CLAS and Law to welcome new deans in July

The NIU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the NIU College of Law will both welcome new deans on July 1, pending approval by the NIU Board of Trustees.

Robert Brinkmann will serve as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He currently holds the position of the dean of graduate studies at Hofstra University.

Brinkmann, who earned his graduate degrees in geology and geography from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, arrived at Hofstra in 2011 to launch a new sustainability studies program before moving into his current role in 2016. He serves on the Board of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute and is an associate editor for the Journal of Cave and Karst Studies and is the editor of Suburban Sustainability. He will replace Judy Ledgerwood who has served as acting dean of CLAS since August 2017.

“I’m delighted that Dr. Brinkmann will be joining us to lead the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Beth Ingram. “He brings with him a wealth of leadership experience and a deep commitment to our values. He is a prolific scholar with a focus on sustainability and collaborative research, which will serve both CLA&S and NIU well.”

Cassandra Hill, the associate dean for academic affairs at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, will assume leadership of the NIU College of Law. Hill began her career as a law professor in 2004 at the UCLA School of Law where she taught legal writing. She moved to Texas Southern University in 2008 where she held positions as director of legal writing, associate dean for research and faculty development and as associate dean for academic affairs.

“Cassandra is an experienced leader who demonstrated a deep affinity for NIU’s mission and vision. I believe she will provide excellent leadership and be a collaborative force on campus for the College of Law,” said Ingram.

Hill will replace Laurel Rigertas who has served as interim dean of the College of Law since July 2019.

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