Director named for Hoffman Estates center

By Alex Gary

The new Hoffman Estates Education Center has its first director.

Kathleen Gilmer was named the new director after a regional search which included 151 applicants. Gilmer said she accepted the position, which she took over on May 19, because she saw a “wonderful opportunity to start a new program in a new facility.”

The purpose of the $5 million center is to consolidate off-campus courses offered in the northern suburbs of Chicago.

Gilmer’s immediate focus for the new facility will be aimed at the short-term future.

“My primary focus is to hire staff and develop policy for the operation of the campus,” Gilmer said.

Two long-range goals for the new campus include making graduate education more accessible for Chicago-based students and to “enhance NIU’s image” in the northwest suburban area, she said.

Also, Gilmer hopes to make the facility accessible for local businesses and other area educational institutions that want to utilize the facility for their own programs.

NIU President John La Tourette, who along with former Provost Kendall Baker, Vice President of Finance and Planning Eddie Williams and former Vice President of Development Tom Montiegel made the selection of Gilmer, said he is confident in Gilmer’s abilities.

“She is a very good person (with) good leadership ability,” La Tourette said.

The first classes at Hoffman Estates are scheduled to begin Aug. 22.

Currently, Gilmer’s office is in DeKalb, but she hopes to move into the new facility by Aug. 1.

Before moving into her current position at NIU, Gilmer was a corporate services administrator and an economic development specialist at Harper Community College in Palatine.