Northern Illinois University confirmed Dr. Eddie R. Williams has returned from a leave of absence, but his tenure is expected to be short-lived. Williams announced he will retire from NIU May 31, 2013.
According to a statement from NIU, outgoing NIU President John Peters lauded Williams's "experience and expertise" and said he "is highly respected for his budget expertise and his many contributions to university operations.”
When federal law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on campus on March 6 as part of an unspecified investigation, the statement added, the university and Dr. Williams cooperated fully. Because Williams supervised a broad range of administrative matters, Peters and Williams agreed on a leave of absence to avoid any appearance of conflict or any question concerning the university’s response to thhe investigation.
University officials said that Williams had been planning, prior to the administrative leave, to announce his retirement from the university in June. Therefore, preparations had been underway within the Division of Finance & Facilities for a leadership transition and potential reorganization. Peters named Vice President of Administration Steve Cunningham as Acting Executive Vice President & Chief of Operations on March 8.
"Cunningham will continue in this capacity," the univeristy statement said. "Williams will provide advice and assistance to Cunningham and Peters in the areas of budgeting and finance."
FBI Investigation And Administrative Leave
It's been a little more than two months since Williams was named in an FBI search warrant. The FBI and several federal agencies removed records from the NIU Police Department in March.
According to the search warrant, the records were related to Williams’ low-income housing developments in DeKalb. The FBI’s Chicago office tells WNIJ news that the investigation is continuing, and there is no timeline for resolution. Williams was paid about $50,000 during his two months away from his position.