NIU Board Of Trustees appoints 13th university president

DEKALB – Northern Illinois University’s Board of Trustees voted without dissent to appoint Dr. Lisa Freeman as the institution’s 13th President Thursday.

She’s been the Acting President since last year, and her contract for the new position will run through August 2022. Board Chairman Wheeler Coleman says Freeman will be paid a base salary of $450,000, but it also includes provisions from a new state law that caps severance pay at twenty weeks.

“So we’re sending a message to all that we put a fair contract on the table with Dr. Freeman, our CEO, our new President, and we’re also going to put protections in place for the university as well as through state,” Coleman said.

Freeman says one of her top priorities will be addressing a 4.8 percent drop in enrollment.

“We can’t be Midwest modest,” she said. “We need to do a better job of selling and telling folks about what a wonderful institution NIU is and what a transformative educational experience we offer.”

President Freeman says she will donate a potential $25,000 per year in bonus pay to the NIU Foundation, so it can be applied toward student scholarships.

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