Faculty Ask the Board of Trustees to Pressure President Gibson to Resign


Board of Trustees Meeting in the Golden Eagles Room. Photo by Author

Scott Andrews, Writer

Several faculty members voiced their concerns of mismanagement, incompetence and lack of transparency, regarding the looming deficit to the Board of Trustees. Dr. Olivia Perlow, the Department Chair Sociology, and Dr. Ashley L. Elrod, Assistant Professor of History, voiced their concerns and asked the Board of Trustees to consider pressuring President Gloria J. Gibson to resign immediately and appoint Dr. Wamucii Njogu as interim president.


At NEIU’s Town Hall Presentation on January, 24, 2023, Manish Kumar, Vice President of Finance and Administration confirmed that the university has a projected $11 million in deficit for the current fiscal year. The fiscal problem goes down to 10 years of mismanagement, declining enrollments of 50% less than pre-COVID-19 levels and reduced state appropriations. The university is considering a reorganization and restructuring plan to save $680,000. That is a saving of only 6.18% from the projected deficit.


Dr. Perlow said, “We would love peace, but as the old adage says, no justice no peace. It is hard to achieve while we are watching our University go up in flames. We would love for our admin to be introspective and take accountability, but that is not happening…To the upper admin, I would suggest you focus on saving our university and increasing enrollment.”


Dr. Stacey Goguen, Associate Professor of Philosophy, said, “Thus, I ask you, the trustees of the university, to take action now. Let us remember, if her reorganization plan fails, she will not be here when it does. Instead, you will be left with the fallout from her bad decisions.”


Dr. Goguen confirmed a group of 160 faculty members have sent a letter to the Board of Trustees and Governor J.B. Pritzker demanded Dr. Njogu to be nominated as interim president of NEIU. Dr. Njogu already held that position in 2018 for two months, and Dr. Elrod stated Dr. Njogu is more in touch with the university’s students, processes and faculty.


Dr. Tim Scherman, Chair of the English Department, like most faculty, understands exactly the passion his colleagues have for this university over his tenure of 30 years at NEIU. Scherman stated, “Emotions ran over on Tuesday, and those were mainly these: the love and respect of those of us who have dedicated our careers to the institution and its students, and our overwhelming frustration at the people who have taken it over and run up unsurmountable deficits without the basis for that love and respect, which is work, here, with this particular hard-working population of students that deserves both our attention and our action. Instead of action, we have seen inaction, poor decision-making, and a fear or pride that refuses to admit what has led us to this precipice.”