Northeastern Illinois University's student-run newspaper

NEIU Independent

Northeastern Illinois University's student-run newspaper

NEIU Independent

Northeastern Illinois University's student-run newspaper

NEIU Independent

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J. Todd Phillips Replaces Jose Rico as Board of Trustees Chairman

  1. Todd Phillips was named Chair of NEIU’s Board of Trustees (BOT) by a unanimous vote on Feb. 15, 2024.

Phillips’ appointment as Chair of the BOT was announced in an email sent to NEIU students, faculty and staff by Interim President, Dr. Katrina Bell-Jordan on February 20.

“NEIU is truly an exceptional place to learn, teach, and contribute to the success of so many future leaders. I am humbled to serve alongside such talented, dedicated, and professionally qualified Board members,” Phillips said in the email. “United by NEIU’s mission and our commitment to service, the Board wholeheartedly embraces the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Phillips is the founder and CEO of Parson Partners, a business strategy and transformation consulting firm. Parson Partners was founded in 2013 with “Continuous learning is a hallmark of our company culture.”

Chair Phillips has been an active member of NEIU since 2013. He taught as an adjunct professor and served as the chairman of the Executive Advisory Council for the College of Business and Technology from 2013 to 2017. In addition, Phillips served on the NEIU Foundation Board from 2014 to 2022 before being appointed to NEIU’s Board of Trustees by Governor J.B. Pritzker in January 2023.

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“For more than 150 years, Northeastern Illinois University has helped thousands of diverse leaders prepare for their personal and professional journeys. The current NEIU Board of Trustees includes some of the most committed, thoughtful, highly qualified professionals who each bring unique experiences and perspectives,” Phillips said in a statement to the Independent.

“As a Board, we stand united in pursuit of NEIU’s bold vision. I am humbled by the opportunity to lead our partnership with the administration, faculty & staff, students, and broader community as we build our university’s future together.” Phillips stated to the Independent.

Phillips will also continue to serve as Chair of the Board’s Finance, Buildings, and Grounds Committee. Trustee Anna Meresidis will fill the role of secretary, previously held by Phillips.

Phillips replaces the outgoing chair of Jose Rico, who announced his resignation from BOT in an email sent to NEIU students, faculty and staff on Jan. 29, 2024.

Rico, an NEIU alumnus, stated in the email, “My Northeastern degree means so much to me, since it has made it possible to become a teacher, a high school principal and develop higher education policy at a White House office. Serving my alma mater as board chair has been an incredible honor and a privilege, and I depart with a heart brimming with pride for the strides we’ve made together.”

“The remaining members of the Board of Trustees extend our deepest gratitude to Jose for his exceptional service and leadership as Board Chair,” Phillips and Marvin Garcia, vice chair of BOT, said in response to Rico’s resignation in an email sent to NEIU students, faculty and staff the same day. “His tenure has been marked by significant accomplishments, including fostering a culture of transparency and openness, navigating the University through challenging times, and leading the University through the search for and selection of Interim President Katrina Bell-Jordan.”

The Independent reached out to Rico and NEIU’s administration but did not receive any comment before printing.

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Gabriel Gurrola
Gabriel Gurrola, Campus Arts & Life Editor

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