Northern Illinois University will hold a series of events, beginning Friday, Feb. 9, to mark the passage of 10 years and honor the lives of five students lost on Feb. 14, 2008.
NIU Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Kelly Wesener-Michael, who led a campus-wide committee to plan the commemoration, said that great care was taken in creating the events. “We wanted to provide opportunities for all to remember those we lost, and to reflect on how we have moved forward since that day.”
The events are designed to provide individuals a variety of opportunities to participate and reflect. All of these events are free and open to the public.
Community Appreciation Reception, 4:30 p.m., Friday Feb. 9, Capitol Room, Holmes Student Center
University faculty and staff, community members, first responders, public safety staff, and medical personnel who actively contributed to the response and healing of the community 10 years ago are invited to gather for refreshments and fellowship.
Candlelight Vigil, 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 9, Duke Ellington Ballroom, Holmes Student Center All are invited to light candles and reflect on the healing and strength of the community since Feb. 14, 2008. The event will include brief remarks by NIU campus leaders. Candles will be provided.
Reflection Walk, 10 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 10, NIU Recreation Center A 2.14-mile walk that will allow individuals and groups to walk through a course in the NIU Recreation Center with opportunities for reflection along the route.
First Responders Recognition, Saturday, Feb. 10, NIU Convocation Center First responders who came to the aid of the university in 2008 will be honored during the men’s/women’s basketball double header. At the women’s game against Bowling Green (tip off at 1 p.m.) first responders will participate in a pre-game flag presentation and a halftime ceremony. At the men’s game against Buffalo (tip off at 3:30 p.m.) first responders will participate in a pre-game honor guard ceremony and are invited to attend a half time reception.
Laying of Memorial Wreaths, 3 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 14, outside of Cole Hall The public is invited to gather as wreaths are placed on the memorial stones at the Peaceful Reflection Garden and to observe a moment of reflection. Bells will be tolled at 3:06 p.m.
The Pick Museum of Anthropology will also host a special exhibit, Forward, Together Forward: Remembering, in the Gallery Lounge of the Holmes Student Center. The installation will include items from the NIU Archives that show the campus, community and national response to the tragedy, as well as examining how the campus has rebuilt and recovered since that day. The exhibit will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Feb. 5-8 and Feb 11-14, and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Feb. 9 and 10.
Semester-to-semester retention rates remained strong, with 88 percent of freshmen and nearly 91 percent of transfer students enrolled at NIU in the fall returning for the spring semester. Those figures match the robust performances of the last several years.
“The strength of those numbers is very encouraging as they demonstrate that students who choose NIU are continuing to find value here and connecting with the university,” said Sol Jensen, NIU vice president for Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications.
Law school enrollment was up 3 percent compared to last spring. Graduate school enrollment slipped 6.3 percent compared to a year ago.
Total enrollment for the spring semester stands at 16,673, a dip of 4.7 percent compared to last spring.
“Based upon the 5.1 percent drop in the fall, we would have expected to see the same in the spring,” Jensen said. “So these numbers are actually slightly better than anticipated. It is a subtle but significant point as we look for indications that we are beginning to turn the tide.”
Date posted: February 5, 2018 | Author: Andrew Pemberton | Comments Off on Spring enrollment numbers include positive signs
With valuable time on its side before work commences this fall to pick a new leader for the university, NIU’s Board of Trustees is getting ahead of the game.
Members of a board-appointed Presidential Search Planning Committee began meeting in January to research and identify best practices and trends nationwide in the hiring of university CEOs.
Given the mission “to help plan for the selection of a president who will move NIU into the next decade,” the committee also will draft a possible job description, create materials to tout the university to candidates and provide input on the “design of an inclusive and transparent selection process.”
NIU Trustee Dennis Barsema, who is chairing the committee at the request of BOT Chair Wheeler Coleman, intends to deliver the committee’s recommendations to the board in May.
He also expects the work will give NIU a competitive advantage. “When you’re in a presidential search, you’re in a race. You’re not the only university out there looking for a president. It’s a very competitive process,” Barsema says.
