NIU probes allegations regarding ‘Coffee Fund’

Photo of NIU's front gatesOn Friday, Aug. 3, allegations regarding the existence of a potential “coffee fund” were brought forth to the NIU Media and Public Relations Department by the DeKalb Daily Chronicle.

A tip provided to the Chronicle alleged that NIU employees were involved in the sale of university scrap material to a local iron and metal company with proceeds going into a secret bank account.

The information was immediately passed along to senior leaders, and an investigation was launched by NIU Police and Public Safety that same afternoon. That investigation remains ongoing.

“We acted swiftly upon learning of the possibility of impropriety, and I instructed the NIU Police to launch a thorough investigation,” explained Eddie Williams, executive vice president and chief of operations at NIU. “We are waiting for the police to conclude their investigation. We look forward to receiving the findings in the very near future.”

Further, the university is conducting an internal review of known bank accounts in addition to its normal procedure of contacting local financial institutions to determine if an unknown NIU account related to a purported “coffee fund” indeed exists. Thus far, no NIU accounts containing the name “coffee fund” have been located within the university’s accounting system and no university-owned bank account has been found containing that title or description.

NIU will provide an update of the results of both the financial review and police investigation as further information becomes available.

“I ask for patience on the part of the university community during these reviews and the law enforcement investigation,” said Kathryn Buettner, vice president for University Relations. “The adjudicatory systems within the university, as well as the legal processes involved in a law enforcement investigation, require care, diligence and time in order to accurately determine the facts.”

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