NIU Board Of Trustees Won't Begin Presidential Search Until Fall 2018

Sep 18, 2017

Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University won't begin a formal search for its next president until next year.  The Board of Trustees said the timing is in the best interest of the university.

In a letter released Monday to the NIU community, Board Chairman Wheeler Coleman and Vice Chair Dennis Barsema said feedback from faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders led to the determination to start the search in fall of 2018.

The two said there was a strong push for an open and inclusive process, however long that would take.  

Coleman said there was also a sense that, as NIU dealt with the effects of the state budget impasse and other issues, the university was simply not ready to start such a search.

“Coming off the heels of an unexpected presidential resignation," he said, "we just felt that it was in the best interests of the university to kind of stabilize ourselves at this point in time – get our act together.”  

At the same time, there was concern that a search not delay progress on important university initiatives. 

Coleman said that, with Acting President Lisa Freeman and her team in charge, NIU has strong leadership to carry it forward until someone takes the office on a permanent basis.