“My hope, and the hope of the Board of Trustees, is that this will give us a jump-start on all of the other universities doing a presidential search this fall,” he adds. “Our hope is that it will give us an opportunity to get to the great candidates first, and maybe cause them not to even look at the other universities and to put NIU at the top of their lists.”
Furthermore, he says, the committee supports NIU’s mission of shared governance.
Barsema is certain that the planning “will save us several months of work and give us a head start on getting to the best candidates,” a belief rooted in what he observed as a participant in the last presidential search.
“Once the search firm was hired through the procurement process, it took a long time before they actually started talking to candidates because the first few months of the process was spent developing the ‘NIU Points of Pride’ marketing collateral,” Barsema says.
“It was spent developing the job description. It was spent deciding how the search was going to be run, what the best practices were going to be,” he adds.
“Spin the clock forward to 2017. The Board of Trustees made the decision to delay the search because of our confidence in President Freeman, in wanting to give her and her team time to implement their ideas, which I still feel was the right decision.”
Upcoming tasks include examinations of State of Illinois guidelines on hiring, current presidential contracts and salaries at similarly sized and budgeted public universities and delineating NIU’s points of pride.
Planning Committee members also will consult the NIU Constitution and Bylaws for guidance on the makeup of the search committee. (Service on the Presidential Search Planning Committee neither mandates nor precludes its members from serving on this fall’s search committee.)
Members of the Presidential Search Planning Committee:
Dennis Barsema, Board of Trustees (chair)
Fred Barnhart, Council of Deans
Pete Garrity, Alumni Association board member
Montel Gayles, NIU Foundation board member
Katy Jaekel, faculty member
Kevin Luginbill, graduate student
Debra Miller, Supportive Professional Staff Council member
Linda Saborio, Executive Secretary of the University Council
George Slotsve, faculty member
Kendall Thu, faculty member
Mary Wyzard, Operating Staff Council member
Undergraduate student (seat currently open)
Instructor (seat currently open)
NIU expects to have new president in place by July 1, 2019. Freeman stepped in the acting role July 1, 2017.
Date posted: January 31, 2018 | Author: Andrew Pemberton | Comments Off on Presidential Search Planning Committee begins work
Even casual bettors may like to put down a wager during the Super Bowl or March Madness, but doing so on university time or with university resources is not allowed. Additionally, placing such a bet is likely considered illegal gambling in the State of Illinois.
Under State law, gambling includes any game of chance or skill played for money or anything else of value. While there are a number of provisions in the law that permit gambling in certain settings and situations (for example, the Illinois Lottery, licensed casinos, licensed video gaming in local businesses, etc.), unlicensed sports betting and office pools are not among them.
Illegal gambling at NIU or during work time violates Illinois law and university policy. This includes Super Bowl “squares,” March Madness office pools and other similar games. In addition, State law and NIU policies do not allow for use of university resources, including computers, e-mail, paper, printers or work-time, for gambling purposes. Employees who operate, participate in or collect winnings from such gambling activities could be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge, especially in the most egregious of situations.
For more information, talk to Human Resource Services, the Office of General Counsel, or the NIU Ethics Officer. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) or contact the NIU Employee Assistance Program.
Date posted: January 31, 2018 | Author: Andrew Pemberton | Comments Off on Don’t roll the dice on office pools
The History of Science Society recently announced the 2017-2018 HSS/NASA Fellowship in the History of Space Science has been awarded to Andy Bruno, an associate professor of history at Northern Illinois University. He will use the fellowship to study the history of the mysterious Tunguska explosion of 1908 that happened over a desolate region of Siberia and the efforts by amateurs, scientists, and even science fiction writers to understand it.
The explosion, which decimated 770 square miles of forest, was alternately attributed to an air burst from an asteroid, a meteor or comet, the release and explosion of natural gas from the Earth’s crust, and even a nuclear explosion from a UFO crash.
Bruno will use research surrounding the event and the contested explanations to illuminate various aspects of Soviet science during the Cold War. He has already spent time researching at the “Threatened Orders” Collaborative Research Center at the University of Tübingen and traveling to Russia in 2012, 2013, and 2017 to conduct research in the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow and the National Library of Russia in Saint Petersburg.
