DeKALB – A 56-page report from a nearly three-year investigation by the Illinois Office of the Executive Inspector General says President Doug Baker mismanaged Northern Illinois University by hiring five people as though they were part-time instructors and paying them more than $1 million combined.
The investigation, which began in 2014, found that the university improperly classfied multiple high-paying consulting positions as affiliate employees to purposely bypass state procurement requirements.
The report identified five employees: Ron Walters, who was paid $463,125; Nancy Suttenfield, who was paid $425,041; Ken Wilson, who was paid $135,963; Magaly Rodriguez, who was paid $85,031; and William Pfeiffer, who was paid $23,516.
NIU’s written policies and procedures describe affiliate employees as individuals “who teach an off-campus extension class (typically for non-credit for the university on an occasional basis” and whose appointments are “always made on a part-time, 10 percent basis.” None of the five employees taught classes at NIU and all worked far more than a few hours a week.
Although Baker agreed with the report’s findings that there were no violations of the state’s Ethics Act, he disagreed with any implications that there was intent to circumvent NIU’s guidelines or state regulations.
“Still, I take responsibility for the mistakes identified and I have worked diligently since these issues were brought forward in 2014 to do everything in my power to keep them from happening again,” Baker said in a statement.
NIU’s Board of Trustees, too, issued a statement saying the proper actions have been taken.
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May 31, 2017 at 04:51AM