faculty and no students. All that they have is a measure of convening authority, which requires that they listen and help shape consensus. I am quite comfortable working in partnership with deans, programs, faculty and students to solve problems and advance graduate education at NIU.