A Message from President Freeman re: K-12 Extension and Moving Forward
April 17, 2020
Dear Faculty and Staff,
Gov. Pritzker announced this afternoon that K-12 schools will remain closed for the academic year. I understand how difficult it is to make this type of decision, and I appreciate the governor’s unwavering efforts to flatten the curve. My heart still goes out to all K-12 students, teachers and families, many of whom are NIU employees and alumni, who will be understandably disappointed as they move ahead with Zoom calls, homework and tests. This has been an incredible lesson on resiliency and patience for us all.
Illinois’ existing stay-home-order is in place until April 30, and while we don’t know if or when it will be extended, the university will continue to abide by the governor’s directives for working remotely. NIU leadership is also committed to being accommodating and flexible for as long as necessary for those with school-aged children.
There are still many unknowns in this dynamic situation, and we recognize that ambiguity is uncomfortable. Many of you are beginning to wonder about NIU’s future and forthcoming decisions that could impact employment, fall course delivery, events, athletics, etc. At this point, there are too many unknowns about the future for us to commit to a specific course of action. What we do know is that we will make thoughtful and responsible decisions about our collective future – decisions that prioritize the needs of our students, reflect our mission, vision and values, and consider the welfare of our employees. We will also continue to communicate with you in a timely and transparent manner.
Thank you all for your dedication to NIU.
Lisa C. Freeman