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NIU Board Of Trustees Could Take New Vote On Baker Exit Deal


The Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees could take another vote next week regarding Doug Baker's Presidential Transition Agreement.

A judge ruled last month that the university violated the Open Meetings Act when it approved Baker’s deal this summer soon after he announced his resignation.

DeKalb resident Misty Haji-Sheikh filed the lawsuit and could be entitled to having her legal fees covered. That decision will be made early next year.

Haji-Sheikh says the Board of Trustees had the opportunity to be more transparent with the public and re-take the vote prior to her legal action.

"They chose not to do that and thus ended up in court, Haji-Sheikh said. "We gave them a remedy from the very beginning that they chose not to take.”

The total package was worth more than $600,000.

Trustees meet next Thursday and could take a new vote on a similar deal for Baker. The meeting will be open to the public.

Jenna Dooley has spent her professional career in public radio. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois - Springfield. She returned to Northern Public Radio in DeKalb after several years hosting Morning Edition at WUIS-FM in Springfield. She is a former "Newsfinder of the Year" from the Illinois Associated Press and recipient of NIU's Donald R. Grubb Journalism Alumni Award. She is an active member of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association and an adjunct instructor at NIU.
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