NIU Doug Baker

CREDIT "COURTROOM ONE GAVEL" BY FLICKR USER BETH CORTEZ-NEAVEL / (CC BY 2.0)

DeKalb County Board Member Misty Haji-Sheikh is suing Northern Illinois University over outgoing-President Doug Baker's severance package.

Haji-Sheikh alleges that university trustees violated the state's Open Meetings Act by not revealing the details of Baker's severance package until the end of their meeting making the announcement.

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

University of Illinois trustees are scheduled to vote Thursday on a resolution urging state lawmakers to agree on a budget. The impasse has been weighing on the minds of many public university leaders.

Illinois has been without a budget since July, putting pressure on the state's universities to dip into cash reserves. It also worries students who rely on MAP grants.

Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker says he has made several trips to Springfield, and joins other university leaders in keeping a close eye on lawmakers and the governor.

kqed

Leaders from across Illinois are becoming more vocal about their desire for Congress to approve an immigration overhaul. Staying outside of the political debate, mayors and university officials have a common theme in their message: a comprehensive bill would provide a boost to local communities.