NIU

Northern Illinois University students recently took to social media to express concerns about supposed online watch lists kept by the university on certain student groups.

A Twitter account claimed that NIU kept social media watch lists of students in certain groups, including athletes and members of sororities and fraternities. University officials say those lists are merely entries using the software Maxient software for electronic records of certain types of incidents. NIU is one of 800 institutions nationwide that use the software.

Northern Illinois University will be back in court Wednesday, possibly to resolve a lawsuit that contests the circumstances of the severance package for former NIU President Doug Baker after his resignation in June.

Misty Haji-Sheikh, a DeKalb resident and activist, claims the NIU Board of Trustees violated the Open Meetings Act. She maintains the Board did not give the public enough notice or opportunity for input on the matter during the June 15 meeting.

NIU Agrees That AFSCME Unit Can Receive Pay Raise

Oct 16, 2017
NIU

Northern Illinois University and union officials have agreed to a tentative three-percent pay increase for more than 600 clerical, administrative and paraprofessional employees. 

Acting NIU President Lisa Freeman announced last month in her State of the University address that she would pursue a university-wide increase for eligible employees not in open union contracts. That proposal will be presented to the NIU Board of Trustees on Thursday.

NIU Releases Latest Safety And Security Report

Oct 5, 2017
Susan Stephens

Northern Illinois University saw a large drop in drug- and alcohol-related reports over the past two years. The 2017-2018 Annual Safety and Security Report also shows a slight increase in sex offenses.

Alcohol related judicial referrals were nearly cut in half, from 301 incidents in 2015 to 170 in 2016, according to the federally-mandated report.

There were 64 fewer drug related judicial referrals reported.

New NIU Stevens Building May Be Open By Next Summer

Oct 4, 2017
Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University’s new theater and anthropology building may be ready for students and faculty by next summer.

NIU spokesman Joe King says he walked through the NIU Stevens Building project site recently. He says the difference between the old and new buildings already is astounding, with a large anthropology lecture hall, brighter labs, bigger theater performance spaces and better classrooms all the way around.

King says the renovation project is scheduled for completion by next spring, but not necessarily in time to house classes for either department.

NIU Media Services

Burial services for William R. Monat, the eighth president of Northern Illinois University who died Saturday in Jupiter, Fla., will be held Friday in Florida.

He passed away in his home just 16 days short of his 93rd birthday.

Northern Illinois University

NIU Acting President Lisa Freeman will give the State of the University address tomorrow. 

Freeman took over from predecessor Doug Baker on June 28, after he resigned over improper hiring practices. She has been at NIU since 2010, serving as executive Vice President and provost since the fall of 2013. Her speech is scheduled at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Altgeld Hall. 

University trustees announced the search for a new president won’t begin until Fall of 2018. Freeman has said she will not be a candidate for the permanent appointment.

A hearing to determine whether 41-year old William Curl can withdraw his April 2013 guilty plea for murdering NIU freshman Antinette "Toni" Keller began yesterday.

Curl maintains that his guilty plea was coerced by prosecutors who also threatened to charge his teenage son. He also alleges poor representation from his court-appointed attorney.

NIU Makes Top 100 List of Safest Colleges In America

Sep 5, 2017
NIU

Northern Illinois University has been named to the Safest Colleges in America 2017  Top 100 list by the National Council for Home Safety and Security.

The DeKalb campus was ranked 65 on the list, with only three other Illinois institutions ranked higher:

Photographed by Pearl Yee Wong / Courtesy of Michigan State University Museum

Civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., will take part in two events Tuesday at Northern Illinois University to celebrate the Pick Museum of Anthropology presentation of “Quilts and Human Rights.”

The day’s events also will offer an opportunity for visitors to be part of creating a new quilt dedicated to social and political activism at NIU.

NIU Campus Prepares For Student Move-In Day

Aug 24, 2017
Susan Stephens

More than 3,600 Northern Illinois University students are expected to move into campus housing on Friday.

Most of them will be coming into DeKalb between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday -- 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. being the busiest point in the day.

“It’s kind of the – it’s literally the kick-off for the school year,” NIU spokesman Joe King said. “I like to say it’s like the start of the baseball season – everybody’s undefeated when they come to campus on move-in day. So it’s one of the best days of the year.”

Nachusa Grassland Studies Shed A New Light On Soil

Aug 8, 2017
Northern Illinois University

The Nachusa Grasslands, near Dixon and Franklin Grove, have become the focus of a major soil study for a pair of Northern Illinois University professors.

NIU Biological science professor Wes Swingley explained why soil is so difficult to study, yet so fascinating.

Susan Stephens

Funding provided under the new Illinois budget plan will benefit Northern Illinois University in several ways, Acting President Lisa Freeman said in a campuswide email moments after the veto override was announced Thursday.

“I applaud our legislators for the bipartisan cooperation required to end a stalemate that has hurt our state, our university and our students,” she said in the message. “Their actions signal that they appreciate the important role of public higher education in building a prosperous future for Illinois.”

The state budget impasse could affect the accreditation of Illinois universities, which have seen deep cuts in state funding in the nearly three years lawmakers have failed to agree on a spending plan.

The Higher Learning Commission, which accredits schools in the Midwest, recently issued a letter cautioning lawmakers that a lack of funding places Illinois universities at risk of losing their accreditation.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale President Randy Dunn says losing accreditation could make it difficult to hire more staff.

NIU Today

Northern Illinois University's College of Law dean has resigned from his position.

