NIU trustees again approve ex-president’s $600,000 severance

DeKALB — Trustees at Northern Illinois University have again voted to approve a $600,000 severance agreement with former President Doug Baker.

The Daily-Chronicle reports that Thursday’s vote comes after a DeKalb County judge declared the contract null and void. The judge agreed with a lawsuit filed by NIU student and DeKalb County Board member Misty Haji-Sheikh. She argued that the board of trustees violated the Open Meetings Act by using vague terms on an agenda that didn’t inform the public that Baker would resign or a vote would be taken on his severance.

Baker announced June 15 he was stepping down amid a state investigation accusing him and other administrators of mismanagement with the hiring of consultants. State investigators found NIU administrators had “committed a pattern of circumventing procurement requirements and violating employment policies and rules” after Baker took office.

Board Chairman Wheeler Coleman says the board thinks it complied with the act. A status hearing in the court case in DeKalb County is set for Friday.

–Associated Press with Staff reports

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