An Illinois Executive Inspector General’s office report regarding a Northern Illinois University hiring investigation was made public today – and NIU President Doug Baker responded to the report’s findings and recommendations.
The OEIG report addressed allegations of NIU abusing regulations when it hired affiliate employees and approved travel funds for those employees from 2013 through 2015. The OEIG says NIU President Doug Baker improperly hired those employees and improperly approved their continued employment. OEIG officials say it's clear that NIU staff deliberately misclassified the affiliate employees to avoid a financial cap for hiring independent contractors. Baker says the improper handling was not on purpose.
“I feel like those were the right steps, and I’m disappointed that they felt like we did it in the wrong manner, but all of that was with good intent and I think actually helped lay the foundation for the institution so we that can weather this tough storm we’ve had from Springfield on the budget in the last couple of years.”
Baker says the Board of Trustees already counseled him and other involved employees and the case is officially closed.