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July 13, 2024

NIU appears to be pirating software or is lying to the AG –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On August 31, 2017

Northern Illinois University (ECWd)

Peoplesoft Financials software is part of the enterprise software solution used by Northern Illinois University under a contractual agreement with ORACLE for NIU’s business operations, such as accounts payable, accounts receivables, student services, and human resources. In their contractual agreement, NIU has agreed to only use the software for their use and nothing else.

According to the ORACLE agreement, NIU cannot assign, give, or transfer the programs or services or an interest in them to another individual or entity.

The university has given the NIU Foundation access to the Peoplesoft software thru NIU’s license with ORACLE, and the data is housed on an NIU server.

NIU explains this in their August 30, 2017, letter to the Illinois Attorney General trying to keep the records secret. NIU also claims the university does not possess the data (even though it is on their servers and using their software license) – makes me wonder if that would work in a traffic stop where drugs were found: “Officer, those 20-pound bags of weed you found in the trunk of this car I am driving, that is licensed to me and under my control, are not mine because that weed is not in my possession or under my control – it belongs to someone that fund raises for me.

So even though NIU has physical possession and the physical license, NIU does not have possession of the records (according to its legal counsel).

Derek Van Buer wrote a lengthy response to NIU’s claims that they do not possess the records in question and why it would take so long to retrieve the records when NIU did so before for approximately 12 times the number of records contained in NIU’s database.

In another request for review related to this matter (Van Buer’s 3rd RFR), the PAC specifically asked NIU to explain how they didn’t have physical control or custody of these database records,  which brought the additional NIU response dated 8-30-2017 (above). Derek Van Buer has until September 11 to submit his reply to the PAC.





NIU is attempting to have it both ways: 1.) that the foundation is not part of NIU and their records are not records of the university, and, 2.) that the foundation is part of the university for the purposes of use of the Peoplesoft software.

It doesn’t work that way, especially after the Appellate Court decision in Chicago Tribune v. College of DuPage Foundation.


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  • Jay
    Posted at 13:24h, 31 August Reply

    Once again they have some problems with Procurement and who owns something. They tried this shell game with James Fatz their IT Director who started a company using the software he obtained from the University and their Counsel came up with excuses once again. Then after being pressed by a State Legislator that has control of their funding they fired the guy for ethical violations. Took all of that for them to admit fault. Their lawyers think they are smarter than the question being asked and what they don’t realize is that anytime you guys ask a question, you already have a whistle blower on the inside and know the answer the question. You would think their arrogance would make them unemployable. I vote for firing their counsel for failure to adequately represent them.

  • Shelly Roinas
    Posted at 14:03h, 31 August Reply

    It’s not the first time NIU tried to play it both ways. I was laid off in June 1st due to lack if funds, at least that’s what the form indicates. I was not offered to be a part of the transitioning process which others in my same civil service classification. It was told to me later that the regional site in Hoffman Estates was considered a separate employer. While I was provided a memo over 20 years old which referenced that, but nothing more recent could be provided. Odd! The signage NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY was above my head at the front desk where I worked. I still believe I was laid off because of the misuse of time and benefits which was investigated, but mostly disregarded as the investigation resulted in the wrong doers being retrained in time reporting and the ethics officer confirming their would not be a formal document if his findings after the final meeting with my union representative and me. So much going on at NIU …

    • Pearl
      Posted at 19:46h, 31 August Reply

      If you are referring to Gagliardo, the title is better known as the “Unethical Ethics Officer”. One would think his job function is to investigate unethical behavior, but under Baker he more functioned as a fabricator of ethical violation reports against those whom administration targeted for removal.

  • Shelly Roinas
    Posted at 14:10h, 31 August Reply

    The misuse referenced was reported by me to Human Resources who in turn contacted the ethics officer. The individuals involved in the creative reporting were others, not me.

  • Mary Jo Barbosa
    Posted at 14:43h, 31 August Reply

    Is there mandatory coursework for Superintendents and College Presidents that they must pass on Schemes and Coverups? Must be, everyone seems to be proficient in it.

  • niualum1996
    Posted at 08:25h, 01 September Reply

    NIU’s “Unethical Ethics Officer” is spot on! When are the right people going to realize that the ethics officer was at the center of Bakers unethical tactics, mismanagement and cover up? Guag”liar”do has hidden behind the ethics officer’s title for too long a time. NIU needs to restore integrity by removing this unethical and vendictive character from this powerful position. How long will he and his unethical actions be allowed to hide behind the title of ethics officer?

    • NIU_Prof
      Posted at 11:17h, 02 September Reply

      they have a new ethics office – I have asked who it is. No answer.

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