Freeman earns high scores in annual review

Board of Trustees completes annual review of President Lisa Freeman and approves FY23 budget for NIU.

NIU+President+Lisa+Freeman+earned+a+94%25+on+her+2021+performance+evaluation+during+Mondays+Board+of+Trustees+meeting.+%28Patrick+Murphy+%7C+Northern+Star%29

Northern Star File Photo

NIU President Lisa Freeman earned a 94% on her 2021 performance evaluation during Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting. (Patrick Murphy | Northern Star)

Yari Tapia, News Reporter

DeKALB — The NIU Board of Trustees agreed that NIU President Lisa Freeman was a very student-centered and equity-focused leader in evaluating her performance as president at the Board of Trustees meeting at 9 a.m. in Altgeld Hall, Room 315.

Freeman was able to receive an incentive bonus of up to $25,000 if her performance review totaled 100%, according to the meeting’s agenda.

The review considered the following categories: empowerment and shared responsibility (10%), student recruitment, success and experience (20%), academic excellence and curriculum innovation (15%), diversity/equity/inclusion (15%), research/scholarship/artistry (20%) and resource development and fiscal responsibility (20%.)

Freeman earned the following percentages: empowerment and shared responsibility (10%), student recruitment, success and experience (14%), academic excellence and curriculum innovation (15%),  diversity/equity/inclusion (15%), research/scholarship/artistry (20%) and resource development and fiscal responsibility (20%.)

Freeman earned a 94% score on her performance review and she was granted an incentive bonus of $23,500.

“I consider it a great honor and a great privilege to lead this amazing institution,” Freeman said. “NIU’s future is bright.”

Budget approved

The fiscal year 2023 budget request from the state was presented and approved by the board for $98.6 million. That is a $10.8 million increase from FY22, which was only approved for $87.8 million after an initial request of $98.9 million. 

“This FY23 request for $98.63M attempts to secure a more adequate level of state funding support which responsibly supports the University’s mission,” according to the agenda. “The recommended budget request seeks funding for operational support, student support services, and academic program priorities.”

Additionally, the Illinois Board of Higher Education submitted a Capital Budget Request in October for $482 million. The budget would cover the Health IT Center Project and 11 capital projects, according to the agenda.

Other business

The Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences and the Department of Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences are set to merge their two departments into a single unit with the name: Department of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment after the board approved the merger with the intention to strengthen the two programs. 

“The driving force is faculty members’ desire to combine their strengths to better serve the students of NIU and to expand and enhance the scope and impact of their research engagement and outreach,” Freeman said. “The recommendation is from the academic affairs, student affairs and Personnel Committee to the Board of Trustees to approve this request.”

The board also approved the collective bargaining agreement for the Metropolitan Alliance of Police chapter 675, which represents the NIU Police Departments’ telecommunications division.

“Here we are presenting for board approval, a collective bargaining agreement that has been tentatively approved and ratified by the Metropolitan Alliance of Police chapter 675, representing approximately five employees in the NIU police department in the classification of police telecommunicator,” Freeman said.