Faculty member accepts position as acting chair

By Mark Mazzone

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction has named an acting chair to replace Alan M. Voelker while a formal search is done to find a permanent replacement.

Billie Thomas took over the post on Sept. 16 and will fill the post until June 30.

“I’m pleased that we have an acting chair and that the department is moving forward,” said Charles Stegman, dean of the College of Education.

Thomas took the position after the departure of Voelker, who was promoted to assistant to NIU President La Tourette for Governmental Relations.

“We believe Dr. Thomas will provide effective leadership for the department,” Stegman said. “She knows the programs and has a sense of the mission of the department.”

A search for a permanent chair will get underway this semester with the formation of a search committee.

“We will start a search this semester for a regular continuing chair,” Stegman said. “We have to fill out the appropriate paperwork requesting the position that goes to the president’s


Thomas, a faculty member in the Curriculum and Instruction Department for nine years, has been given some new responsibilities with the position.

“I work with academic program development, personnel and fiscal management and promotion of scholarships. I establish external linkages with the department,” Thomas said.

Curriculum and Instruction includes the areas of elementary education, early childhood education, outdoor teacher education and curriculum and supervision.

These departments total 35 full-time faculty and 40 part-time instructors.

Thomas said she has not decided whether she wishes to be considered for the permanent job.

“I’ll just wait a couple of months and see how things go,” she said.