NIU elects university’s first woman president


The School Board of Trustees picked Dr. Lisa Freeman to become Northern Illinois University’s 13th president, the first woman to lead NIU.

Freeman has been serving as interim president since July 2017. The Board did not conduct a search for a new president, ultimately deciding that Freeman was the best person for the job.

She has pledged to turn around the university’s recent decline in student enrollment.

“We just need to really get out and sell it more, in some ways,” she said in an interview on Thursday. “We’ve been, maybe, Midwest modest when we really need to be talking about what a wonderful place this is and how transformative the student experience is.”

Freeman also wants to increase the amount of scholarships it gives out, so students don’t graduate deep in student loan debt.

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