Northern Illinois University

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Reimbursements for some Illinois county positions haven’t been paid since July – even though they’re required by law.

That’s because of the state budget gridlock.

Those positions include each county’s state’s attorney, public defender and assessment supervisor.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The bills are mounting for Northern Illinois University in the investigation of President Doug Baker by state Executive Inspector General Maggie Hickey's office.

According to the Daily Chronicle, the university is paying the Boston-based law firm on Baker’s behalf.

The newspaper reports expenses totaled over $85,000 during the months of March and September this year.

Members of the NIU Board of Trustees said the university has an obligation to defend Baker. Others are concerned about the rising legal bills.

Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University students will soon receive an e-mail to name a mental health emergency contact person. That’s because the school will soon be required by law to provide that paperwork.

The Student Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Act says colleges and universities have to provide incoming students a form that would allow the school to disclose mental health information about the student to a designated person. That’s if the school thinks the student is a threat to others or him-or-herself. 

NIU Passes Water Test For Lead

Nov 16, 2015
Steve Johnson / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency requires drinking water testing for lead every three years. Northern Illinois University passed – with one initial exception.

The EPA requires corrective action if 20 percent of a system’s samples have more than 15 parts of lead per billion. Only one NIU fountain -- located in the visual arts building -- tested positive for lead under these criteria. That’s according to an NIU staff memo.

Officials say the unsafe sample was taken from a mechanical hot water heating line. They corrected the problem and drew another sample, which passed.

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.

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