Jeanne Meyer has been both a prosecutor and a public defender.
She’s been both a police officer who arrested those who broke the law and a sturdy support system for those innocent victims of crime.
Now the NIU police sergeant and former victim advocate in the NIU Office of Support and Advocacy has taken on a role that combines all of her professional experiences.
Meyer is the new director of the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct, which coordinates the university judicial system by confronting and resolving academic, residential, student conduct and disciplinary conflicts.
She will focus on maintaining a “disciplined community” at NIU that fosters an environment conducive to learning. Students ordered to meet with her will hear about the wonderful opportunities that come with being “part of the Huskie family” – as well as the inherent obligations of that membership.
“What I want students to think about is that we are not the police. We are not a civil court. We are an office that wants to help them meet their education goals,” Meyer says.
“We do that through a developmental process where we ask them, ‘Why are you in college?’ ‘Why are you at Northern?’ ‘What do you want to get out of it?’ ‘Is your behavior helping you reach your goals?’ ”
Meyer joined the University Police in 2005, although her own induction into the Huskie family came a decade earlier: She earned a juris doctorate from the NIU College of Law in 1998; in December of 2009, she completed an M.S.Ed. in counseling from the NIU College of Education.
Before coming to DeKalb, she served as a federal agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service – yes, NCIS – in Pearl Harbor.
After graduation from law school, she logged time in the Family Division of the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office, where she represented plaintiffs in child support matters and managed cases of abuse and neglect. Later, working for the Kane County Public Defender’s Office, she ensured the due process rights of all assigned clients facing felony prosecution.
Her return to DeKalb came at Safe Passage, where as director of sexual assault support services she oversaw the establishment and funding of rape crisis resources within the agency.
As an NIU-PD officer and sergeant, Meyer supervised the Division of Emergency Management and Planning and was the lead investigator for the Student and Employee Threat Assessment teams. She twice received department awards for outstanding leadership.
In the last two years, she has presented at the NASPA Mental Health Conference about using an integrated interventions and approaches to address disruptive behavior.
Now Meyer is welcoming “the opportunity to make a different impact on the lives of students.”
She is planning greater outreach to student organizations to encourage community involvement, particularly through the Northern Pact. This year’s focus is on a disciplined community.
“You will see us at more functions. We always want to be clear and consistent, and we’re trying to get even more transparent,” she says. “We want to continue the long tradition of recognizing the value in being an NIU student.”