Bruno is also Faculty Associate in Environmental Studies at NIU. His first book, The Nature of Soviet Power: An Arctic Environmental History, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016. As part of the HSS/NASA prize, he will give a public talk this spring.
Date posted: January 24, 2018 | Author: Andrew Pemberton | Comments Off on Professor Andy Bruno awarded prestigious HSS/NASA fellowship
NIU’s Anna Quider will play a leading role this year in advocating for federal research funding to the nation’s universities.
Quider, NIU’s director of federal relations, recently was elected president of the board of directors for the Science Coalition, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization representing more than 50 of the nation’s leading public and private research universities. In addition to NIU, organization members include Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Boston University, Notre Dame, Penn State and the University of Illinois.
Based in Washington, D.C., the Science Coalition is dedicated to sustaining the federal government’s investment in basic scientific research as a means to stimulate the economy, spur innovation and drive America’s global competitiveness. As president, Quider will be responsible for leading the organization’s strategic direction and operational management. Her one-year term began Jan. 1.
“My goal is to encourage robust federal investments in fundamental research through creative, strategic communications and initiatives that showcase the importance of this research for all Americans and position the United States as a global leader in scientific discovery,” Quider said.
Federal funding is the primary source of support for fundamental research conducted at higher education institutions across the United States. In addition to the discoveries and innovations they generate, university research labs foster the education and training of the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators who are in high demand across numerous industries.
“The work of the Science Coalition is important because federal investment in fundamental research fuels innovation that saves and improves lives, creates jobs and leads to economic growth,” said Quider, who also serves on to the Executive Committee of the Council on Governmental Affairs (CGA) for the Association of Public Land-grant Universities (APLU).
Quider took on the role of NIU’s federal relations director in 2014 and has served on the Science Coalition Board of Directors for the past two years. She is well-versed on the topic of science, having earned bachelor’s degrees in physics and astronomy, in religious studies and in the history and philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh. She holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Marshall Scholar.
In the past, Quider has served as a principal investigator on a Hubble Space Telescope research project and as an elected member-at-large on the Executive Committee of the Forum on Physics and Society, a unit of the American Physical Society. She also worked previously on international science issues at the U.S. Department of State.
“We’re thrilled that Dr. Quider has taken on this leadership role with the Science Coalition,” said Jerry Blazey, vice president of NIU’s Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships. “Her work with the Science Coalition benefits our nation’s scientific community, while naturally offering opportunities to raise NIU’s profile.”
Date posted: January 24, 2018 | Author: Andrew Pemberton | Comments Off on Anna Quider elected president of D.C.-based Science Coalition
However, this spring will introduce a new event that uncovers and recognizes the faculty perspective of collaborations with students and community partners. The first Engaged Learning, Teaching and Scholarship Conference is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 6.
Several faculty and staff will present on best practices in engaged learning, teaching and scholarship in the Holmes Student Center. All are welcome to attend; registration is open online.
“We want to celebrate the tremendous efforts by faculty and staff across the campus to create and support opportunities that lead to significant learning and community and economic impact,” Kersh adds. “We hope to inspire potential collaboration, to engage in thoughtful discussions about the future of engaged learning at NIU and to learn from one another.”
Kersh says “engaged learning” comes in many forms:
Project- or problem-based learning;
Practical ways that community engagement, reciprocity and mutual benefits are obtained through strategic partnerships that result in positive economic or social benefits; and
Engaged research, scholarship, creativity and artistry, in addition to engaged learning, teaching and community partnerships.
“At the crux, engaged learning as a practice puts the learner at the center,” she says. “It involves intentionality, application of knowledge and active participation.”
For students, she adds, “the results are significant learning, the ability to think more deeply and understand complex materials, and to better understand and embrace the ways that they connect with the world around them.”
Lisa Freeman, acting president of NIU, will deliver the opening remarks as well as the keynote address: “Bringing NIU’s Mission to Life through Engagement.”
Concurrent “Best Practice” sessions begin at 9:15 a.m., 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. A plenary session is scheduled from 10:45 to 11:30 a.m., and a poster session will begin at 11:45 a.m.
