The most important issue facing the university is creating a sustainable financial model, Strauss said during Souper Wednesday, sponsored by the NIU Alumni Association, the University Honors Program and Housing and Dining.
Creating a sound fiscal model is part of NIU President Doug Baker’s plan to support student career success, and Baker has been working with the entire community to make changes. The public can participate in his Bold Futures Workshops, which begin again later this month.
To create a vision for NIU, the model relates to many issues, such as community interaction, housing and public safety, said Strauss, an attorney with The Foster & Buick Law Group in Sycamore and owner of Marc J. Strauss Real Estate.
In his ninth year as a trustee, Strauss’ responsibilities include hiring and evaluating the president, passing a budget, studying regulations that apply to campus, reviewing academic programs and long-term planning. He is one of seven trustees who are appointed by the governor for a six-year term and one student is elected by the student body for a one-year term.
“I’ve always felt a responsibility to give back,” said Strauss, who received his law degree from Northwestern University.
During his 34 years as a lawyer, he has given back to the community in many roles. Besides serving a second term as an NIU trustee, he is director of the KishHealth System and president of the Tails Humane Society. He has also served as president of the Kishwaukee-DeKalb Kiwanis and as a member of many DeKalb government leadership committees.
His law work has included tax work, labor law, municipal and school representation, government contracts, corporate work and real estate development. As general counsel for First Rockford Group, he was involved with the development of many shopping centers on Route 23 in DeKalb.
Strauss said he seeks a job when he needs a new challenge and enjoys seeing his accomplishments.
“A real accomplishment is to be able to see something tangible that you’ve been able to build,” he said.