Vision 2020 approved to move forward


Marc Strauss, left, Board of Trustees Chair, at the Board’s Thursday meeting the Board approved a resolution to move forward with President John Peters Vision 2020 plans.

By Chelsey Boutan

NIU President John Peters received unanimous approval to move forward with the Vision 2020 Initiative at Thursday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

Trustee Marc Strauss said the Vision 2020 process revealed a goal important to the university’s success – an enrollment of 30,000 students by 2020.

“It’s a lofty goal, and one that will require us all to work together to achieve, but it’s the right goal,” Strauss said.

Vision 2020 focuses on establishing NIU as the “most student centered public research university in the Midwest,” according to the initiative website.

Many of Peters’ remarks regarding Vision 2020 at Thursday’s meeting echoed sentiments he shared in his Sept. 1 State of the University address.

“Vision 2020 made it abundantly clear that our university, in many respects, is indeed at a crossroads,” Peters said. “We need to act now.”

Although Peters announced his intention to move forward with Vision 2020 goals in his Sept. 1 address, BOT approval was required to move forward officially.

The Fiscal Year 2012 internal budget also received BOT approval. The budget of about $436,000 amounts to a decrease of nearly $2,500 compared to last year’s budget.

Budget guidelines for FY13 were approved by the BOT, including a 3 percent faculty and staff salary increase along with a 3 percent increase in library and technology materials.

Funds for capital projects were also approved, including a new computer science and technology center, renovation of Davis and Wirtz Hall, upgrading elevator systems and campus signage improvements.

The board also held FY12 officer elections. Trustee Cherilyn Murer was elected as the new board chair.

“I think that in the next five years in particular, action will not be in slogans, action will not be by proclamation, action will be the day to day accomplishments of moving one step in front of the other so this university can truly achieve the goals that have been set,” Murer said.

Strauss stepped down as board chair and was elected as the fourth executive committee member. Trustee Robert Boey was elected vice chair and Trustee Robert Marshall was elected secretary.

The BOT will meet next on Dec. 1 in Altgeld Hall Room 315.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Campus Editor Matt Liparota contributed to this article.