Participants will close the day with a discussion on “The Future of Engaged Learning at NIU.”
“We hope to learn more about the ways that faculty interpret and implement engaged learning at NIU,” Kersh says. “Engaged learning represents pedagogy, practice and scholarship that is high-impact and has long-term benefits that extend beyond the classroom and the brick-and-mortar.”
Co-sponsors of the Engaged Learning, Teaching and Scholarship Conference are the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning; the Division of Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development; the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center; the College of Business Experiential Learning Center; and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The theme for this year’s Martin Luther King Celebration week is “Keep moving forward in beauty, love, and justice.”
The weeks celebration continues on Tuesday, January 16. Visit the Regency Room in Holmes Student Center between 2:00-7:00 for the Journey Toward Justice exhibit. This walking exhibit introduces visitors to social movements and coalition building across time. At 5:00 there will be a formal program in the Regency Room with remarks and a presentation on historic social movements.
Wednesday, January 17, at 6:30, also in the Regency Room, the group Circles & Ciphers will present Circles of Love, Ciphers for Justice. Circles & Ciphers is a hip-hop based restorative justice organization led by youth impacted by violence in Chicago. The group will perform original spoken word poetry fused with written and improvisational hip hop.
On Thursday, January 18, the community is invited to the Social Justice Think Tank from 5:00-7:30. The “think tank” will focus on coalition-building, activism, and forward movement across the NIU-DeKalb community. Strong and actionable ideas may receive funding.
The week concludes with the MLK Concert at Boutell Memorial Concert Hall. The concert will be open to a live audience and streamed online as well.
All activities are free to the public and all are welcome.
All events are sponsored by the Office of Academic Diversity, equity and Inclusion. Additional sponsors include the DeKalb Public Library, Beloved Community, and the Center for Black Studies. Special thanks to NIU Helping Huskies Thrive Suicide Awareness and Prevention Program for their generous support for the Circles & Ciphers event.
Date posted: January 15, 2018 | Author: Andrew Pemberton | Comments Off on Martin Luther King Celebration Week in full swing
Northern Illinois College of Law is proud to announce that the passage rate for first-time takers on the Illinois July 2017 bar was 84%, four points above the state average. NIU also placed fourth among the nine Illinois law schools with only the University of Chicago, Illinois, and Northwestern having higher passage rates as noted by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. This was the second year in a row in which NIU has been four points above the state average for first-time takers, reflecting the school’s strong commitment to academic excellence and preparing students for successful careers.
“We are delighted to receive the report of these impressive results,” said Jeanna Hunter, director of NIU Law’s Academic Success Program, which coordinates the school’s bar passage initiatives. “Bar passage and practice readiness are critical goals for our law students and we take this preparation seriously.”
Hunter also noted that from the moment students walk in the door, these skills are incorporated into their courses and we continue to emphasize them throughout law school, culminating in the bar passage courses in students’ final year.
“These extremely positive results demonstrate NIU’s focus on a strong curriculum and teaching, and providing students the individual attention necessary for success,” added Interim Dean Mark Cordes. “Strong bar exam results also lead into our excellent employment outcomes, where NIU has consistently been among the top schools in the state in job placement after law school.”
Date posted: December 13, 2017 | Author: Andrew Pemberton | Comments Off on NIU Law earns 84 percent passage on Illinois July Bar Exam, placing fourth in state
The Board of Trustees voted Thursday, Dec. 7, to lower fees and not to increase tuition for the 2018-19 academic year.
“We realize that earning a degree from an institution like NIU can be life-changing for a student, and we are committed to keeping NIU affordable,” said Board Chair Wheeler Coleman.
The board voted to once again lock in NIU tuition at the same level the university has charged since the 2015-16 academic year. Students will pay $348.84 per credit hour for the first 11 hours of courses. Those who take 12 or more hours will have their tuition capped at $5,332.80 per semester, creating an incentive to take heavier course loads and graduate more quickly. The rate will apply to students who enroll in the 2018-19 academic year, and will remain constant for nine consecutive semesters, per state and university policy.
