Northern Illinois Univeristy

Victoria Lunacek

Northern Illinois University re-opened the Stevens Building this year. The Stevens Building opens after years of renovations as the home of the School of Theatre and Dance and Anthropology Departments. The $23.7 million project started in 2014 and finished just in time for the 2018-19 school year. The building features a new lecture hall, box office and Black Box theater.

NIU Hosts 'Engaged Learning' Conference

Mar 7, 2018
Emily Reed / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University hosted its first Engaged Learning, Teaching and Scholarship Conference on Tuesday.

The focus of the conference was for NIU faculty and staff to learn from one another. Participants were selected by a faculty panel.

NIU graduate student Chris Kraner expressed his enthusiasm for interacting more with his department.

Wikipedia

Northern Illinois University is looking for companies willing to purchase naming rights for its Convocation Center. The facility is the home court for several of the school’s athletic teams. It also holds concerts and other large-scale events.

The university sent out a request for proposals at the end of January and is now holding tours for any interested parties upon request. Associate Athletics Director John Cheney says some local and Chicago-based companies have already expressed interest.

Chase Cavanaugh / WNIJ

In August, Northern Illinois University held an orientation for 65 international scholars taking part in the Fulbright Scholars program. This Gateway served as an introduction to the United States before they went to their separate universities. Two members of that group are studying at NIU. 

NIU

Northern Illinois University has been named to the Safest Colleges in America 2017  Top 100 list by the National Council for Home Safety and Security.

The DeKalb campus was ranked 65 on the list, with only three other Illinois institutions ranked higher:

Students Aim To Become The Face Of NIU

Jun 26, 2017
Austin Hansen / WNIJ

Do you ever wonder how someone becomes the face of a university? The process might be easier than it seems.

Northern Illinois University is holding a summer casting call for students who are interested in representing life as a Huskie in upcoming publications (photographs, videos, social media posts, etc.).

NIU Today

Northern Illinois University and the College of DuPage recently signed a guaranteed admission agreement.  

It allows students at the College of DuPage with at least a 2.0 grade point average guaranteed admission to NIU so they can pursue 4-year degrees.  High achievers (at least a 3.5 GPA) can also gain admission to the Honors Program.  

NIU Provost Lisa Freeman believes aspects of community colleges and four-year universities can blend together. She says the agreement is a recognition of this fact.  

A former Sycamore resident who abducted and raped an NIU student in 2001 at gunpoint is asking a judge to reconsider a decision that changed his jail sentence.

Todd S. Allgood, 48, forced the student to drive to his Sycamore trailer, where the attack took place.  

The original jury trial resulted in a 55-year prison sentence, but the Illinois Second District Appellate Court ruled last year that part of that sentence  violated state law.  Allgood's prison term was reduced to 31 years earlier this month.  

It's a mixed bag of news about enrollment from state schools in Illinois this week.

Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker says enrollment is down 5.5%, putting the school at 19,015 students university-wide. Baker tells the campus community that the largest decline is in the freshman class. Numbers from NIU show there are 457 fewer freshman compared to last year; that's a drop of 20.2%. Smaller declines took place among transfer and graduate students. 

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

One “best case scenario” – according to an NIU spokesman in a previous report – has happened for Northern Illinois University; NIU received its appropriation from Illinois after the state passed a temporary budget last week. 

NIU will get a $48 million appropriation in operating funds, which university officials say will go primarily to payroll. The school will also receive more than $15 million to complete renovations for an academic building that houses theater and anthropology students and faculty.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University administrators approved parking permit price increases for the coming year. 

The last time NIU increased parking permit prices was in 2011. NIU officials say the hike is to help raise additional revenue for the $5 million backlog of necessary parking lot repairs. 

The change affects students and faculty who wish to purchase parking permits. 

Reserved parking prices were increased more than other permits; remote parking passes will now be free.

Illinois college students will march for higher education funding and MAP grants in Springfield next week.

At least 60 students plan to take part in the march. That’s according to the march’s Facebook event.

The “March for MAP” was created by a University of Illinois Springfield student. The event was inspired by the legislature's failure to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto to a bill to fund MAP grants.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University’s president responded this week to complaints about his travel expenses.

NIU Athletics

Tuition payments for most Northern Illinois University students are due today for the coming semester. But a winner for free tuition hasn’t been drawn yet.

NIU athletics officials said last fall students who went to all six home games and stayed the whole time would be put in a drawing for free tuition this spring.

