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Creative Work: Research and Artistry
Original research scholarly and artistic endeavors are integral to the intellectual life at Northern Illinois University. Members of the graduate faculty are scholars who are expected to engage in research scholarship or artistry as part of their regular responsibilities, and thus be aware of, and contribute to, advancements in their fields of expertise. Graduate students, through theses, dissertations, and other independent studies, become introduced to the processes of scholarly inquiry and expression in their academic disciplines. These activities continually confirm the university as an institution dedicated to the pursuit and transmission of knowledge, both basic and applied. The Division of Research and Graduate Studies is responsible for the general encouragement of research and artistry.
Board of Trustees Professorships
The Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees Professorship was established in 2007 to recognize those faculty who have achieved a consistent record of excellence in teaching, scholarship or artistry, service and outreach, and academic leadership; have earned a national/international reputation for professional achievements; and are deemed likely to make continued and substantial contributions in higher education. Special emphasis will be placed upon the recognition of faculty who are renowned scholars/artists who have engaged students in their research/or and other professional activities.
Presidential Research Professorships and Distinguished Research Professorships
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The NIU Presidential Research Professorships were established in 1982 in recognition and support of the research and artistic mission of the university. Recipients of this award are selected on the basis of significant and sustained research scholarly or creative work, including the achievement of national or international reputation in their individual fields. Up to three such professorships are granted each year, providing budgetary support and released time for research scholarly or artistic activities. After four years as a Presidential Research Professor, each of these eminent faculty members is designated a Distinguished Research Professor. Distinguished Research Professors and Presidential Research Professors are identified in the faculty listings of their respective academic departments.
Presidential Teaching Professorships and Distinguished Teaching Professorships
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The NIU Presidential Teaching Professorships were established in 1991 to recognize and support faculty who excel in the practice of teaching. Recipients of this award have demonstrated over time their commitment to and success in the many activities associated with outstanding teaching. Up to three such professorships are granted each year, providing budgetary support and released time for the enhancement of their teaching activities. After four years as a Presidential Teaching Professor, each of these eminent faculty members is designated a Distinguished Teaching Professor. Distinguished Teaching Professors and Presidential Teaching Professors are identified in the faculty listings of their respective academic departments.
Presidential Engagement Professorships
Establishment of these professorships in 2011 placed NIU in the company of the growing number of institutions which now recognize and reward this increasingly critical function. The honor is based on President John Peters’s call for engagement with the community through research, economic development, service, and instruction.
External Support for Research and Development
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The Office of Sponsored Projects provides assistance on research development (setting a research agenda, creating a research plan, improving competitive positioning, and identifying appropriate funding sources), proposal preparation (assistance with understanding guidelines, reviewing narrative, developing budgets, and electronic proposal submission), and contract and award review. Individual Research Development Specialists are available for faculty and graduate students in each College (see http://www.niu.edu/osp/).
The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) promotes the development and protection of university-owned intellectual property (IP) for public use and benefit. University-owned IP is generated by faculty, staff, students, and non-employees while teaching, researching, or working on scholarship projects using university resources, which includes external monies funded to the university, as well as during the course of daily responsibilities to the university. The office protects proprietary information, original works, tangible research property, and know-how via administering nondisclosure agreements, material transfer agreements, etc., and by managing patents, trademark, and copyright filings. The TTO facilitates third-party negotiations for agreements granting rights to use, develop, and commercialize university-owned IP thereby generating income to further research and education as well as benefiting the inventors. The TTO also coordinates invention reporting and IP related obligations with external research funding sponsors. To learn more visit http://www.tto.niu.edu/tto/.
Resources for University Research and Public Service
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The university maintains a wide range of research facilities, offices, and resources to facilitate a variety of research and public service activities. These include the following.
Econ Illinois coordinates the continuing education activities of eight university centers for economic education throughout the state. Econ Illinois’s activities involve inservice and preservice teacher training in economics and personal finance and the development, distribution, and evaluation of economic education materials. Econ Illinois also offers services for students, adults, employee groups, and other interested community and professional groups.
