Information for NEIU Students, Faculty, Staff and Alumni

Northeastern Illinois University has a proud tradition of serving non-traditional students, including first-generation Americans, working moms and dads, mid-career professionals, families of modest means, etc.  The University has always been a commuter school, offering a solid education for a (relatively) affordable price.  The role for such an institution has never been so vital, in the wake of the economic distress of the past several years.

So, why does President Sharon Hahs and the NEIU Board of Trustees act in ways that harm the University, alienate the surrounding community, disadvantage NEIU’s students and demoralize faculty?  In short, Sharon Hahs appears to have put her unquenchable thirst for money and power ahead of what is best for NEIU and its community of students, faculty, alumni and surrounding residents.

NEIU President Dr. Sharon Hahs and the Board of Trustees at NEIU have spent millions of dollars on administrative salaries, outside consultants, lawyers and private real estate developer interests in ways that are contrary to the University’s stated mission, while faculty and students deal with budget cuts, fewer class offerings, higher fees and an overall drop in the quality of the NEIU student experience.  It’s no wonder enrollment at NEIU has declined sharply.
Sharon Hahs lives in the neighborhood at 3251 West Ardmore. Her home is reportedly worth substantially more than homes typical of the neighborhood. Could she be trying to shape the whole neighborhood according to her vision in order to personally financially benefit from the sale of her residence when she retires at the end of her current employment term?  Seems like another potential conflict of interest and abuse of power by Sharon Hahs.

Some facts, courtesy of NEIU’s Board of Trustees and official NEIU documents:

Sharon Hahs is paid an annual salary of $293,000.

NEIU full-time faculty have an average annual salary of less than $45,000.

NEIU part-time faculty have an average annual salary of less than $25,000.

President Sharon Hahs has dramatically increased spending on University administration, outside consultants, external legal counsel, etc. while cutting class offerings, eliminating faculty, reducing departmental budgets and increasing tuition fees.  In short, she has cut everything that could make NEIU a better academic institution and instead, bloated her own compensation and that of her paper-pushing administrators.

Anecdotal feedback from faculty and currently enrolled students indicate it has become increasingly more challenging to attain a degree in four years due to prerequisite classes being limited or cancelled due to Hahs’ strategic priorities.  The result is a longer duration to achieve a degree from NEIU, while tuition costs are rising.  Is this another Hahs scheme to make it take longer and cost more for students to finish a degree at NEIU?

Student housing is the answer?  Really?  We are living in an era of a new, digital economy.  Universities that have expanded their online offerings, creating new ways for instructors to communicate their courses to a broader audience, are reaping the benefits while President Hahs invests in an unsustainable development program that may ultimately saddle Illinois taxpayers with another bailout and bankrupt NEIU.  What will a current or former degree from NEIU be worth if Hahs “leadership” continues and the school goes under?  Now’s the time to speak up and stop the madness and get new leadership in the President’s office and on the Board of Trustees at NEIU!

Take action NEIU students, faculty and alumni!  Demand transparency from your administration!  Demand a change in leadership!  Speak up.  Let the Board of Directors hear your concerns.  Hahs’ greatest enemy is open dialog and access to information—because it will force her administration to be graded on its performance—which appears to be abysmal from the below NEIU documents: