“During my many wonderful years at NIU I have been mentored by several faculty and administrators, schooled by numerous students, and continuously humbled by our alumni. I have been provided opportunities to travel the world and display my own artistry and have been able to serve as a consultant to a wide variety of arts entities in both the United States and abroad,” Holly said. “ I am most proud of the work we have all accomplished, and I am honored to have the most amazing set of memories to take with me.”
Holly has served as dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts since 2008. During that time, he was a founding board member of the DeKalb Area Arts Council and an active member with the Rockford Arts Council. He is also co-chair of the Higher Education Board for Arts Alliance Illinois and the Panel Lead for the Arts in Education Panel of Chicago Public Schools.
“Congratulations to Rich on this new opportunity,” said NIU President Doug Baker. “I am excited for him personally and am thankful for his many years of service and the impact he has had on our students over the years.”
Holly has been a professor of percussion at NIU since 1983, remaining active as a solo performer and clinician, and has appeared over 300 times at schools, colleges, universities, conventions and festivals throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, South America and Asia.
“Rich has been a leader among the deans and a passionate supporter of the arts,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Lisa Freeman. “His work is appreciated and he will be missed.”
He returns to the state where he received his M.M. in percussion performance, at East Carolina University, after earning his bachelor’s degree from the Crane School of Music at SUNY-Potsdam.