DEKALB, Ill. (AP) – Northern Illinois University will pay President Doug Baker about $600,000 plus benefits when he steps down later this month.

Baker announced Thursday that he is resigning in the wake of a state investigation accusing him and other administrators of mismanagement when it comes to hiring consultants. In a statement he said he takes full responsibility for the mistakes on his watch, but said the Inspector General’s report unfairly characterized his actions. Baker said he sincerely believe he complied with all applicable rules and regulations.

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The Ethics Commission Finding said NIU went around bidding requirements and paid to consultants more than $400,000 for 15 and 18 months of work. Another consultant earned $23,000 for working 30 days.

NIU has already made changes and asked some employees to pay back improper benefits.

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Later that day trustees emerged from a nearly seven-hour closed session to announce his severance arrangement. Under the deal Baker will receive a full year’s salary of $450,000 and $137,000 to not serve as a member of the College of Business faculty.

NIU’s executive vice president and provost, Lisa Freeman, will serve as the DeKalb school’s interim president starting July 1. Baker’s last day is June 30. Freeman says she doesn’t plan to pursue the position permanently and will serve until a replacement is found.

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