At NIU Town Hall, President Baker Addresses Budget, Enrollment

Sep 22, 2016

Public universities continue to struggle with budgeting due to uncertainty in Springfield, Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker told a town hall meeting Thursday. He says the stopgap and partial-year budget measures aren’t enough. His suggestion to lawmakers?

"Why don’t we take the 2017 budget—that half-year budget -- and count it towards ’16 and you give us a full-year budget?," Baker asked. "That’s our story. The odds of that are probably not very high right now.”

Baker says the university is also re-designing recruitment models. This fall, NIU experienced a 5.5 percent decrease in overall enrollment compared to last year. He pointed to an increase in law students, which he says bucks national trends and provides successful attempts to change the tide for overall enrollment.

Program Prioritization

NIU Provost Lisa Freeman provided an update to the program prioritization process. Academic departments were reviewed and put into categories for enhanced, reduced, or level resources.

Freeman says the responses are under review and says the process is not going on a shelf.

“There is no day when all decisions are going to be made and we are going to wake up the next morning and have everything implemented. Things are going forward at the timeline that they need to go forward.”