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NIU Trustees Approve Plan That Puts Freeman In The Running For President

Victoria Lunacek
Board of Trustees Chairman Wheeler Coleman and Acting Vice President and General Counsel Greg Brady discuss Freeman's candidacy.

Northern Illinois University’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a plan Monday that puts Acting President Lisa Freeman in the running to take the position permanently.

They are putting forward Dr. Freeman as their preferred candidate and will gather feedback from local constituents later this year. Board Chair Wheeler Coleman says the trustees are quite pleased with Freeman’s work over the past year.

Credit Victoria Lunacek
NIU Biological Sciences Professor Virginia Naples expressed reservations about the new selection process.

“We’re convinced that Dr. Freeman can move the university forward, and the energy and effort that it would take to do a national search will only delay our efforts to move the university forward by a couple of years,” he said. 

But NIU professor Virginia Naples criticized the Board on the decision to fast track a single candidate.

“If you have the opportunity to hear the visions of several different people, you have a chance to do a better job of evaluating," Naples said. "[Like] is this individual or this other individual more aligning their ideas with what we need to have to go forth?"

The Board will gather information from faculty, staff, and student organizations in August and September, and discuss hiring later in the year.