Attorney General determines NIU Foundation must respond to Freedom of Information Act requests

The determination resolves at least three requests for review of NIU Foundation’s refusals to release information on payments to vendors. It followed an examination of the relationship between NIU and NIU Foundation. Hover over the top of the PDF to enlarge it and turn pages. NIU has sometimes used NIU Foundation to hide purchases and/or…

Alderman Marquardt is so very tired of you spoiled NIU students

Monday night, DeKalb’s city council members wrestled with proposed parking restrictions in neighorhoods adjacent to campus. Except for Ald. Mike Marquardt, who lost a wrestling match with his tongue. At a local town hall meeting a few years ago, an audience member who pays attention to such things said the DeKalb-NIU relationship might be a…

Open letter to NIU’s Board of Trustees regarding Dr. Baker’s severance package

***This letter from DeKalb resident and NIU faculty member Michael Haji-Sheikh references a Washington Post article by Jon Marcus, “Golden parachutes for presidents of public colleges with thin budgets.” ~yinn Dear Board of Trustees, As a citizen of Illinois, I have become aware of another embarrassing news article. Unfortunately, the severance of Dr. Baker (and…

Ask me how I feel about the Annie Glidden North project when I know how NIU is involved

DeKalb city council had a special meeting on Tuesday to discuss what they’re calling the Annie Glidden North (AGN) “revitalization plan.” AGN is what they call three neighborhoods in the northwest section of the city on either side of Annie Glidden Road. According to the 100-page memo that accompanied the meeting agenda, DeKalb in 2016…

Here are statutory provisions applicable to severance of an NIU president

…and I’m not altogether sure all of them were followed. Chapter 110 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) is the Chapter that governs higher education. You can see how it is organized here, that it has general provisions and then provisions specific to the Board of Higher Education, each public university, community colleges, and student…

Comment on the announced departure of NIU President Doug Baker

The departure of NIU President Doug Baker is not simply a response to an OEIG report of mismanagement. In my opinion, it’s also the product of citizens’ efforts that began in May 2014 when someone anonymously mailed the College Town Partners agreement to a founder of a group of concerned DeKalb residents called Preserve Our…

NIU Faculty Senate Discusses President Baker’s Performance

The NIU Faculty Senate is examining actions taken by NIU President Doug Baker. A vote of no confidence in his leadership appears possible. Michael J. Haji-Sheikh of NIU’s Department of Electrical Engineering has collected emails regarding the hiring of contractors and affiliate employees of NIU from the beginning of Baker’s tenure. He compiled the most…

NIU’s Meddling in City Business: University Village

You may recall that Security Properties, a real estate investment and development company in Seattle, fought hard for much of last year to get approval for zoning changes for DeKalb’s University Village apartment complex. Security wanted to buy and rehabilitate UV, but first had to meet its government lenders’ conditions, and those requirements included action…

Walters Knew His Employment with NIU was Problematic from the Start

You’ll recall that Ron Walters was a consultant hired by NIU President Doug Baker to help plan and launch his Bold Futures initiative. Walters acted like an independent contractor and got paid like one (e.g., getting reimbursed for his commute to/from work) but Baker had actually hired him as an NIU “affiliate” employee. This is…