Beasley accepts Butler University position

By Mark Mazzone

NIU President John La Tourette’s office will lose one of its familiar faces Monday.

Ken Beasley, assistant to the president for Government Relations, will hang up his hat after 28 years at NIU. Beasley has accepted a position as the director of research at Butler University in Indianapolis, Ind.

“During my tenure, we went from an institution that was just emerging from a teaching preparatory college to a very good, comprehensive university,” Beasley said.

When Beasley started at NIU in 1964 as an associate professor of education, enrollment was 4,500. Today enrollment is nearly 25,000.

Beasley, who has served in the president’s office for the past 20 years as an assistant to the last four NIU presidents, said his responsibilities fell into two areas.

“I assisted the president in a wide variety of activities including writing and giving speeches, troubleshooting and general advising,” he said.

Beasley said he was also responsible for “primary communication between legislatures at the state and national levels, and the university.”

Beasley will be replaced by Alan Voelker, an NIU faculty member since 1973 and chair of the department of curriculum and instruction.

Beasley, a native of Indiana, will start immediately as the director of sponsored projects at Butler, where he will assist faculty in soliciting funds earmarked for research. “I didn’t feel that I wanted to be idle after retirement, so I have accepted this position,” he said.

Beasley said he sees continued growth for NIU, but not at the same pace the college has experienced the past few years.

“I think we will continue to grow, but at a much slower pace, primarily because of a lack of state funds and the decline in the number of college aged students,” he added. “However, in spite of these two factors, Northern will continue to be a popular school because of its fine academic reputation and its location.”

Beasley said he was proud of several projects during his NIU tenure.

“I’m proud of the establishment of a university communications policy and a program to represent NIU to the outside community. This would include establishment of the office of publications and graphics services, and a system to assist faculty and staff with communication.”

Beasley also said he was pleased with the roles he played in the passage of an income tax for education, and obtaining the approval of the governor and the state legislature for the colleges of law and engineering.