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NIU Trustees Unanimously Approve Lisa Freeman As Candidate For Presidency

Chase Cavanaugh
Lisa Freeman displays gratitude after the vote to enter contract negotiations for the NIU presidency

As of Thursday, Northern Illinois University is one step closer to having a permanent president.

Northern Illinois University’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved Dr. Lisa Freeman as their candidate for university president. She's been serving in an "acting" capacity since the resignation of Doug Baker in 2017. Trustees praised Dr. Freeman for her past year of leadership in a time of declining enrollment and budgetary realignment.  Former state representative and current board trustee Bob Pritchard says her leadership will be invaluable.

“I think she will move us forward to the place that this university can be competitive, and most importantly can survive in very uncertain times ahead," he said.

NIU released numbers earlier this week showing an overall 4.8% drop in enrollment.

Freeman expressed her gratitude at the board’s decision. Trustees declined conducting a national search earlier this year when Freeman agreed to consider the role permanently.

"It’s an honor and a privilege to be here today. I look forward to working with everyone," she said. "Those who supported the process, [and] those who didn’t support the process. Everyone who loves NIU-- to move this great university forward together."

The board’s next step is to negotiate a contract with Dr. Freeman before officially promoting her to President permanently.

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