NIU professor makes career move to U of T

By Jami Peterson

Another professor has been lured away from NIU by the administrative bait of a major university.

After serving 26 years as an art professor at NIU, Norman Magden will be leaving the university at the end of the summer to become the head of the art department at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He will be leaving DeKalb on Aug. 9 and will officially take the position on Aug. 23.

“It’s a career decision to move from faculty to administration,” he said. “Within the last five years my career path has been changing.”

Magden said his experience as University Council Executive Secretary and Faculty Senate President over the last year gave him a taste of administrative duties. This taste developed into a thirst to move up full-time from faculty to administration, but no positions were available at NIU.

His decision to pursue an administrative position elsewhere was not “directly influenced” by budget problems at NIU, but these problems did have some impact, he said.

Magden sent out applications during the early fall of this year and was offered two positions. He chose the position at the University of Tennessee over the opportunity to serve as director of the School of Art and Design and the School of American Crafts at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.

Magden said he chose the University of Tennessee mainly because of “family reasons” and because Knoxville is “a nicer place to live.”

As the head of the art department, Magden will be in charge of about 30 full-time and nine part-time employees. Although the department is smaller than NIU’s art department, he said it is “strong and has a wide variety of programs.”

According to Madgen, the executive committee of the Faculty Senate and the steering committee of the University Council is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to determine how his position will be replaced next fall.

The University Council is made up of faculty and students who establish academic policies, form committees and advise the administration. The Faculty Senate serves as the official voice of the faculty to the University Council and the administration.

Magden said it is up to the university as to whether the program he was working on as a professor will be retained at NIU. If it is retained, NIU must do a search and find a replacement, he said.

NIU Provost J. Carroll Moody said Magden will be sadly missed. “I am very sorry he is leaving,” he said. “He is a big loss to the university. I think he will be really missed at Northern.”

However, Moody said he is pleased with Magden’s choice. “I think it is a wonderful opportunity for him,” he said. “He is prepared to take on the position.”