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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Deficit mitigation plan discussed at Faculty Senate

Emily Beebe
John Acardo, chief human resources officer, gives a presentation about NIU’s budget during the Faculty Senate meeting Wednesday. NIU has a deficit mitigation plan to try and reduce the $32 million deficit. (Emily Beebe | Northern Star)

DeKALB – From 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Altgeld Hall Auditorium, Faculty Senate held their last meeting of the 2023-2024 academic year.

Laurie Elish-Piper, executive vice president and provost, spoke about the upcoming commencement ceremonies for both graduate and undergraduate students.

“I just want to remind you that our graduate commencement ceremony is Friday, May 10. It begins at 4 p.m.,” Elish-Piper said. “On Saturday, we have our two undergraduate ceremonies. The first one is at 10 a.m., and that’s for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, and the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and then in the afternoon at 2 p.m. the College of Education, College of Business, and College of Health and Human Sciences will have their commencement.”

Chris English, deputy speaker of the Student Government Association senate, announced that Manny Corpuz was elected as the speaker of the senate for the 2024-2025 academic year.

English also announced that SGA has allocated $58,000 to various student organizations through student fees.


A panel consisting of George Middlemist, chief financial officer, Elish-Piper and John Acardo, chief human resources officer, provided an update on NIU’s budget. NIU is currently facing a $32 million deficit and is attempting to find ways to cut the deficit in half by 2025.

During his presentation about NIU’s budget, Middlemist talked about the different ways NIU receives money.

“We do get about 23% of our revenues from the state and we get it in the form of the state appropriation,” Middlemist said. “The money that comes from students, from tuition fees for sales, like on campus parking revenues, retail dining, and the overlap that’s in the middle there is about 13%. That’s where it kind of intersects.” 

Middlemist also mentioned NIU’s plan to increase the price of tuition, dorms and student health insurance for the 2025-2026 academic year during his presentation and said the increase of tuition is the second lowest in eight years.

“We’ve had the second lowest increase over the last eight years, 3.4% is how much our tuition has increased since 2016,” Middlemist said.

Middlemist presented his deficit mitigation plan, which includes increasing revenue and reducing expenses.

“We need to figure out ways to generate new sources of revenue, reallocate resources to grow revenue, increase student recruitment and retention. All of those things will help to increase the revenue flow at this institution. And then, in reducing expenses, looking to stop doing things that are not essential or non priorities and then reallocate some resources,” Middlemist said.

In addition, NIU plans on reducing the number of low enrollment courses, which could help lessen the deficit, according to Elish-Piper.

“We’re looking at reducing the number of low enrollment courses. We’re looking at the number of credit hours required in degrees and looking at whether all of the specializations and some programs warrant continuation if there’s extremely low enrollment, and so this is a longer term initiative,” Elish-Piper said. “And our estimate is if we are able to fully implement, you know, a significant reduction of enrollment courses and reduction of curricula complexity, that financial impact will be about $3.4 million, but that will be over multiple years.”


During Wednesday’s meeting, Benjamin Creed, current Faculty Senate president, ran unopposed and was voted in and will reprise his role as Faculty Senate president for the 2024-2025 academic year. 

The vote to elect Creed as Faculty Senate president required a majority vote, with the vote passing 37-0-1.


The Faculty Senate also voted on amendments to their bylaws during Wednesday’s meeting. The Faculty Senate was unable to vote on the amendments during their March 27 meeting due to the lack of voting members present. The first amendment to the bylaws was for Article 3.1, Article 6 and Article 7. The vote passed 38-3.

The second amendment to the bylaws was for Article 3.5. The vote passed 36-1-1.

The Faculty Senate meeting schedule for the 2024-2025 academic year was also posted in the agenda. Meetings will occur Sept. 4, Oct. 2, Oct. 30, Nov. 20, Jan. 22, Feb. 19, March 26 and April 23.

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