Article I. Introduction
Section 1. General Statement
The Board of Trustees is appointed by the Governor of the State of Illinois by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Board is directly responsible to the Governor and to the General Assembly for the operation, management, control and maintenance of Northern Illinois University. The laws of the State of Illinois assign to the Board the authority to discharge these responsibilities.
Northern Illinois University exists to preserve, augment, criticize and transmit knowledge and to foster creative capabilities through instruction, public service, research, scholarship and other creative activity. The mission of the university is to learn, teach, criticize and enlarge what is known; to foster rational and imaginative capabilities in the search for understanding; to bring enlightened and skilled intelligence to bear upon actual and theoretical issues; and to achieve an increasing level of excellence in all aspects of its work. Northern Illinois University operates in accordance with the law and the policies established by the Board of Trustees. Its purposes are achieved by a community of scholars free to exercise independent judgment in the planning and execution of their educational responsibilities in an environment designed to encourage maximum effectiveness within a framework of university government.
Section 2. Mission of the Board of Trustees
The mission of the Board of Trustees is to exercise its governing and delegative authority so as to support the university's mission and enhance its contribution to the state and the nation. The Board fulfills its mission by:
- developing and implementing appropriate governing policies;
- carrying out public policy and assuring prudent stewardship of university resources, and;
- representing the university to the State of Illinois, the public and other external entities.
The Board of Trustees governs Northern Illinois University in accord with the United States Constitution, the Illinois Constitution, applicable federal and state statutes and regulations and the following principles:
Free Inquiry and Campus Civility
The Board seeks to protect an environment in which faculty and students may openly express diverse points of view. Free inquiry and discussion, safeguarded by academic due process and tenure, are essential to the academic community. At the same time, the Board expects the university to maintain an atmosphere of tolerance and civility regarding individual characteristics such as race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, status as a disabled or Vietnam-era veteran, political views or affiliation, or sexual orientation.
The Board seeks to serve as both an advocate for higher education and a responsible steward for public funds and to balance these purposes.
Access and Quality
The Board seeks to maintain access to higher education for Illinois citizens, as well as others, and to ensure the quality of services provided students and other university constituents.
The Board seeks to ensure that Northern Illinois University is accountable to the citizens of Illinois.
As a result of its statutory charge, the Board is the final institutional authority and, therefore, the Board Bylaws and Regulations have legal precedence over and shall control in the event of inconsistencies with the policies and regulations of the university and the university Constitution. However, the Board's focus is generally one of oversight, policy determination and strategic planning. The Board delegates the conduct of administration and management to the president. It entrusts the conduct of teaching and research through the president to the university faculty. It encourages significant student and staff participation in decision-making processes which directly affect these groups when such participation can be effective.
Section 3. Adoption of Board of Regents Actions
Any action of the Board of Regents prior to January 1, 1996, shall remain effective to the same extent as if that action had been taken by the Board of Trustees and shall be deemed to be action taken by the Board of Trustees unless amended or revised.
Section 4. Adoption of the University Constitution
Prior to January 1, 1996, the principles and practices of internal governance at Northern Illinois University were delineated in the university Constitution. The Board of Trustees affirms those principles and practices and any amendments thereto consistent with federal and state law, the Board Bylaws, and the Regulations which follow.