Northern Illinois University - Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow

February 7, 2014

President BakerBAKER REPORT: Living Our Mission

As many on the NIU campus know, university faculty and staff are in the final stages of a two-year preparation effort to welcome a team of peer reviewers from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to campus March 3 through 5. Every 10 years, at minimum, higher education institutions undergo a 360 degree external review from academic peers as part of their institutional accreditation process. The HLC accreditors established five important criteria the peer-review site committee will examine during their visit:

  1. A clearly articulated mission that guides NIU’s operations;
  2. Institutional integrity;
  3. Delivery of a high-quality education;
  4. Responsibility for the quality of programs, learning environments and support services is demonstrated and evaluated for continuous improvement; and
  5. The institution’s resources, structures and processes are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings and respond to future challenges and opportunities.

Prior to and since my arrival, we have engaged the NIU community in a rigorous process designed to evaluate and improve each and every area of the university to build NIU into a national model of 21st century higher education.

Our keystone goal of student career success permeates our mission of promoting excellence and engagement in teaching and learning, research and scholarship, creativity and artistry, and outreach and service. The pillars upon which the overarching goal of student career success rest include ethically inspired leadership, thriving communities and financial and program viability.

In October 2013, I announced an administrative realignment designed to better serve our institutional priorities in a way that allows us to live our mission in a sustainable manner and enhance collaboration between disciplines within the university as well as between students, faculty, alumni and community members.

Led by Interim Executive Vice President & Provost Lisa Freeman, NIU is busy reinventing the undergraduate academic experience with a focus on general education requirements and working hard to improve the NIU student experience. We are making the campus and community not only a place where students want to come for a quality education, but one where they are drawn and return to experience all the “communiversity” has to offer.

You will hear more about our efforts to improve the way we live our NIU mission in the coming days and months. Thanks to each of you for your involvement as we sustain and advance NIU and our campus community in a rapidly changing national higher education landscape.

Forward Together,

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newsHonor Forward, Together Forward spirit Feb. 14
Northern Illinois University will remember the lives of five students lost Feb. 14, 2008, with a moment of reflection and the tolling of five bells at 3:06 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14.

Summer research opportunities available
This summer, the Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) will host undergraduate students from NIU to complete research at NIU and the surrounding community.

Engineering job fair planned Feb. 20
NIU’s College of Engineering and Engineering Technology (CEET) will host engineering and technology companies from across the region from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.Thursday, Feb. 20, for a jobs and internships fair.

High school students learn TV production at Castle Challenge
Last week’s game was just the latest step in a budding relationship between NIU Media Services and local high schools.


studentsSophomore Days of Service begins Feb. 9
NIU’s second-year students can participate in any of nine service events on campus and in the DeKalb and Sycamore communities during the month of February as part of Sophomore Days of Service, sponsored by the Office of First- and Second-Year Experience

NIU to join #ILoveMySelfie movement Feb. 14
NIU’s Asian American Center is teaming up with departments and student organizations to support Independent Awakening’s “#ILoveMySelfie” national campaign.

They live if you give: Blood drive set for Feb. 25
NIU Women’s Studies is partnering with Heartland Blood Centers to host a blood drive from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, in the Douglas Hall C/D cafeteria.


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The Northern Illinois men’s basketball team outscored Miami (Ohio) 25-4 in the final 14 minutes Tuesday night to claim its third consecutive victory, 53-41, at the NIU Convocation Center.

Jamaican track, field star signs with Huskies
The NIU track and field team has signed Tamara Moncrieffe as part of their 2014 recruiting class. Moncrieffe joins the Huskies from Jamaica, where she is a standout at Holmwood Technical High School in Manchester.

Gymnastics improves to 2-0 in MAC
A strong performance on balance beam lifted the Northern Illinois University women’s gymnastics team to a 192.450-191.600 Mid-American Conference victory over Western Michigan Saturday night at the NIU Convocation Center.


NIU alum named NCIS director
Northern Illinois University alumnus Andrew L. Traver was recently named the fifth civilian director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Ensuring it doesn’t get ‘lost in translation’
The generosity of alumnus Ralph Strozza helps to keep NIU students who are studying foreign languages on cutting edge of technology

Lessons in Leading Today: Jeffrey Yordon
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NIU Today is distributed by NIU Media & Public Relations.

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