OPINION | Three words to describe: Freeman’s interim role


File Photo

President Freeman recounts the advice she was given by her late mother.

By Perspective Staff

Angela L. Pagan

Fresh, reparative and short

Lisa Freeman has made university history with her appointment as the first female acting president. NIU’s long history of male presidents is evidence of a lack of diversity in leadership. I believe Freeman will bring a fresh outlook to her role because she understands the significance behind her being the first female president and this will motivate her to pursue opportunities previous presidents did not.

“During these very challenging times, I will need to sustain NIU’s focus on our students and their success, to reaffirm our commitment to ethical leadership…,” said Freeman in her acceptance of the president position.

Her statement inspires confidence that she is committed to repairing the broken trust students have in the administration after learning former president Doug Baker mismanaged university funds.

Although I am confident Freeman’s presidency will bring change and open communication with the NIU community, I also hope her term is short. Freeman has made it clear she has no interest being NIU’s permanent president. It is in the university’s best interest to find a replacement as soon as possible so we can move forward with a sense of stability.

Maddie Steen

Committed, respectful and impressionable

It seems too early to tell just how much potential Lisa Freeman holds as president; however, she does have qualities that make me believe she has much more potential than Doug Baker.

Already I feel as though Freeman’s presidency would be committed to the students, the staff and faculty and to making sure this campus lives as harmoniously as possible. Every Northern Star article about her within the past few months, from her earning a position as executive vice president and provost to her being placed as acting president, have all mentioned that she didn’t necessarily apply for the position. She has stepped up each time when the school needed someone. When no candidates were found, she stayed. Instead of refusing the position and letting our school sit in ruins until someone came along to save us, she took it upon herself to do what she can when no one else would.

She seems to have a lot of life experiences on top of her professional experience, which leads me to believe that she will serve a very impressionable small term that will not only help us forget Baker, but also set the standard for who we hire next. It’s time for a positive change, and I believe Freeman will send us off in the right direction. Not only is she the first woman who has ever been president at NIU, but she is so aware of the culture of college students and seems dedicated to understanding and improving every possible condition of the university.

Courtney Huhta

Diversity, opportunity and honesty

NIU’s recently hired president Lisa Freeman is bound to bring diversity to the campus. Freeman will be breaking barriers as she is NIU’s first female president in the span of the school’s 122 years, according to a previous Northern Star article published on Aug. 28. With her new role as president, she will be an inspiring icon for female students to challenge themselves and take on higher management roles in their own futures. As time progresses, the addition of female authority is becoming a new tradition for many schools, now including NIU.

Freeman will bring a new form of honesty, especially after Baker’s resignation this past summer. Throughout previous president Baker’s term, he hid several financial secrets from the public. Although he developed numerous positive and outgoing features to the campus, Baker remained mysterious when it came to finances.

In turn, Freeman will be open about financial situations occurring with the school and will begin to rebuild the foundation of a trustworthy president.

Although Freeman has not had a role quite like this before, she will bring opportunity for change campus-wide. With a fresh new start, she has the opportunity to reinvent new concepts and ideas for the school.

Respect will be restored over the future years with Freeman as our president, as she will be an inspiring role model and will create a positive outlook for NIU’s future. With almost two months into her new role as president, NIU is looking forward to the next several years with president Freeman leading the way.