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Board of Trustees honors former chair

September 20, 2013

At its Sept. 19 business meeting, the Board of Trustees of Northern Illinois University recognized former chair Cherilyn G. Murer for her distinguished service to the board and the NIU community.

“Cherilyn Murer is an extraordinary leader whom I have a tremendous amount of respect for,” said current board chair John Butler, praising her character and dynamic leadership style. “She understands when the board is in a very challenging situation and also when we have much to celebrate… As a leader in training, I found a remarkable connection, and I look forward to continuing to work with you.”

The board’s resolution noted Murer is the only trustee in the history of the board to have been elected to a third and fourth term as board chair. She presided over the board during both the Cole Hall tragedy and its triumphant re-opening as a state-of-the-art model of 21st century learning.

According to the resolution, Murer invested significant amounts of valuable time and energy in service to the board and students, faculty, staff and administration for more than eight years as a previous member of the NIU Foundation Board of Directors, the NIU College of Law Steering Committee and Board of Visitors, and as adjunct faculty for the NIU College of Business Mastery Certificate for Health Care Professionals.

She was also presented with a commemorative crystal book—a “short book,” according to NIU President Doug Baker—in honor of the occasion. Baker commended Murer for her handling of the presidential search, later noting she “made the right choice.”

“This has just been a tremendous ride, and I appreciate the friendship of each of you,” said a humble and grateful Murer. “I appreciate the wisdom that each of you has brought to this table, and I look forward to continuing the tremendous and seamless transition to our new chair, John Butler.”

Murer praised the board for their unique individual qualities, stressing the importance of working together to advance the university.

“My colleagues, we are eight strong, and we are each as individuals, which gives us our uniqueness. We are appointed by a governor which brings with it great responsibility, and it brings with it great individual responsibility,” she noted. “But somehow we are able to leave those individual responsibilities to be focused on the best interests of this university. As long as we all focus on the best interests of the institution—not on an individual, not on a program, not on a college, but on the university—then we will all succeed, because we will continue to be the vehicle for the success of this university.”