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July 13, 2024

NIU’s Pres. Baker using college credit card on wife’s travel –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On January 31, 2016

DeKalb, IL. (ECWd) –

Between January 2014 and February 2015, of the approximately $36.000.00 of p-card (credit card) expenditures from one Northern Illinois University p-card account, around $19,000.00 was travel.

$1,900.00 of this was for Magaly Rodrigues, NIU’s “Chief Inspiration Officer”, who would not qualify since she was commuting and an employee at the time, according to the state travel board and its auditors.

—  Approximately $4,600.00 was spousal travel for President Baker’s wife, Dana Stover,

—  and  $7,900.00 was for President Baker with a total expenditure of just under $20,000.00 for travel.

Of those expenditures for Baker’s wife included flights to San Diego, Florida (twice), Dallas (twice), and a flight to a “McGrath event” where the location was not noted. All with seat upgrades.

Rodrigues’ expenditures included several airfares between her home to NIU, which should be considered “commuting” as an employee and not reimbursable.

The issue with these charges is one in which violations of the constitution, law, and policy appear to occur with impunity.  There is no public purpose to pay for airfare of the college president’s wife, she is not an employee and should not be getting her airfare paid for by the State of Illinois.

Color-coded for easy review:

[gview file=””]

Complete file as provided can be downloaded (below):

2412 – Van Buer – Pcard Dori_Hooker_6-1-13 through 12-31-15 Smaller Version combined

dr-baker-NIU (WinCE)
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  • Richard Jarman
    Posted at 13:28h, 31 January Reply

    It’s no consolation to learn, not the we didn’t already know, that these excesses are not limited to COD.

  • G. Barraclough
    Posted at 13:43h, 31 January Reply

    To these people (and that appellation is being very kind), NIU is just one, big, fat, cash cow to be milked, smack dab in the middle of rich Illinois farmland with no one watching. Baker, his wife and his various sycophants, could care less about the students and their families.

    NIU has become a far cry from the idea of a land grant college the Illinois Legislature created in the 19th century to educate citizens who could not otherwise get a college education.

    And, by the way, again, where are the local Dekalb and Sycamore newspapers, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Chicago TV stations’ investigative units? The Illinois Auditor General? The Dekalb County States Attorney? The Illinois Attorney General? Missing in action as usual.

    So (as the kids like to say), it takes a couple of Southern Illinois hayseeds, who are so-called watchdogs (according to the Paris, Illinois local newspaper), to find all this stuff and expose it.

    Why are we paying an Illinois Attorney General and Auditor General?

    A. Lincoln would not recognize his beloved Illinois.
    He would however, understand all this with his extraordinary insightful understanding of human nature. But, I digress.

    • L. Bomar
      Posted at 19:25h, 31 January Reply

      Excellent insight all of you…but G. Barraclough….you touched on it all!!!!!!

  • Cheri
    Posted at 14:18h, 31 January Reply

    When will the Board of Trustees throw this joker out on his ear??? I don’t see why his contract can’t be broken if he continues with the misuse of NIU’s funds. They are waste deep in all his shenanigans now! How much more can the tax payers take of this misuse of funds???

  • Michael Haji-Sheikh
    Posted at 16:48h, 31 January Reply

    I do know that the OEIG is looking into this. To those who thought that all of the complaints about the NIU administration was just resisting change – hiring a person in secret, as Baker was, results in poor choices.

  • Michael Haji-Sheikh
    Posted at 17:10h, 31 January Reply

    I watched our Mayor (John Rey) vouch for the character of this guy. Baker also involved himself in the politics of the town through a series of secret communiversity meetings.

  • Bessie Chronopoulos
    Posted at 22:07h, 31 January Reply

    G.Barraclough certainly did nail it. It is beyond me that this has gone on as long as it has. Amazing how every entity that should be stepping up to protect and inform. I wonder if it would do any good for several people to write to the various media, governmental entities and the BOT and express concern. And…what about the Student Association and the Northern Star?

  • Just Trying to Survive in DeKalb
    Posted at 13:07h, 10 February Reply

    You guys struck a nerve–congratulations!

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