The NIU Center for Economic Education is one of eight centers in the Illinois Council network. The NIU office provides services, materials, and consultation to school systems throughout 15 counties in northern Illinois. Graduate-level courses for teachers, workshops, curriculum review, and classroom materials for teaching economics are among the offerings available through the Center for Economic Education.
At NIU students can access more than 1,500 computers for research, instruction, and individual use in academic departments, classrooms, and student computing labs. The many platforms represented include Windows, Macintosh, NetWare, Linux, and Unix. The Information Technology Services and ResTech helpdesks provide end-user support for many technologies and assistance with access to NIU’s network and student systems.
General access computing labs feature P4 2.8 GHz or faster computers, CD ROM, and/or CD burners, networked laser printers, and full-color scanners with document feeders and optical character recognition (OCR) software. All feature front/side USB, headphone, and microphone access. Most student computing labs feature Windows XP, office productivity software, Internet browsers, and various adaptive technologies for students with disabilities. In addition, statistical analysis packages such as SAS and SPSS are provided. Macintosh computers running OSX are available in labs that support the graphic arts programs. Volume purchasing of software extends savings to the university community.
NIUNet is Northern Illinois University’s state-of-the-art network that provides students and faculty with access to advanced research and academic networks. Students can use NIUNet through both wired and wireless network connections on any of NIU’s campuses. Maintained by ITS, NIUNet is a fiber optic network providing high speed broadband connectivity to Internet2, the world’s foremost advanced networking consortium. NIUNet is designed to provide flexibility in meeting the communications and data processing demands of research projects requiring ultra-high speed connectivity. Through Internet2, NIUNet connects to the Metropolitan Research and Education Network (MREN), allowing NIU students and faculty to develop peer relationships with researchers at other universities, as well as prominent research facilities such as Argonne National Labs and Fermilab. NIUNet is continually expanding into hospitals, schools, and local government in the northern Illinois region, creating opportunities for collaboration in education, health services, the sciences, the arts, business and other disciplines.
NIU’s telephone systems include standard and advanced calling features and services. Call tracing and caller ID blocking are offered for enhanced security.
For more information, call ITS at 815-753-8100, or visit www.its.niu.edu.
Interdisciplinary Academic Centers and Institutes
Several centers encourage and coordinate multidisciplinary research and graduate study. The following are described in the “Interdisciplinary Academic Centers and Courses” section in the back of this catalog.
Center for Biochemical and Biophysical Studies
Center for Burma Studies
Center for Governmental Studies
Center for Latino and Latin American Studies
Center for Southeast Asian Studies
Institute of Nanoscience, Engineering, and Technology (INSET)
Plant Molecular Biology Center
Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
Northern Illinois University is a member institution in the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). The Consortium was founded in 1962 as a partnership between the Center for Political Studies of the University of Michigan and some 190 other universities, colleges, and nonprofit research organizations in the United States and abroad. It is committed to interdisciplinary inter-university research and training for the social sciences. Its objectives are to maintain archives of machine-readable social and political data sets that will serve a variety of research and training needs; to develop and distribute computer-based systems for the analysis of these data sets; and to conduct training in the use of quantitative methods for social science investigations.
ICPSR is based at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. A liaison office in the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) at NIU provides a link for the campus to Consortium archives and other services. Research areas are international in scope. The data sets range from U.S. election returns and U.S. Census data to public opinion surveys. A substantial number of data files on social structure, public policy, economics, health, and political life in over 130 other countries are also available. These data sets lend themselves to comparative research, particularly on modernization processes and social change in many nations. Access to these data is generally via Superwylbur; however, some data files are now available for PC use. For detailed holdings of data available from ICPSR, faculty and students are encouraged to consult copies of the ICPSR Guide to Resources and Services that the SSRI provides to chairs of all social sciences departments on campus or the ICPSR home page at www.icpsr.umich.edu.
