BAKER REPORT: Building ‘communiversity’
I hope you enjoyed the long Labor Day weekend! Dana and I made the most of the weekend, traveling to Iowa to cheer on the Huskies to a 30-27 victory over the Hawkeyes! We returned from Iowa in time to enjoy DeKalb's annual Cornfest activities. Two things struck me about the weekend: first, the outstanding support from NIU alums and students in Iowa City; and second, the vibrancy of downtown DeKalb during Cornfest and our strong sense of community.
Many people showed their Huskie pride Sunday afternoon at Cornfest in DeKalb. If you haven't been to downtown DeKalb recently, I encourage you to see firsthand the many businesses that proudly display window decals promoting Huskie pride, our “Communiversity in Bloom” planters prominently displayed on corners throughout the campus and the downtown area, and the new NIU-DeKalb-IHSA banners along Annie Glidden Road and Lincoln Highway. These are just a few examples of how partnerships between the city and the university make a difference in our community.
On Saturday, Sept. 14, the Huskies take on the Idaho Vandals in my former hometown, Moscow, Idaho. I've invited DeKalb Mayor John Rey to join me in meeting with elected and business leaders in Moscow to learn more about how they “do” communiversity relations — if you haven't been there, it's worth the trip. It’s a very charming college town with a vibrant restaurant, coffee shop and arts scene appealing to students, faculty and the community.
Both Mayor Rey and I are beginning our respective terms and are eager to forge new partnerships to strengthen the communiversity. As you might have heard, NIU hired a new police chief last week. Tom Phillips spent the majority of his law enforcement career in university police departments; he has a strong reputation for community policing. By working together with our local law enforcement agencies, we can better serve the university community and provide a safe and secure atmosphere where teaching, research and learning thrives.
P.S. Please join Dana and me for ice cream and root beer floats
from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, September 4th on the MLK Commons,.
I look forward to greeting you and hearing your ideas for NIU.