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Local

NIU Board wants to consider Freeman for president

Acting Northern Illinois University President Lisa Freeman talks about the Board of Trustees' thoughts on a collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME Local 1890 in mid-May as Dennis Barsema, board vice chairman, looks on.
Acting Northern Illinois University President Lisa Freeman talks about the Board of Trustees' thoughts on a collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME Local 1890 in mid-May as Dennis Barsema, board vice chairman, looks on.

DeKALB – Northern Illinois University’s acting president, Lisa Freeman, had said she didn’t want the job in a permanent capacity. Things have changed, according to a news release from the Board of Trustees.

A presidential search planning committee formed after former President Doug Baker’s unceremonious resignation among scandal found that Freeman, who replaced Baker, fits the requirements to fill the role in a permanent capacity.

“In her role as Acting President for the past year, she has not only stabilized operations but also has led efforts that have notably advanced NIU in areas such as transparency and fiscal sustainability,” the release reads. “… She has consistently demonstrated a keen ability to meet the university’s challenges and position NIU for future success.”

The release says the board approached Freeman about becoming a candidate.

“She shared with us that she would be honored to be considered because after a year in her role, her commitment to our university, mission and community has only grown,” the release says.

After consulting with the University Advisory Committee, Senior Roundtable and the Council of Deans, the board wants the search process changed, with Freeman being a candidate, the release says.

Sessions with the Faculty Senate, Operating Staff Council, SPS Council, Council of Deans, presidential commissions, alumni, donors and city officials are planned for August and September, although specific dates are not yet pinned down. Also being planned is a university-wide forum, at which Freeman will outline her plan for the university and field questions from faculty staff and students, the release says.

The Board of Trustees will hear a proposal on the adjustment to the search during a special meeting at 9 a.m. Monday in Room 315 at Altgeld Hall.

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