The Roper Center
Established in 1946, the Roper Center is the oldest and largest archive of sample survey data in the world. The raw data and supporting documentation from thousands of individual studies, carried out in more than 70 countries, have been deposited in the center through the cooperative efforts of the world’s major survey research organizations. Center services include data set duplication, information retrieval, and computer data analysis.
Northern Illinois University is a member institution of the International Survey Library Association, which is an active partnership between the Roper Center and the academic community. This affiliation provides NIU faculty and students with access to center data services.
Included in the center’s holdings are surveys by Gallup, Harris, Roper, Yankelovich Clancy Shulman, the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), the Opinion Research Corporation, CBS News/New York Times, ABC News/Washington Post, NBC News/Wall Street Journal, CNN/USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Canadian Gallup, Social Surveys LTD (Gallup) in the UK, and Brule Ville Associes in France. Questions and marginals from the surveys archived at the center can be accessed on-line and frequently the data sets themselves can be obtained.
Regional History Center and University Archives
The Regional History Center has as its basic goal to acquire, preserve, and make available to the public the most significant historical records of the northern Illinois region. The center actively collects historical material from the 18 northernmost counties of Illinois, excluding Cook County. Since 1964 the center has evolved from a small university archival unit to a multifaceted research center containing three related sets of historical records available to researchers: Regional Collections, University Archives, and Local Government Records.
Holdings in the Regional Collections include original manuscripts and records generated by private individuals, institutions, and organizations from throughout the area, with particular emphasis on several major themes in the region’s history: agriculture, politics, ethnic heritage, commerce and industry, the role of women, and urban expansion. University records that have permanent historical or administrative value are housed in the University Archives. These materials include Illinois Board of Higher Education and governing board proceedings, records of university administrative offices, faculty papers, records of student government and organizations, a range of publications, and extensive photographs of campus life. The Local Government Records collection, as part of the Illinois Regional Archives Depository system administered by the Illinois State Archives, has the responsibility of preserving local public records and making them available to researchers.
The Northern Illinois University Libraries system consists of Founders Memorial Library and branch libraries which include Faraday Library, the Music Library, NIU Hoffman Estates Library, NIU Naperville Library, and the NIU Rockford Library. The University Libraries collections contain over 2 million volumes as well as numerous periodicals, government publications, microforms, maps, recordings, audiovisual materials, electronic databases, and resources.
Founders Memorial Library, the main library, has six levels with 327,000 square feet of space and seating capacity for 1,600 students. Faraday Library serves faculty and students in the disciplines of chemistry and physics. Similarly, the Music Library serves the music curriculum. NIU Hoffman Estates Library, NIU Naperville Library, and NIU Rockford Library service the information needs of library users at those sites.
For further information, see “University Libraries” in the “Other Academic Units” section of this catalog.
Founded in 1965, the Northern Illinois University Press publishes scholarly work and books of general interest. Most of its books are in the humanities and social sciences, but it also publishes in various fields of science and the arts. Regional topics are a special focus. Seeking to advance knowledge about its region, the press has published a wide range of books on the archaeology, history, literature, and culture of northern Illinois and Chicago. At present, there are about 461 titles in print.
The publication of any book through the NIU Press must be approved by the University Press Board, a faculty committee made up of representatives of the colleges and chaired by the vice president for research and graduate studies. The main function of the board is to assure high standards of quality in all the publications of the university press.
One of three state-supported presses in Illinois, the NIU Press has been a member of the Association of American University Presses since 1972.
SummerNITE [Northern Illinois Theatre Ensemble] is the professional Equity company of NIU’s School of Theatre and Dance which performs in Chicago, throughout the northern Illinois region, and internationally. The goals of the company are to produce new works of distinction, to present Chicago-area premieres, to bring quality professional theatre to northern Illinois, and to provide an opportunity for Northern Illinois University theatre arts students to work with Equity artists, on and off stage, while working toward full membership in Actor’s Equity.