Faculty members at Northern Illinois University may be more involved in future evaluations of the school’s president.
NIU President Doug Baker faced a grilling from the Faculty Senate Wednesday: they considered taking a “vote of no confidence” in the fourth year president. Instead, faculty members approved an invitation from NIU’s Board of Trustees to be part of future annual evaluations of the president.
Faculty Senate President Greg Long calls the proposed cooperation “historic” because faculty becomes more like collaborators with the Board. Not that the Board isn’t still in charge, he adds, but he sees this as an opportunity to collaborate: “Can we work as more collaborators? Of course. Because the input we can provide should be very helpful in their decision making.”
The Senate worked out details of their resolution for much of their nearly three-hour meeting. The approved version included the faculty’s desire to include ethics, academic and administrative rules, and the university’s future in presidential contract renewal considerations. They also want input from staff, students, community members, and alumni included in evaluations of the school’s president.
Faculty members had a wide range of questions for Baker, including the wisdom of some of his early administrative hires, a lack of pay increases during his tenure, and an investigations by the state’s Inspector General. Baker is due for a review by the board in mid-June and his contract is up next year.
The option of a "no confidence" vote is still available if faculty isn't satisfied with the evaluation process with the Board of Trustees.