Christopher McCord, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been elected president-elect of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences during the group’s recent annual meeting in San Diego, CA.
“We couldn’t be more delighted to welcome Dr. McCord to his new role with CCAS,” said Amber Elaine Cox, executive director. “He’s a well-respected board member who has brought wisdom and insight to several meetings and initiatives. We also look forward to his leadership as chair for the 2017 CCAS Annual Meeting in Denver.”
In his five years as dean and the Ray and Pat Smerge endowed dean’s chair, McCord has led the creation of the university’s first interdisciplinary degree programs, established “engaged learning” and community engagement as unifying principles of the college’s mission, formed three interdisciplinary centers and grown international engagement. He has also played a leading role in the university’s strategic planning efforts, including developing forecasting tools for the university’s enrollment management plan, leading the development of student success programs, program prioritization and serving on the board of the university’s Research Foundation. He also led NIU’s ADVANCE IT-Catalyst grant, studying the status of women in science and engineering at NIU.
Prior to joining NIU, McCord served as an associate dean for graduate affairs in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Cincinnati, where he led the development of a new program review process, created a funding model for summer school and oversaw the college’s involvement in major space projects.
McCord earned bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physics from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been an active member of CCAS since 2003 and has served on the board of directors since 2012. He is currently serving as chair of the board’s governance committee and is a member of the board’s executive committee.
In addition to McCord, others elected to serve on the executive board include Walter Jacobs, San Jose State University; Theresa Lee, University of Tennessee at Knoxville; Jonathan Millen, Rider University; and another NIU alumna, Abbey Zink (Ph.D., 2001), Sam Houston State University.
“These are incredibly challenging times for higher education, and arts and sciences deans are called upon to lead on virtually every issue, from academic freedom to zero-based budgeting,” McCord said. “In my thirteen years as a member, the CCAS organization and the community of deans it brings together have been invaluable to me. I’m honored to have the opportunity to help provide that support to my colleagues.”
The Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences (CCAS), founded in 1965, is the national association of colleges of arts and sciences. Based at the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, VA, its purpose is to provide professional development programming to its member deans and to sustain the arts and sciences as a leading influence in American higher education. The Council serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas and information among deans of arts and sciences representing the member colleges and as a representative of the liberal arts and sciences at a national policy-making level. Current membership includes 788 deans of colleges of arts and sciences, and an additional 1,080 associate and assistant deans at 525 institutions in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Greece, Kazakhstan, Kuwait and Qatar.