Northern Illinois University - Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow

January 31, 2014

President BakerBAKER REPORT: Fiscal sustainability begins with transparency

One of the three pillars upon which we are building the future success of Northern Illinois University is financial viability. A major component of that process is the creation of a new, more transparent budgeting process that allows us to align our spending with our top priorities.

I am pleased to report that this work is well under way.

Interim Chief Financial Officer Nancy Suttenfield, working closely with Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Lisa Freeman, carefully crafted a set of guiding budget principles.  Nancy presented them to the University Council this week. These principles will shape our financial planning and budgeting going forward. 

Lisa and Nancy are also working closely with Vice President of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management Eric Weldy to change the process used to set student fees. The goal is to make our process 1) more transparent; 2) more understandable to students; and 3) to incorporate more student input to ensure fees are directed to areas students consider high priorities.

Nancy is currently conducting an in-depth analysis of the university’s fiscal vulnerabilities and opportunities. The results of that study will be shared with the entire NIU community so that all of us better understand the “big picture” of university finances moving forward.

Establishing clear and transparent guiding budget principles, and creating a shared understanding of our fiscal reality and options available to us, will allow us to work together and focus on NIU’s highest priorities.

Our progress to date is measurable, and I am gratified by the support and enthusiasm for change so many members of the NIU community share. I am committed to transparency — a transparency that empowers each of us to make a difference — and look forward to an ongoing dialogue about our finances in the coming months.

Together forward,

Doug
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The East Lagoon near Altgeld Hall is free and open to all for ice skating.

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President Doug Baker will join business leaders Thursday, Feb. 20, in Chicago as part of his Welcome Tour across the United States.

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The theme for this year is “Reclaiming Our Roots, Renewing Our Commitment” and will honor Nelson Mandela’s life, work and legacy.


STUDENT CAREER SUCCESS

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Maria Torres, the first student to graduate from NIU’s Community Leadership and Civic Engagement major, attended Tuesday’s State of the Union address as the guest of U.S. Rep. Bill Foster.

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SPORTS

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Four different Northern Illinois scorers reached double-figures and the Huskie defense held Kent State to under 50 points as NIU (8-10, 4-4 MAC) evened its conference record against the Golden Flashes (3-16, 0-8 MAC) with a 65-43 triumph.

Men’s hoops rallies past Kent State
The Northern Illinois University men’s basketball team rallied from a 14-point second half deficit to defeat Kent State, 50-49, on Wednesday night at the M.A.C. Center.

MAC honors Amir, Lagerlof for doubles play
As a reward for their victory over the eighth-ranked doubles team in collegiate tennis, Dor Amir and Axel Lagerlof have been honored as the Mid-American Conference Doubles Team of the Week.


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