NIU

NIU Moves All Summer Courses Online

Apr 2, 2020
niu.edu

Northern Illinois University has moved all summer courses online instead of face-to-face. That’s because of continuing uncertainty regarding the extent of the State’s stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. NIU President Lisa Freeman and Provost Beth Ingram issued a joint statement Thursday. April 6 is the first day of registration for summer classes.

Northern Illinois University

Universities across the state have canceled in-person classes for the rest of the semester. But how do you learn acting, music or dance from home?

There’s no replacing the immediacy of live theatre. And there’s no replacing a live concert or recital.

But Alexander Gelman says it’s worth remembering that art’s greatest enemy can be a lack of limitations. He’s the head of Northern Illinois University’s School of Theatre & Dance.

Susan Stephens

NIU President Lisa Freeman released a letter to the campus community on Wednesday, March 25 outlining two cases of students diagnosed with COVID-19:

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

I am writing today to confirm that two NIU students have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus (COVID-19). University officials are cooperating fully with the DeKalb County Health Department and other public health officials regarding the appropriate next step for our community.

Susan Stephens

NIU President Lisa Freeman joined several other Illinois public universities in announcing that classes would be conducted remotely for the remainder of the semester to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

She says there are possible exceptions for a small number of labs, internships, clinical and practicum programs. But there is no official word as yet on what those courses may be.

 

Jacob Chan is an NIU student. He says he’s not sure how his classes will translate to the new online format. 

Chase Cavanaugh

As the Illinois primary election draws closer, college students are preparing to cast their votes. Some for the first time. As part of our series, "You're the Boss," we asked several NIU voters at campus voter registration events about their most important issues in the election, and what questions they would ask candidates and current officeholders directly if they had the chance.  Here's what they had to say:

Salvador Meza, electrical and computer engineering major, Chicago

Susan Stephens

Northern Illinois University recently announced it will no longer require the ACT and SAT for admission and scholarships.

Arturo Chuatz is an accounting major from Elgin. He says the announcement doesn’t matter much to him since he is close to graduating. But he says it could help his family. He says his little sister sometimes struggles on standardized tests.

“She gets super anxious and she’s always like, ‘I don’t do well on exams.’ It’s going to help her out if she chooses to transfer to a four-year university eventually,” Chuatz said.

A high score on the SAT or ACT is no longer required for admission to more than a dozen four-year colleges and universities in Illinois. As of last week, that includes Northern Illinois University, which will now accept a high school GPA of 3.0 for admission.

 

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Western Illinois University, and many private colleges had already adopted similar policies. They’re all part of a growing movement.

NIU No Longer Looking At SAT & ACT Scores

Jan 30, 2020
Susan Stephens

Students applying to Northern Illinois University with a 3.0 grade point average or higher will soon be automatically admitted.

Other universities, including Western Illinois University, have already adopted test-optional policies.

NIU is the first public university in the state to go completely test blind starting fall 2021.

The university will no longer look at SAT and ACT scores for admission as well as merit scholarships.

Guy Stephens

A Northern Illinois University professor is looking at ways to reduce incarceration rates for those dealing with mental illness. Professor of Sociology Fred Markowitz will continue his research in Finland thanks to a Fulbright research grant.

Markowitz said both Finland and the U.S have seen an increase in the number of mentally ill in jail as they cut back local treatment programs. He said in the U.S., it’s difficult to get good information on the impact of those cuts, or programs that might prevent jail time for those grappling with mental illness.

Susan Stephens

Northern Illinois University officials continue to look for ways to attract new students.

Fall enrollment hit its lowest level in 50 years. Officials recently announced they will freeze tuition rates for the sixth year in a row.  Room and board rates will also remain flat next year. The university will cap tuition at  $4,732.80 per semester for students taking 12 or more credit hours. That’s to encourage students to finish their degree on time. University President Lisa Freeman said NIU will also lower student fees.

Last month, Northern Illinois University police investigated a potential threat circulating on social media.

The university sent a late-night “community awareness message” telling students and staff the threat wasn’t credible. But many NIU students had already seen the rumors online and were not satisfied with the university’s short response.

That morning, November 18, Kaitlyn Frisby woke up to Facebook and Twitter reactions about the situation from her classmates -- questions like: How long did they talk to the person? Are they in police custody?

Ann Marsden / libbylarsen.com

A piece by acclaimed American composer Libby Larsen will be given its world premiere this weekend at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. The work is inspired by the true stories of migrants.

Last week, Northern Illinois University announced the Huskie Pledge. The grant could cover tuition and fees for a student’s first year and up to four additional years.

The university is now offering more details on what the process will look like for students interested in applying.

Susan Stephens

Northern Illinois University President Lisa Freeman announced the “Huskie Pledge” grant program in her State of the University speech. 

Illinois students enrolling as full-time freshmen at NIU in fall 2020 will be awarded a grant to totally cover their first year of tuition and general fees. To meet the grant criteria, they must come in with a 3.0 or higher high school GPA and have a household income of under $75,000.

Peter Medlin

About a mile away from Northern Illinois University’s campus in DeKalb, a nice 2-story house on the corner of Woodlawn Drive is vacant. The only sign of wear in sight is on a small metal sign in the freshly cut yard where the address is slowly rusting away. 

Built in 1955, this house has been home to the presidents of NIU. But, when Dr. Lisa Freeman was hired last year, she already had a home in DeKalb.

Northern Illinois University

A Northern Illinois University administrator will chair the Illinois Innovation Network Council.

