NIU President Peters Explains Silence, Urges Unity

Nov 9, 2012

Northern Illinois University President John Peters explains his silence on several controversial matters and asks the campus to stick together. 

Northern Illinois University President John Peters
Credit NIU Media Services

Peters sent an email to university faculty and staff Friday afternoon to say he is “deeply distressed” about “accusations of wrong-doing by NIU employees” that have been reported in the news over the past few months. He didn’t specify the allegations. Controversies involving NIU employees this year include the so-called “coffee fund” investigation, two surprise separations with high-ranking employees, and the alleged rape of a student by a campus police officer, as well as accusations of a police cover-up of evidence that could have exonerated the officer.

Peters says his lack of public response to these matters is NOT because of a lack of concern on his part.

Due to legal restrictions that preclude commenting on employee disciplinary measures, neither I nor other university officials have been able to provide detailed comment to the media. That remains the case today and likely will remain so for the foreseeable future.

Peters encourages employees to remember “We are a campus family, and we care about all our members.” He asks them to remember all of the accused are innocent until courts rule otherwise, and urges them to continue to carry out the school’s missions “in an atmosphere of mutual trust, support, and concern.”

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