Monat to act as liaison

By Michele Weiner

William R. Monat, eighth president of Northern Illinois University and first chancellor of the state’s regency universities system, has been chosen to serve as special liaison to the president to plan NIU’s centennial celebration.

The celebration will take place over a five year period starting in 1995 and ending in 1999. It will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the university’s charter in 1895 and the enrollment of NIU’s first class in 1899.

NIU President John LaTourette said Monat is “uniquely qualified to provide the Centennial Planning Committee with insights into Northern’s development over the last two decades.”

Monat has made many major contributions to NIU’s excellence, LaTourette said. He has served as a faculty member, department chairman, provost, president and first chancellor.

Monat came to NIU in 1969 and served as chairman of the political science department. He served as NIU president from February, 1978 to September, 1984.

Monat went to Springfield to become chancellor for the three-university regency system, which includes NIU, Illinois State University at Normal and Sangamon State University at Springfield.

Monat cited several major accomplishments during his stay as president at NIU. They included acquisition of a college of law, preparation for a college of engineering, approval of six new doctoral programs, development of centers of excellence in business, performing arts and sciences, and creation of Northern’s nationally recognized Institute for Social Science Research.

Monat said NIU has evolved from a large undergraduate university with limited graduate programs to a university offering more graduate courses including law and other doctoral programs. Monat said NIU’s doctoral program in education is among the ten best in the country.

For NIU’s centennial, Monat also will be working on a book, to be titled “The Maturing University: Northern Illinois University Centennial.” The book will focus on the institution’s development during the 30 year period of 1965 to 1995. It will build on retired history professor Earl W. Hayter’s book “Education in Transition,” a history of NIU’s first 75 years.

Monat, a Minnesota native, graduated from the University of Minnesota magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate in political science. He did post- graduate work at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Monat currently serves as regency professor of public administration at NIU. He helps prepare graduate students for service as state and local government officials. He also serves on the university’s Faculty Assembly.

Monat also heads NIU’s Task Force on Discrimination. The task force was established by the university council in January, 1987 after a number of racially “ugly events” occured on campus in the fall of 1986.

Monat also heads NIU’s Task Force on Development of a faculty senate. If approved, the faculty senate would allow for faculty representation from each college of the university. The senate would replace the existing Faculty Assembly.