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NIU remembers former dean Paul S. Burtness

January 15, 2020

Former dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Science Paul Burtness

Professor emeritus and former dean Paul S. Burtness, Ph.D. passed away at his home in Sycamore on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019.

Burtness joined the Northern Illinois University English Department in 1953, teaching courses in the history of the language, Chaucer and Milton. He served on several boards and councils concerned with program development and the day-to-day operations of the university. He was a member of the Presidents’ Faculty Advisory Council (forerunner of the University Council) and the Faculty Advisory Committee to the Board of Higher Education. Additionally, he was chairman of the Constitution Committee and participated in the faculty committee to help draft the governing policies of the Board of Regents.

Burtness served as the fourth dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from 1970-1979. He authored several anthologies, a study of Edgar Allen Poe (“The Enigma of Poe”), a college English handbook (“Close Reading of Factual Prose”), a collection of articles for “The Puzzle of Pearl Harbor” and, in collaboration with Dr. Warren U. Ober, numerous articles concerning World War II.