Yvonne Harris is set to become vice-president of research and innovation partnerships at Northern Illinois University following a nationwide search.

Yvonne Harris leaning against a white wall

Northern Illinois University today announced Yvonne Harris as its new vice-president of research and innovation partnerships (RIPS) effective August 1, pending board of trustees approval tomorrow.

Harris was selected after a nationwide search and is currently serving as associate vice-president of research, innovation and economic development at California State University.

Harris will be expected to develop and implement the vision, plan and policies of the RIPS division and oversee the university’s research infrastructure, operations, facilities and compliance.

Harris, a Chicago native, earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Northern Illinois University. Her research focused on molecular and cellular radiation biology.

She will replace Gerald Blazey, who is retiring at the end of June. Dara Little, associate vice-president for research and executive director of sponsored programmes, will serve as interim vice-president of RIPS in July.

Concurrently, Barrie Bode, professor of biology, will step up to acting associate vice-president of RIPS. An internal search for a permanent associate vice-president has been slated for the next fiscal year.

Harris said: “Starting so many years ago at NIU as an African American woman, single parent, looking for a future, I am an example of the transformational power this institution represents.

“Surrounded by so many faculty, administrators and staff who believed in me, I was made to believe that there was nothing I could not accomplish.”

Thierry Heles

Thierry Heles is the editor of Global University Venturing, host of the Beyond the Breakthrough interview podcast and responsible for the monthly GUV Gazette (sign up here for free).