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Baker Report: Advancing our student career success agenda

March 4, 2014
Douglas D. Baker

Douglas D. Baker

At last week’s Board of Trustees meeting, interim CFO Nancy Suttenfield presented guiding principles for the annual budgeting process and long-term financial planning.

As part of a review of the management process and related timelines for developing recommendations for the “pricing” of students’ total cost of attendance, NIU was able to advance the timeline for approving tuition, fees and room and board, which allows students to better consider becoming Huskies. The plan to keep the total cost of tuition, fees, room and board for new students steady for the 2014-15 academic year is the result of a careful cost-benefit analysis that weighed NIU’s mission, strategic goals and obligations to our service region.

I am thankful for all of the input and constructive conversations that led to this creative outcome and look forward to meeting the challenge of maintaining affordability again next year.

In addition to maintaining affordability, we need to continue to provide a strong educational experience for our students as well as enhance our retention. To that end, we held Bold Futures Workshops this past fall with hundreds of faculty, staff, administrators, students, alumni and community members coming together to vision a new NIU.

Following Spring Break, we will hold the next round of workshops to continue this critically important work. Spring Bold Futures Workshops for returning participants are scheduled from Wednesday, March 19, through Tuesday, March 25. I invite previous workshop participants to register for the second phase of workshops by completing and submitting this registration form.

I also welcome new participants to join in the Bold Futures Workshops series scheduled from Friday, March 28, through Wednesday, April 2, by registering as a new participant.

Most workshop sessions will be located in the Holmes Student Center. We will discuss our financial situation, recruitment and retention as well as explore the need to be relevant to students’ interests, concerns and today’s job market opportunities. I look forward to your participation.

To bold futures,