Northern Illinois University

University officials are praising Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed budget increases for higher education. 

It would provide more money for student aid and gives colleges a five percent boost in their operating budgets. Northern Illinois University President Lisa Freeman says the increase won’t undo the damage from previous cuts and the 700 day budget impasse. But it’s a good first step.

Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University’s STEMfest is working to be more inclusive this year.

The annual event takes place at NIU's Convocation Center. It features scientific demonstrations, intricate displays, and STEM experts scattered across the large space.  But it’s often a loud, crowded show.  NIU STEM educator Sam Watt says they’re trying to expand access to the event with a low-sensory hour.

Northern Illinois University

Tornado frequency has increased over a large swath of the Midwest and decreased in the region known as "Tornado Alley."

The study led by Northern Illinois University professor Victor Gensini shows parts of Texas and Oklahoma remain the most frequent sites for tornadoes. But the numbers have gone down over the past four decades, while there have been more tornadoes in a region running from Illinois and Indiana to Alabama and Mississippi.

Victoria Lunacek

Northern Illinois University’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a plan Monday that puts Acting President Lisa Freeman in the running to take the position permanently.

They are putting forward Dr. Freeman as their preferred candidate and will gather feedback from local constituents later this year. Board Chair Wheeler Coleman says the trustees are quite pleased with Freeman’s work over the past year.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

DeKalb resident Misty Haji-Sheikh is entitled to some reimbursed attorney’s fees and costs in an Open Meetings Act case against Northern Illinois University. That’s according to a ruling from a DeKalb County judge this week.

Judge Bradley Waller ruled in November that NIU violated the Open Meetings Act. That's also when he ruled that former NIU President Doug Baker’s awarded severance package of more than $600,000 was null and void.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

The severance package for former Northern Illinois University president Doug Baker is now null and void, according to a court ruling Wednesday.

A DeKalb County judge ruled that the NIU Board of Trustees violated the Open Meetings Act. Judge Bradley Waller said in his decision that the board did not adequately notify the public of the terms of Baker’s more than $600,000 severance package.

AFSCME Wins Advisory Ruling Against NIU Parking Hike

Aug 25, 2017
niu.edu / afscme.org

An Illinois state labor board has ruled that its General Counsel should side with a Northern Illinois University employee union regarding the raise of parking pass prices. But the office says it’s not the final word on the case.

The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board office says the legally-binding decision is expected to come later next month.

NIU raised the price of parking permits by $19 in July 2016. That was after NIU and the newly-formed AFSCME bargaining unit – which includes clerical and administrative professionals – entered negotiations in February 2016.

Gov. Rauner Fills Out NIU Board Of Trustees

Jan 20, 2017
Susan Stephens

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has made three new appointments, including two alumni, and one reappointment to the Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees.

Dennis Barsema, who earned a bachelor's degree in management at NIU, is president and CEO of Redback Networks. He also has served as president and CEO of Onetta, Inc.

He is currently on the Board of Directors for five organizations, including Carpenter's Place and Nest.

NIU Prepares Campus Community For The Release Of Program Priorities

Apr 27, 2016
Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University's President will soon announce the results from an extensive review process of programs and departments.

The findings will be released Monday.

President Doug Baker addressed the campus community at a town hall meeting on Wednesday. He summed up some of the review's objectives.

"How do we become more efficient and effective? How do we help each other do our jobs better?" Baker said.

NIU Vice Provost Lisa Freeman says 10 academic programs were volunteered for deletion.

Northern Illinois University

Illinois colleges and universities still haven’t received state funding due to the budget impasse. Northern Illinois University trustees passed a resolution earlier this month to address that.

NIU trustees passed a temporary budget in September. It anticipated Governor Bruce Rauner’s originally proposed cuts … which was about 29 percent less than the previous year's funding.  

N'Jema McIntyre / WNIJ

Scholars from Ecuador are wrapping up a seven month stay at Northern Illinois University. 

The 37 teachers came to the United States to study English.

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa is pushing the importance of higher standards for education. He is investing in teachers to build a better education system in his country. And that means sending teachers to the U.S.

“You have the best high education system in the world. So we have to learn a lot for the state in this subject.”

Diane Drake / WNIJ

Wednesday was a day for celebrations at Northern Illinois University…even before the undefeated Huskies crushed Ball State, 48 to 27. It was Inauguration Day for NIU president Doug Baker, and student achievement was the focus.

Alcohol may be behind the death of a Northern Illinois University freshman. 19-year-old David Bogenberger was found unresponsive in a bed at a fraternity house this morning. He was pronounced dead half an hour later.