Eric Dannenmaier’s resignation comes after an investigation into alleged improper conduct in the workplace. According to an NIU spokesman, he opted to resign after the investigation’s conclusion, “citing his desire to see the law school remain focused on its important educational mission and to continue his own work in environmental law and policy.”

Students Aim To Become The Face Of NIU

Jun 26, 2017
Austin Hansen / WNIJ

Do you ever wonder how someone becomes the face of a university? The process might be easier than it seems.

Northern Illinois University is holding a summer casting call for students who are interested in representing life as a Huskie in upcoming publications (photographs, videos, social media posts, etc.).

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

For some kids, summer means packing your shorts and bug spray and heading off to camp. For some local teachers, camp means early morning lectures and late night discussions about race, gender, and privilege. At least it did last week at Northern Illinois University. WNIJ’s Susan Stephens stopped by Social Justice Summer Camp for this week’s Friday Forum.

Provided

The man accused of driving under the influence and causing a fatal car crash has been released and is out on his own recognizance. 

Daniel Chavez, 25, was arrested following the car crash Sunday shortly after midnight on Lincoln Highway that killed NIU graduate student Sai Kumar Adluru  and injured three passengers.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s office says they found traces of marijuana in Chavez’s Jeep, with urine tests confirming the presence of the drug in his system. He also had a blood alcohol level of .076 -- slightly below the legal limit of .08.

www.gofundme.com/saikumaradlurumemorial

A Northern Illinois University student is dead after being hit by a drunk driver early Sunday morning.

Sai Adluru, a 23-year-old DeKalb resident, died after his car was struck on Illinois 38 just east of Nelson Road.

Adluru and a passenger were driving westbound when the other car crossed into their lane.

Daniel Chavez of Rochelle has been charged with three counts of aggravated Driving Under the Influence and one count of reckless homicide. He sustained serious injuries from the incident.

Adluru was an NIU graduate student studying electrical engineering.

Goodwill Is On The Move To NIU Residence Halls

May 9, 2017

Goodwill is stationing containers in NIU’s residence halls this week as students move out for the summer.

It’s part of a bi-annual campaign to collect unwanted items that may otherwise go in the trash.

Mary Ann Stratus, with Goodwill, said that's because residence halls often don’t have the time or manpower to bring items to donation centers.

“It only made sense for Goodwill to come in, bring the bins to the students, and just make it easy for them to donate,” she said.

Stratus said they’re in particular need for items like shoes and jeans.

Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ

Enrollment at many Illinois public universities has declined in the past decade. This coincides with the state approaching two years without a full spending plan. As a result, college-bound students have tough decisions to make.

Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ

NIU held a tribute concert Sunday to honor Cliff Alexis, who joined the university’s school of music in 1985.

Alexis helped establish steelpan studies as a major at NIU. 

He’s originally from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; it's where he started playing the steelpan at age 14.

“When I was young, most people gravitate toward the steel pan, especially coming from where I came from," he said. "I came from an underprivileged neighborhood, and that was one of the things to do.”

Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ

Ten Northern Illinois University fraternities are in the trenches for a week-long tournament called “Tugs.”

It's been an NIU tradition for more than half a century.

Money raised will go toward a selected charity or non-profit. Devin Joseph, an organizer of the event, says the tradition separates NIU from other campuses.

NIU Scientists Push To Forefront In 'March For Science'

Apr 22, 2017
Susan Stephens

Scientists across the country will step out of the lab today and into the streets, including locations like Chicago, for the “March for Science.” The event coincides with Earth Day.

Scientists think it's time to raise awareness for their respective fields. As a result, many faculty members have found themselves pushed into more active roles.

Reed Scherer is a professor of Geology at NIU.

This week, a Winnebago County judge ordered a Rockford woman to spend up to 100 years in a mental health facility for the 2013 stabbing death of her son.

A judge earlier this year ruled Jody Kossow not guilty by reason of insanity after she stabbed her 12-year-old son Thomas more than 55 times, killing him.

She told 911 operators that “Satan was after me.”

The judge says Kossow must be confined to psychiatric care up to 100 years.

TEDxNIU Conference 'Pushes Limits'

Apr 20, 2017

The popularity of TED-branded video lectures has skyrocketed in recent years. The Northern Illinois University chapter, known as TEDxNIU, will hold its own event this Saturday, featuring a variety of speeches. "Pushing Limits"’ will be this year’s theme.

NIU student Madeline Alger is co-director of the TEDx chapter. She explains that TED is a global nonprofit organization whose goal is to spread ideas across the world.

About 200 members of NIU's chapter of Kappa Delta Pi are launching a book sale to raise money for programs to support children's literacy. 

As part of their annual service project, they plan to use profits to fund outreach programs, like bringing in authors for reading comprehension programs and supporting efforts at the NIU Literacy Clinic. 

Beth Wilkins, an NIU professor who oversees the local chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, says the sale is a chance for people to give back.

Moody's Investors Service has placed six Illinois public universities on review for downgrade, impacting a total of approximately $2.2 billion of public university debt. According to a release issued by the company, the review is prompted by  "failure of the State of Illinois to enact a budget providing full operating funding to the universities for the current fiscal year 2017 and resulting operational and liquidity strains on the universities."

Scrutiny Mounts On Travel Orders

Apr 13, 2017
Michael Gianaris / nysenate.gov

The American Civil Liberties Union recently filed 13 lawsuits requesting government documents regarding the president’s travel orders.

A national search for the new head of the Northern Illinois University Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships has found a resolution on campus.

Dr. Gerald Blazey, a physicist who came to NIU in 1996 and has served as interim vice president of the division for the past two years, is the choice to take the chair officially on May 16, pending approval of the NIU Board of Trustees.

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