To the Editor:
As a two-time alum and Northern Illinois University retiree, I was aghast to read of the gross mismanagement described in your cover story last week of the report of the Illinois Office of the Executive Inspector General.
It concludes that NIU President Doug Baker mismanaged the university by “ endorsing a hiring scheme that greatly benefited one of his friends.”
Your story continues that “Baker improperly classified multiple high-paying consulting positions as affiliate employees to skirt state rules requiring competitive bidding.”
The salaries paid were exorbitant at a time when the governor and Legislature have left Illinois with no budget for three years and continue to ravage the Illinois University System, which will take years to repair – if the money ever comes and all the universities still exist and faculty can be found to teach here.
This incredible waste occurred during layoffs of staff who have received scant – if any – salary increases for years.
As I recall, staff and some devoted faculty were the best friends our students ever had.
Obviously, NIU is in strong need of competent and principled leadership. Soon.