NIU geologist Ross Powell is in a holding pattern. Powell and NIU geology professor Reed Scherer were scheduled to leave for Antarctica in December. Powell is leading the second field season of a study of the continent's ice shelf. Those plans are on hold as the federal government shutdown continues. The project is supported by the National Science Foundation.
The number of project members had already been scaled back earlier this year due to the federal sequester.
Don Grady is still fighting his dismissal as NIU's police chief. Earlier this year, the university fired Grady amid a department scandal. Top officials were accused of mishandling evidence in a rape case against a former officer.
NIU's Board of Trustees voted Thursday to adopt a university-wide concealed carry policy. It keeps the existing practice of prohibiting guns on campus.
The policy also outlines places where firearms can be stored. The primary place for a weapon is in a parked vehicle within a locked case out of plain view in an unrestricted parking lot. Firearms may also be stored with the NIU police department.
Over the summer, Illinois became the last state to allow properly licensed individuals to carry concealed weapons. But NIU officials say that, even if their students or employees eventually obtain a permit, they still can't carry a concealed weapon on campus.
The law says the practice is prohibited in all buildings owned or leased by a college or university, as well as parking areas and sidewalks under a college or university’s control.
Two Northern Illinois University professors are part of an international research team trying to anticipate rising sea levels in Antarctica. They will also be looking into which life forms can survive in one of the coldest places on earth.
“Doing this sort of research is really fun understanding that you’re undoubtedly the first people who have ever seen this sort of thing,” said Ross Powell, Professor of Sedimentology and Climate Change.