Officials say the department still has to sort through attendance records to see which students went to each home football game. Attendance was primarily tracked through an app called Red Black Rewards.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A Northern Illinois University audit issue regarding travel reimbursement for a consultant has been resolved.

NIU improperly reimbursed Ron Walters – a former consultant – for traveling from the school to his home state, Washington. That’s according to a state audit report last March which also said travel expenses between work and home cannot be reimbursed.

The report also recommended that NIU get the money back from Walters. NIU officials said they were considering legal action when Walters didn’t repay the money months after those recommendations were made.

NIU Holds December 2015 Commencement (Photos)

Dec 13, 2015
Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University hosted its December commencement ceremonies last weekend. Hundreds of students gathered in the Convocation Center for graduation activities.

NIU President Doug Baker acknowledged a handful of students for what he calls notable achievements. This is his third year as president.

DeKalb Library Closes For Six Weeks

Dec 2, 2015
DeKalb Public Library

The DeKalb Library's new addition will be open for business January 18, 2016. Pastor Leroy Mitchell and Library Director Dee Coover will speak at the soft opening ceremony, with a day of activities planned. A magician will perform and members of the Black Male Initiative at Northern Illinois University will read to the children throughout the day.

DeKalb's Future Plans Unveiled

Nov 25, 2015

The City of DeKalb has released a draft of its 10-Year Strategic Plan and invites community members to review it and offer comments and suggestions. The plan combines input gathered at more than 40 group discussions held throughout DeKalb and facilitated by Northern Illinois University's Center for Governmental Studies.

Lucinda Avenue Now Open

Nov 19, 2015
N'Jema McIntyre

The Lucinda Avenue extension is now open.  The opening ceremony Wednesday was held at the rain location at Stevenson Tower South without the official ribbon cutting due to the weather. The street west of Stadium Drive is ready for cars and buses to use. The gates blocking access will be taken down some time before the end of the week.

NIU Anthropology Museum Gets A New Name

Nov 4, 2015

The Anthropology museum at Northern Illinois University has been renamed to honor the contributors of a major gift.

Founded in 1964, the NIU museum will now be known as the James B. and Rosalyn L. Pick Museum of Anthropology. James B. Pick is an alumnus of NIU with a master's degree in education.

New Initiatives Needed To Reduce Prison Population

Oct 29, 2015
Flickr user Tim (Timothy) Pearce / "Prison cell with bed inside Alcatraz main building san francisco california" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois is making strides to reduce the inmate population by taking the initiative to address problems and discuss some possible solutions. Last week was "Sociology Week" at Northern Illinois University. It presented several opportunities to address issues about crime that cause prisons to fill up quickly.

The NIU Sociology department was co-host of the John Howard Association's "Prison Reform Illinois" presentation.

NIU Enrollment Down, Retention Up

Sep 9, 2015
NIU

NIU’s enrollment has slightly declined this fall, while the university says retention and quality of students have increased. The university’s official 10-day count showed enrollment at 20,130 students. It represents the smallest dip in several years. 

Officials say NIU’s efforts to attract higher achieving students has paid off, as class rank, grade point average, and ACT scores have risen.

Eric Weldy is in charge of enrollment management at NIU. He spoke at a town hall meeting last week, telling staff there is fierce competition for students.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University leaders held a town hall meeting with employees yesterday to outline budget challenges. NIU President Doug Baker and top administrators talked about efforts to bring in more students and streamlining operations. They also answered questions about whether people will lose jobs under the state’s budget uncertainties.

WNIJ's Free Range Radio recently broadcast a radio drama featuring a “new take” on H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds”.

It was written, acted and produced by local northern Illinois high school students from NIU's STEM Read program. The premiere of their production, that includes DeKalb County landmarks and an invasion of adorable but deadly hamsters from space, took place at Northern Public Radio's Studio A .

NIU

Illinois State Comptroller Leslie Munger and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin will meet with Northern Illinois University officials today to discuss financial matters.

Munger, a Republican appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, will discuss dealing with the state’s budget crisis at 1:30 p.m. She also will visit Waubonsee College this morning.

Durbin, the Number Two Democrat in the U.S. Senate, will talk about proposed legislation to ensure funding for research at 2:30 p.m.

Durbin is making earlier stops at the Whiteside Area Career Center in Sterling and the Rock Island Arsenal.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University employees will have a five-day work week for the second summer in a row.

Before, Northern Illinois University workers were expected to work 9 and a half hour days Monday through Thursday. Last year -- along with bringing in a new president -- NIU brought back the five-day week and added three different flex-time options from June to August.