Northern Illinois University President Douglas Baker joined hosts Sherman Kaplan and Kris Kridel on Wednesday, May 21, during WBBM newsradio’s Noon Business Hour program. The program was simulcast on AM 780 and 105.9 FM in Chicago.
During his appearance, Baker discussed financial considerations when preparing for college as well as NIU’s efforts to advance student career success.
The appearance was in conjunction with CBS Radio’s “Education Week” programming, presented by NIU, featuring different aspects of getting into college including discussions with experts in admissions, financial aid and more.
Education Week on Newsradio will wrap up Saturday, May 24, during the 10 a.m. hour as NIU supplies useful information on the college admission and financial aid process featuring replay content from “Education Week” on the WBBM Noon Business Hour.
Baker, NIU’s 12th chief executive officer, brings a rich background in business, organizational management and higher education leadership to DeKalb. He is leading campus efforts in the development, implementation and revision of the institution’s strategic plan during a period of fiscal challenges.
His Bold Futures initiative is organized around NIU’s keystone goal of student career success, supported by pillars of ethically inspired leadership, program and financial viability, and thriving communities. The president’s vision is to make NIU “an incredible place” not only intellectually, culturally and socially but economically and physically.
Baker’s blueprint requires collaboration, integration and, perhaps most significantly, a change in university culture. He promotes internships as “the single-most important thing that predicts whether students will get a job after graduation, more important than their grades, their school or their major,” and he calls on NIU alumni to mentor students and assist in their networking.
As provost and executive vice president of the University of Idaho from 2005 to 2013, Dr. Baker guided Idaho through a similar process of reinvention. Members of the Faculty Senate at the University of Idaho applauded Baker’s work to shape and oversee a complex and collaborative academic program prioritization process that created a stronger and more efficient organization.
Baker won MBA Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards – the honors were based on a vote of the MBA students – five times: Teacher of the Year (1992-93), Teacher of the Semester (Spring 1995, Spring 1993 and Fall 1990) and Outstanding Teacher (1989-90). He also won Shell Oil Distinguished (Undergraduate) Teaching Awards in 1990 and 1984 from the College of Business and Economics at Washington State University.His research includes numerous publications on organization strategy and structure, motivation and leadership and sexual harassment. In 2010, he made conference presentations on “Transformation: A Tale of Successful Planning and Prioritizing” and “Strategic Planning and Implementation Under Fiscal Stress.”