Albanese to take director position

By Peter Schuh

NIU’s administrative shuffle board game continues.

NIU will have a new physical plant director as a permanent replacement to the late director Conrad Miller. NIU Controller Bob Albanese will replace Miller and temporarily retain his present position.

Albanese said he wanted to make the change to broaden his experiences.

“I’ve mentioned it to Jim Harder (vice president of Business and Operations) and to others that the one thing in my career that I haven’t ever had is physical plant experience,” Albanese said.

“I sort of initiated it,” he said. “I did apply when Jim Harder announced he was looking for someone to fill the position.”

Albanese also said he thought Harder would be retiring in the next few years. This could leave the position of vice president of Business and Operations open to a qualified NIU employee with sufficient experience.

However, Albanese would not say if he is interested in eventually becoming the vice president of Business and Operations.

He did say that his financial experience would fit well in the position of physical plant director.

“I do think I can serve the university better in this position,” he said. “I think I can complement the people out here who are strong in the operations area.”

As controller, Albanese was responsible for the fiscal activities of NIU while, as physical plant director, he will be responsible for facility maintenance. Albanese now holds both positions.

“Harder is conducting a campus-wide search to find a new controller. In the interim period you could say I’m wearing two hats,” he said.

Albanese said he was unsure when the search would be completed. Harder could not be reached for comment.

Albanese said he had several new ideas regarding the residence halls and other campus facilities.

“I’m going to work those ideas out with some people out here (at the physical plant) and see what we can come up with,” he said.

Albanese has been at NIU for seven years. He arrived here from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he was the director of accounting services.

Miller, the last permanent physical plant director, died after a long battle with cancer. For a short time he had received national attention for undergoing experimental cancer therapy at the University of Chicago.