Final Annual Review Of NIU President Baker Released

Jul 10, 2017

Credit Diane Drake / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University’s Board of Trustees has released its final annual evaluation of former NIU President Doug Baker. It echoed earlier reviews by the Board, with a few notable exceptions.

A “360 degree review” using feedback from across the NIU community served as the basis for the evaluation.

Baker was lauded for bringing clarity to the overall direction of the school, increasing interaction between departments, providing more transparency in the budgeting process, and promoting diversity and inclusion.   The Board says those policies will continue under Acting President Lisa Freeman.

The report said efforts to increase recruitment and retention of students under Baker should continue, as well as NIU’s program prioritization program to reorder the school’s internal structure. The Board says the school will continue to pursue those efforts under Freeman.

There were some new recommendations related to friction that arose between the president and some members of the university. Following a drive in the NIU Faculty Senate for a ‘no confidence’ vote on Baker this spring, it was agreed that the Senate and other representatives of the NIU community would be more closely involved in the review process. The report said the president should try to build relationships with those groups, and work more closely with them in a positive way on a number of issues. Freeman has said this will be her goal as well.  

Baker resigned effective June 30 after the results of an executive inspector general’s report on improper hiring practices by his administration became public.