The Network is a collection of 15 hubs based at state universities. Each hub is a center of research, entrepreneurship, education, and workforce development; and the Council is a way to better coordinate their projects.  NIU's inaugural chairman is Vice President for Research and Innovation Partnerships Dr. Gerald Blazey. Blazey says all the hubs have a central connection to the Discovery Partners Institute in downtown Chicago.

Logo design by Spencer Tritt

Rich Egger, news director at Tri States Public Radio in Macomb, joins us for a special edition episode of Teachers’ Lounge. Public radio stations across the state collaborated on our “Enrollment Exodus” series chronicling enrollment challenges facing Illinois colleges and universities, especially since the 2015-2017 state budget impasse.

State Of The Artist: Dance To The Beep

Jun 25, 2019
Connie Kuntz

State Of The Artist features artists in the places that inspire them; the places that put them in a creative state of mind. For Jessica Miller Tomlinson, those places are actions. She preferred to interview when she was in transit because motion is the "place" that inspires her. So Jessica's interview is a reflection of her passion for working or getting to work, or finding ways to improve her work.  

NIU Launches AI Chat Bot Tool

Jun 6, 2019

If you go to Northern Illinois University's admissions website, you’re greeted by a small chat box in the right hand corner with a picture of NIU’s mascot “Victor E. Huskie.” Only now he’s Virtual Victor, the face of the AI chat bot.

This spring, NIU launched the chat bot. Its job is to help answer questions about the university from prospective students.

Anime Fans Meet At 'Karoshi-Con'

Apr 26, 2019
Mia Pidlaoan

Last weekend, Northern Illinois University’s Anime Association hosted its annual Karoshi-Con. Karoshi-Con is a free, public anime convention. It is the only one of its kind in the DeKalb area.  Some of its features included a vendor hall, a traditional gaming room, a video game room, and various panels.

Randy Sager

During World War II, Jewish prisoners in the Nazi concentration camp at Terezin learned Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem and performed it 16 times. This weekend at Northern Illinois University, that story of affirmation and defiance toward their captors will be commemorated through Verdi's music, historic film footage, testimonials from camp survivors, and narration. The program, Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin, will be led by its creator, conductor Murry Sidlin. He's conducted it close to fifty times around the world.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Students in the School of Business at Northern Illinois University are holding what they call their “Golden Heart Celebration” Monday. The ceremony honors two of their own who were killed in an office shooting in Aurora February 15 -- senior Trevor Wehner and alumnus Clay Parks. It’s also Wehner’s Golden Birthday: he would have been 22 on April 22.

Northern Illinois University's student-run film festival hits the big screen this week.

Krystal Termini is a spokesperson for the Reality Bytes Independent Student Film Festival. She says her class chose 17 films out of dozens of entries.

“Each week [during class] we watched about 10 films,” Termini explained. “And then each 10 films that we watched, we broke those down into ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ or ‘maybe.’”

NIU Gamers 'Level Up' With Equipment And Locations

Mar 8, 2019
Andrew Heiserman

Talk about sports and many people think of baseball, soccer or football. But esports are growing in popularity.

On a cold March afternoon, two students feverishly hit buttons on Nintendo controllers in the basement of the Neptune Residence Hall. They're playing Super Smash Bros. Think of it as the Mortal Kombat of Mario.

NIU is just one of the many colleges across the country joining the growing esports movement. First, let's break down the "e" part.

NIU Remembers Trevor Wehner And Clayton Parks

Feb 21, 2019
Andrew Heiserman

A candlelight vigil was held at Northern Illinois University Thursday to honor the victims of the Aurora workplace shooting last Friday. Friends, family and faculty gathered to share their memories of the victims. Associate professor in the college of business Terry Bishop taught both of them and says it is important to remind people that you love them.

“I would urge you all to make sure that you always say that you love the people that you love, you can never say that too much. It is sad that we are saying goodbye to Clay and Trevor, we will never forget.”

Andrew Heiserman

Barsema's closet is a pop-up resale shop that provides Northern Illinois University students with casual and business professional clothing, plus accessories such as padfolios and briefcases.

It was created for the university's business students, but co-founder Emma Stettner says they realized this is a problem affecting all students.

Funeral services for Trevor Melvin Wehner of Sheridan are set for this Wednesday, February 20th.

Wehner was a victim of the shooting at the Henry Pratt warehouse in Aurora on February 15th; he was an NIU student and former employee at Tom & Jerry's of DeKalb.

45-year-old Gary Martin shot and killed him and four other people after being fired from his job of 15 years. He also injured five police officers before being shot and killed himself.

NIU Student, Alumnus Among Dead In Aurora

Feb 16, 2019
Guy Stephens

Northern Illinois University President Lisa Freeman notified staff through email that two of the people killed in a shooting at an Aurora industrial park have deep NIU connections.

NIU student Trevor Wehner was among those killed when Gary Martin opened fire at the Henry Pratt Co. Friday afternoon. According to the release, Friday was the first day of Wehner's internship at the company.

2014 alumnus Clay Parks was also killed Friday. Parks graduated from the school's College of Business and worked as a human resources manager at the company.

Coloring books for adults are growing in popularity. Curators at Northern Illinois University's Founder's Memorial Library hope the hobby can bring attention to one of their more unique collections. On this week's Friday Forum, WNIJ's Jenna Dooley talks with the curators about the "ColorOurCollections" event.

Susan Stephens

Northern Illinois University has a new enrollment plan that aims to have 18,000 students by fall 2023.

 

The DeKalb Daily Chronicle reports NIU President Lisa Freeman wants to stem years of enrollment decline. Enrollment peaked during the 2007-2008 school year at 25,000 students but since then enrollment has declined 30 percent to about 17,100 students.

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