Students majoring in the high-demand areas of engineering and computer science will pay a differential rate that is $40 per credit hour higher. The higher rate offsets the costs of ensuring that labs and other resources are up to current industry standards.
The board also approved a decrease in undergraduate student fees of 0.5 percent (excluding the health insurance fee, which students can waive with proof of their own insurance). The largest reduction was a 90-cent per-credit-hour cut in the Health and Wellness Charge, made possible due to efficiencies realized through the university’s Program Prioritization efforts. The board also approved a 30-cent per-credit-hour reduction in the Athletic Program fee.
Room and board rates for double occupancy rooms will remain unchanged.
Students choosing to live in single-occupancy rooms will see an increase of about 4.5 percent, reflecting the fact that those rooms are in greater demand. Housing rates approved Thursday do not pertain to the New Hall and Northern View Apartment complexes on campus. Those facilities are operated as a public-private partnership and rates are set by an outside agency.
The net outcome of the new rates is that, for a new student living on-campus in a double-occupancy room and taking 12 or more hours of classes, the cost of attending and living at NIU will actually drop by 0.1 percent.
“These actions significantly demonstrate NIU’s commitment to keeping higher education accessible and affordable,” said Sol Jensen, vice president for the Division of Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communication. “That affordability, combined with our excellent programs, should make NIU an even more attractive choice for students looking for a degree that will help them succeed in life.”
Date posted: December 11, 2017 | Author: Andrew Pemberton | Comments Off on NIU Board Cuts Fees, Holds Line on Tuition, Room, Board
The Board of Trustees unanimously voted Dec. 7 to extend the university’s domestic tuition rate structure to the College of Law so that all U.S. residents enrolled at the law school will pay the same tuition beginning in fall 2018.
Currently, law students from outside of Illinois pay double the rate charged residents of the state.
Mark Cordes, acting dean of the law school, said that he was excited to see the change enacted. “We have always prided ourselves on offering an excellent legal education at an affordable price. This change improves our value proposition for students outside of Illinois and this will allow us to better compete for the strongest students across the country,” he said.
The dean noted that the National Jurist Magazine has rated the school as a “Best Value” for the last four years. The magazine bases its rating on the school’s strong bar passage rates and employment numbers, as well as its reasonable tuition.
“Our graduates go on to succeed in all facets of law, from public interest to private practice to corporate law. We believe law students across the country will recognize that combination of quality and value, and will be eager join us,” Cordes said.
In October, the NIU board eliminated out-of-state tuition for undergraduate and graduate students other than those enrolled in the College of Law. The elimination of out-of-state tuition premiums makes NIU unique, said Sol Jensen, NIU’s vice president for enrollment management, marketing and communications.
“This is a significant example of our continued commitment to make higher education accessible and affordable.”
Tuition and fees for the NIU College of Law will remain $915.81 per credit hour. Tuition is capped at $10,989.72 per semester for students taking 12 or more credit hours.
Date posted: December 11, 2017 | Author: Andrew Pemberton | Comments Off on NIU eliminates out-of-state tuition premium for College of Law
During the 2017 Regional Leadership Conference of the Great Lakes Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls (GLACURH) at La Cross, Wisconsin, NIU student leaders and staff were recognized with 16 awards for their hard work throughout the year. NIU attendees also presented seven programs to student leaders from across the region and Canada.
The GLACURH is a student-run organization working to promote and improve student life on college and university campuses across the region, including Michigan, Ontario, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. This group is primarily focused on providing quality programming and activities for on-campus residents that will make their college experience a positive one.
Northern Illinois University was recognized with the following awards:
The GLACURH Spirit Award, which is awarded to the institution based on participation and representation of their institution and the region.
The Regional Spotlight of the Month which recognized the achievements of the 12 students that attended the NACURH national conference and presented 14 programs to students from across the world and won Most Spirited Delegation in the country.
The Regional Advisor of the Month was awarded to Mark Canaday for his outstanding contributions to the organization.
Date posted: December 6, 2017 | Author: Andrew Pemberton | Comments Off on Students recognized at GLACURH Regional Leadership Conference