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Baker Report: Challenges and Accomplishments

May 23, 2014
NIU President Doug Baker

NIU President Doug Baker

On Saturday, Gov. Pat Quinn will join us in recognizing the 99 graduates of the College of Law during NIU’s last commencement exercise of the spring. However, we will continue to welcome the high school class of 2014 from area schools in DeKalb at the NIU Convocation Center for their own commencement exercises. My hope is that many of these students will continue their studies at Northern.

On Wednesday, I joined WBBM news radio as part of the station’s education week, and I had a chance to talk about the important things we are doing to prepare students for their lives and their careers while continuing to manage the significant fiscal and economic challenges our state is facing.

We are working to realign our resources to best prepare students for the fields and opportunities that await them after graduation, matching the programs we offer our students and the skills we impart to what employers need as we re-envision the baccalaureate experience. We need to transform our advising, our mentoring, our internship programs, our classroom and research initiatives to facilitate student career success and build economies in the region, the nation and across the globe.

Together, we have accomplished much in a short period of time – too much to note in a short weekly communication. In the coming weeks I will report to our many internal and external stakeholders on our many university accomplishments over the past year.

We should be proud of who we are and all we have done, but there is still much to do. This summer we will be working in a strategic manner to operationalize many of the concepts and ideas brought forth in the past year. Summer construction season is also upon us, and we will continue to work to transform the physical campus. Further, we continue to build relationships and expand partnerships in the community, our region and across the state. My hope is to give voice to campus leaders and external constituents as part of my report moving forward in order to communicate the great things happening at NIU.

Enjoy this nice summer weather!

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