State senator, public have harsh words for trustees. The $600,000 severance package awarded to former Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker, which was invalidated by a judge last month, was re-approved by the NIU Board of Trustees during its Thursday meeting.
The original contract, which trustees approved June 15, was declared null and void by DeKalb County Judge Bradley Waller. He agreed with the lawsuit filed by DeKalb County Board member Misty Haji-Sheikh, who said the board violated the Open Meetings Act by using vague and ambiguous terms on the meeting agenda that did not fully inform the public that Baker would resign, or his severance agreement would be voted upon.
In regard to the judge’s ruling, board Chairman Wheeler Coleman said the board still thinks it complied with all requirements of the act and currently is weighing its options in response to the ruling.
“We have spent a significant amount of money, time and energy defending the actions of the board, as well as other allegations,” Coleman said.