Monday, October 17, 2016

The Forced Takeover of Northeastern Illinois University

You are probably wondering why TakeBackNEIU has been so quiet lately. There has been a complete takeover by the administration of almost every department on campus. It's challenging to list which departments are left to actually make their own decisions. The most recent email from now acting President Helldobbler adds several more departments he's seized from the faculty and staff. 


I’m writing to inform you that the Offices of Marketing and Web Communications, Cultural Events, and Community and Professional Education (CAPE), as well as Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theatre, will transition to the President’s Office effective October 1, 2016.

Since joining Northeastern three years ago, I have invested significant time and resources to support Marketing initiatives in the context of Enrollment and Branding. With the forthcoming launch of the University’s capital campaign, this move is a natural extension to further align our marketing strategies and initiatives.

Bringing Cultural Events and CAPE to the President’s Office will offer synergistic opportunities to integrate arts programming with community and professional education to better engage the external community to Northeastern’s multiple locations.

Also playing an important role in engaging our external community is Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theatre. With an international story to tell, the Ensemble continues to be a great ambassador for our University. Since they are such a large external facing partner, I plan to leverage my contacts in the dance community to better support the Ensemble to increase their and Northeastern’s exposure in the arts community in Chicago and beyond.

I look forward to continuing to work closely with colleagues from Marketing and Web Communications, Cultural Events, Community and Professional Education, and Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theatre after October 1.

Richard J. Helldobler, Ph.D.

Last spring Academic Affairs took over Student Affairs, Academic Advising, The Learning Support Center, New Student and Family Programming/Placement and Testing, Project Success, Proyecto Pa'Lante, and TRIO in an attempt to "retain" students. Soon after President Hahs announced her retirement and Richard Helldobbler was promoted as acting interim "President".  Before that in October of 2015 Hahs sent out an email informing the university community that the Marketing Department would also be under the direction of Helldobbler, citing low enrollment as the reason. 

Then low and behold this fall Helldobbler hires an assistant to work with him on faculty governance. Imagine our surprise! This email really took the cake!

"President Hahs and I write to announce that Professor Emerita Shelley Bannister, who retired in December 2015, will return to Northeastern to serve part-time as Special Assistant to the President, effective September 16, 2016. In this role, Professor Emerita Bannister will bring together members of the University Community to discuss shared governance and the transitions that the University has recently undergone."

With all the budget cuts from the state and the university cutting classes as usual placing hardship on part time instructors and full time instructors, they hire someone to "WORK WITH HIM ON FACULTY GOVERNANCE?"

Finally this fall there was a gala event celebrating alumni's achievements. 

"Finally, on Saturday evening, get fancied up to celebrate incredible alumni at the very first Golden Gala Alumni Awards Dinner. This event will feature five alumni awardees and a celebration of the transformational leadership of President Sharon Hahs. The gala will begin at 6 p.m. and is black tie optional."

Well friends, you know how we feel about the "transformational leadership of President Sharon Hahs". She has singlehandedly taken control of our beloved commuter school, replacing it with a trustees led corporate entity that is controlled by the business interests that bankroll it's expansive real estate takeovers of the neighborhood. After winning the eminent domain last spring, they have been quietly forcing neighborhood businesses to close and preparing to bulldoze down Bryn Mawr and build yet more dorms and chain restaurants, although the one we have is less than half full and they've cut the hours the cafeteria is open.  

Stay tuned for more tales from the lost community we once called Northeastern Illinois University. 

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