President Doug Baker has done exactly what this university needed him to: He has taken quick, transparent action to fix the university’s problems.
Friday, Baker announced significant changes, including the splitting of Finance and Facilities, the creation of a vice president for International Affairs and the movement of the Convocation Center and Huskie Stadium to Athletics’ control. While the outcome of these changes remains to be seen, the moves showed Baker recognized campuswide problems and sought to fix them. He’s done this in other areas, too: He and Eric Weldy, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, have identified enrollment and retention as issues and have reached out to the university for solutions and feedback.
Furthermore, Baker’s administration neatly outlined the changes in a news release, and the president personally spoke to a Northern Star editor about the effects of his decisions. This semester has been a relief after last year’s scandals and silence.
The president — who only started in the summer — said he started thinking about campus changes even before he was selected to lead NIU. That kind of foresight and careful thinking is what the university will need to make it through its current issues: a less-than-sterling reputation, state funding troubles and dropping enrollment.
What the university needs is someone who will fix what’s broken and not drag his or her feet. Baker’s off to a great start, and the Editorial Board is excited to see what changes will come in the future.