NIU Retiree Rose From Student To Dean

May 30, 2016

Promod Vohra chose Northern Illinois University for graduate studies three decades ago because he found the campus a friendly and welcoming place.

Retiring NIU Dean Promod Vohra

As he prepares to retire as dean of the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology he has good memories and high hopes for his university.

Vohra is looking forward to his newest plans, which include being Senior Vice President for global human resources and talent management strategies at American Cyber Systems, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

“It’s going to be an exciting phase in my career that will build upon what I learned at NIU and take it to the next level,” Vohra said.

A native of New Delhi, Vohra was the first ever graduate student in electrical engineering at the college he would eventually lead.

Upon completion of his master's degree in 1988, Vohra became an instructor at the college and eventually attained the ranks of assistant, associate and full professor in the Department of Technology.

He earned his Ed.D. degree in instructional technology in 1993.

Vohra is responsible for bringing numerous programs to the College of Engineering, and he also has built partnerships with community colleges, high schools and middle schools. He does, however, have high hopes for the university after he leaves, despite the state’s budget crisis.

“I’m glad to say that our college, despite those challenges, has continued to grow," he said, "and I’m absolutely confident and comfortable in saying that our college will continue the journey and excellence moving forward. I think there are people in the college who will not only follow what we have done, but will also create new strategies to bring more excellence to the college.” 

A strong advocate of experiential and technology-based learning, Vohra considers STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education a critical issue, something every educator at all levels should be concerned about.

As dean, Vohra brought in more than $50 million in resources for faculty and students to engage in meaningful research. He supports industry partnership and is committed to making the educational system functional and practical.

Northern Illinois University will be appointing a new dean to replace Vohra in June.