NIU President Defends Travel Expenses

Feb 12, 2016

Northern Illinois University’s president responded this week to complaints about his travel expenses.

NIU President Doug Baker speaks at a state budget rally February 11th, 2016
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

NIU president Doug Baker sent a message to university employees and students this week titled “clearing the air on travel.” He responded to a report by a group called Edgar County Watchdogs about $19,000 in travel expenses from Jan. 2014 to Feb. 2015. $4,600 of that was for his wife Dana Stover’s travel.

“One of the questions regarded the reimbursement for my wife for travel to do fundraising on behalf of the university. That is a normal function of the spouse or partner of a president and in fact is part of my contract the board of regents signed and expect me and her to do. There’s no question about that.”

Another expense the group’s report challenged was for a consultant’s travel. Baker says the university recognized that as an improper reimbursement last year and is working with her to get it back. 

Baker will hold a campus town hall meeting Feb. 16th in the Holmes Student Center. It will feature an update on the state's budget crisis.