Northern Illinois University President John G. Peters emailed this important message to faculty, staff and annuitants Friday afternoon:
For several months, I have had to remain silent as accusations of wrongdoing by NIU employees have been reported in the news. I want to assure you that my silence was not due to lack of concern. Like you, I am deeply distressed by the allegations and am painfully aware of the effect these allegations must have on the employees involved and on their colleagues and families. Due to legal restrictions that preclude commenting on employee disciplinary measures, neither I nor other university officials have been able to provide detailed comment to the media. That remains the case today and likely will remain so for the foreseeable future.
I have always been proud of the high ethical standards to which faculty and staff at NIU hold themselves.The allegations do nothing to diminish my confidence in this institution and our NIU community. We must remember that these individuals remain innocent until the court finds otherwise. I am confident that the legal system will address these matters appropriately. In the meantime, we must carry on our vital mission of teaching, research, scholarship, artistry and service to the state. We will do this most effectively if we do it together – in an atmosphere of mutual trust, support and concern. We are a campus family, and we care about all our members.
As public servants, we have a responsibility to faithfully serve the people of the State of Illinois. All business conducted by NIU faculty and staff should and will live up to both the spirit and the letter of the laws that govern our behavior. In every action, we must always try to do the right thing.
Throughout my time at NIU, I have felt great pride in being part of this campus community. We have struggled through difficult times and celebrated great victories together, united in purpose and guided by the principles of fairness and opportunity. Let us extend these principles to our thinking and conversation about our current challenges.
John G. Peters