Northern Illinois University

NIU Releases Latest Safety & Security Report

Oct 5, 2015
Northern Illinois University

There are a few things to take note of in Northern Illinois University’s most recent safety and security report.

According to the report, no hate crimes have been reported at NIU in two years. But you might notice drug law violations more than doubled from 2013 to 2014.


A 19 year old Northern Illinois University student died this weekend after falling eleven stories from his dormitory room window.  Oluwarotimi "Timi" Okedina is believed to have removed the screen from the window in the Stevenson Towers residential complex Saturday night right before he fell. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Bilingual employees are in hot demand. At least that’s what a recent survey by Northern Illinois University found. One of the greatest areas of need is for teachers with skills in more than one language. WNIJ’s Susan Stephens spoke with NIU Professor James Cohen, who specializes in bilingual education.


NIU Hosts First Large-Scale Hackathon

Sep 25, 2015
NIU Huskie Hack

Northern Illinois University is hosting its first large-scale hackathon starting at noon Saturday.

Three-hundred and seventy-two participants from all over the world are scheduled to attend the Huskie Hack. About 16 percent are middle or high school students.

NIU research associate Tracy Rogers-Tryba leads the event. She says hacking doesn’t necessarily mean maliciously breaking into secure systems.

“Computer hacking is taking a turn where it’s using the access to big data and coding to solve problems for social good,” Rogers-Tryba said.

NIU Interim Budget Considers 'Worst Case' Cuts

Sep 23, 2015
Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

The chief financial officer at Northern Illinois University says cuts already are being considered after NIU trustees announced an interim budget last week due to the state budget stalemate.

Al Phillips, the vice president of finance at NIU, says those university cuts include food costs and program prioritization.

“While furloughs or layoffs -- depending on what happens with the state -- could be a possibility, it’s not something that we’re actively considering at this time,” Phillips said.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Religious protesters from a group out of Terre Haute, Indiana, demonstrated on Northern Illinois University's campus yesterday. Members of The Campus Ministry USA shared controversial views against pre-marital sex and homosexuality while picketing on Martin Luther King Jr. Commons.

The group is Christian-based, but is not affiliated with a specific church.

NIU Athletics

Northern Illinois University's goal for football game attendance this year is 6,000 students at each of the six home games. Officials announced a multi-thousand dollar incentive for them to attend. 

If a student attends all six home football games and checks into a special app every time to prove they stayed the whole time, they are eligible to enter a drawing to win tuition for the Spring 2016 semester. 

Northern Illinois University

A consultant who came to Northern Illinois University still has not returned travel expense payments that he should not have received.

An unnamed consultant from Lopez, Washington, was reimbursed about $32,000 in travel expenses that state auditors called improper in a March report. 

NIU officials have not confirmed the name of the consultant in question, but former NIU consultant Ron Walters has an office in that location. 

NIU Today

Northern Illinois University may not be directly affected by Illinois's lack of a budget -- not yet, at least.

NIU is not planning to take away student perks, but Capital Projects at the university, like construction for the Stevens Building, would be halted. About 100 other Capital Projects would also be affected.

Al Phillips is the NIU Vice President of Finance and Administration. He went to Springfield Wednesday to plead NIU's financial case, along with other representatives from other state schools.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The word “hacker” can strike fear into the heart of anyone who has a credit card, a computer, or a smart phone. Saturday, June 6th, thousands of “civic hackers” across the country will reclaim the art of accessing data. Northern Illinois University is one of the sites where people can get together to observe the National Day of Civic Hacking. WNIJ’s Susan Stephens spoke with Tracy Rogers-Tryba of NIU’s Center for Governmental Studies.