Doug Baker

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker will step down on June 30, the end of the current academic year. 

He made the announcement at the beginning of the NIU Board of Trustees meeting, which had scheduled a closed session on its agenda to review “Presidential Employment.”  After a marathon closed session, Trustees emerged to announce their transition plan. Executive Vice President and Provost Lisa Freeman will serve as interim president, but will not pursue the position permanently. On July 1st, Freeman becomes NIU's first female president.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker “mismanaged NIU in relation to the improper hiring of several individuals” between June 2013 and June 2015, according to an August 2016 report by the Illinois Office of the Executive Inspector General (OEIG) made public today.  

NIU

The status hearing scheduled this week involving NIU Controller Keith Jackson and university officials has been reset to Aug. 30.

In 2015, Jackson filed suit for wrongful termination against NIU, the university’s Board of Trustees, President Doug Baker, and former interim CFO Nancy Suttenfield.

The decision to move the status hearing in Rockford follows a motion by the defendants to dismiss the case. Keith Jackson must respond to that motion by May 19. NIU and Baker then must reply by early June. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University’s president responded this week to complaints about his travel expenses.

UPDATE: 1/8/16: The request to move the case from Chicago's Eastern Division to Rockford's Western Division has been granted. Jackson's attorney, Alejandro Caffarelli confirmed the decision to WNIJ.

Background

Keith Jackson has been NIU’s Comptroller since 1999. He was placed on paid administrative leave, and filed a federal wrongful-termination lawsuit Oct. 2 against Northern Illinois University, the Board of Trustees, President Doug Baker, and former interim CFO Nancy Suttenfield.

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