DEKALB- "I want to have a thriving, interconnected NIU community,” said Northern Illinois President Doug Baker.
Baker gave his inaugural address to students, alumni, and faculty. Despite dwindling state and federal funds Baker is determined to bring financial sustainability.
"We want to prepare students for their careers and for their lives. And so we want to help them develop the skills deep into their disciplines but broadly with critical thinking, communication, and cultural literacy skills that will allow them to be successful throughout their lives," said Baker.
Baker plans on creating additional mentorship and career support services for students.
"We want to make sure we have a university that educates students to do the jobs of the 21st century and make sure that they have an opportunity to go as far as their talents take them," said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.
NIU Freshman Darius Blanks hopes his talents take him into a career in law. He’s met President Baker several times and said their encounters have been influential.
"I was really privileged and honored to be a part of his inauguration. I feel like he's doing a wonderful job thus far and I didn't want to miss this," explained Blanks.
As the inaugural festivities were in full swing, faculty expressed their excitement for the next chapter in Northern Illinois University history.
"This is really a new beginning for the university and a new chance for us to chart some very important corrections to our course," said College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Christopher McCord.