Trustees elect new leadership: Board holds vote at Thursday meeting

By Lindsey Salvatelli

DeKALB — The next Board of Trustees meeting will see Trustee Wheeler Coleman as its chair.

Coleman, who will replace Chair John Butler, was elected in a secret ballot during Thursday’s meeting.

In compliance with NIU Law and related regulations, the Board of Trustees is responsible for the management, operations, control and maintenance of the university in accordance of Illinois State law.

“I appreciate [the Board’s] confidence in me,” Coleman said. “Thank you for your support. There’s a lot of work to be done, and I’m going to need your help to get it done.”

Coleman served as the vice chair before the election, and his new term expires Jan. 21, 2019.

The chair presides over all meetings and appoints members to ad hoc committees and Board standing committees, according to the Board’s bylaws. The chair also determines whether to appoint members of the Board to serve as liaisons to various entities such as the NIU Foundation and the NIU Alumni Association.

Trustee Dennis Barsema was elected vice president chair in an open vote. “I look forward to working with [Chair Butler and chair-elect], and with all of the members of the Board and all of the members of the NIU family. So, thank you very much,” Barsema said.

The vice president chair assists the chair in communications among Board members and external relations by representing the Board and the university in a ceremonial capacity at public functions, according to bylaws.

Barsema, who was selected for the Board in January, served as the fourth member of the Executive Committee until being elected to his new position.

Trustee John Butler was elected as secretary in a secret ballot.

The secretary signs contracts and other legal documents approved by the Board as the attesting official.

Butler has served as the chair since former Chair Marc Strass’ term expired January 24.

“Well I don’t know if this is a wonderful outcome,” Butler said jokingly. “But the Board has reached a decision: I have received the requisite number of votes for secretary.”

Trustee Timothy Struthers was elected the fourth member of the Executive Committee.

Trustee Veronica Herrero was elected the Civil Service Merit Representative.