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Local

NIU Faculty Senate wants more input on president evaluations

Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker listens to a report during 2015 trustees meeting in Altgeld Hall.
Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker listens to a report during 2015 trustees meeting in Altgeld Hall.

DeKALB – Northern Illinois University’s Faculty Senate discussed how it could get more involved in presidential evaluations during its Wednesday meeting after an appearance by President Doug Baker.

Baker was responding to complaints raised from a December email where he took responsibility for “limited compliance violations” in employment and consulting decisions in his first two years.

The Faculty Senate held off on a vote of no confidence, which would acknowledge the group’s lack of support for Baker.

“On one hand, people may assume they have a large measure of influence, but
oftentimes it is more symbolic and creates more tension and entrenches people in positions that may be more harmful than helpful,” Faculty Senate Speaker Greg Long said.

Instead, the senate discussed how it could work with the NIU board of trustees to be more inclusive in presidential evaluations.

“This had overwhelming support as a concept,” Long said. “One of the issues that surrounds this process and makes it a significant endeavor is that we have accumulated a number of policies, some that are related to presidential evaluations, that are not in concert with one another.”

The board conducts several presidential reviews throughout the term of a president. Baker’s contract is up in June 2018.

“We hope to come up with a strategy that is inclusive and transparent,” Long said. “We recognized that the board of trustees is the final arbitrator, but if we can have our constituency be involved in a process that is more participatory, then it will work in everyone’s favor.”

NIU’s next Faculty Senate meeting will be at 3 p.m. April 26 at the Holmes Student Center’s Sky Room.

“I’ve very pleased that we, as a shared governance, took a positive and proactive solution to the problem,” Long said. “I look forward to have greater interaction with the board.”

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