DeKALB – When Sean Frazier accepted the Northern Illinois athletic director job nearly a year ago, one of his main focuses was improving the school's facilities.
Frazier came up with his "facilities master plan" when it comes to renovating and improving the numerous facilities at the school.
"You can't make decisions on long range planning without the right information and research. I'm a big one on data-driven decisions. It's important for us to maximize the dollars and efforts of our personnel," Frazier said in an interview Thursday with the Daily Chronicle. "No offense to the Big Ten, I don't have Big Ten money yet. I've got to be able to strategically look at every penny and attach to a reason why we're doing what we're doing.
"So all of our positions, all of our facilities, all of our personnel, I've got to think very strategic on why I am doing X."
The master plan is nearly complete, as Frazier said the university will be able to share more news about its facilities in August. There have been meetings and tours of facilities, and Frazier said there have been proposals for new facilities, as well as renovations of current ones.
The next step would be to finalize the plan, and do a presentation to both athletics and NIU President Douglas Baker to see exactly where it stands.
In terms of potential Huskie Stadium renovations, the school is still looking for feedback from fans, who are able to fill out a survey on niuhuskies.com. The survey began in the middle of June, and Frazier said NIU will keep the survey online as long as possible, and added that the school has used the information daily.
"We're looking to get that information, so we can see where the alumni base and their supporters are as far as their interest in some of the amenities," Frazier said. "The next step is to digest all that stuff, all the dates and come together with some decisions."
When the facilities master plan is in the place, it will be an example of what NIU's future needs will look like in terms of athletic facilities, Frazier said, so that the university can add to its resources through a very strategic process for review.
"And every place I've been at, that's been the direction. We've gone to strategic planning, we've gone to facilities master plans and those things. Then we can justify in front of any group," Frazier said. "Alumni, students, board of trustees, what have you, to say that we've done our due diligence in saying, 'This is why we did this, because of the trends and research to support what we're doing.'
"That's a higher education way, I'm a higher education theorist, and justification of dollars, I totally understand that. Especially when there's so little dollars in the pot to do things, we've got to maximize what we're doing. And I would do that regardless if I had Big Ten money or not."