To the Editor:
I was recently reminded of the old saw, “You’re never too old to learn.”
With research through freedom of information act requests, I learned that the best and brightest employees and consultants for educational institutions cannot be located easily in all parts of the country, especially not in the Chicago area. It appears that the northwest part of our great county is a top, if not the best, source geographically to locate these premier people.
The Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees learned about this great pool of personnel when they hired Douglas Baker as president of the university. Shortly thereafter, NIU luckily was able to obtain the services of several other northwestern U.S. residents: Ron Walters (employed for “planning”), William Pfeiffer (an HR consultant), and Jacob Simons (a consultant hired to work in conjunction with Walters for “rethinking the student experience”).
With the exception of President Baker, these men were of such high quality that they were not required to be selected through the normal channels of either an employee search or the open bid process for consulting contracts. It is wonderful that NIU administration was aware of these specific people and was able act on this knowledge so quickly and without hesitation.
With this new knowledge, the advice I would give to any recent graduate is: Go northwest young person, go northwest.