NIU to Receive $15 M for New Research Facility


Bruce Rauner was on campus Tuesday, October 9, 2018 to announce that Northern Illinois University has been included in the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN), along with three University of Illinois system sites, and will receive a $23 million, 30,000-square-foot research building on the west side of its campus.

The majority of the financing ($15M) for the new facility, which is slated to open in 2021, will come from the State of Illinois’ $500 million IIN fund. NIU will be responsible for $7.9 million, which they will raise through fundraising efforts.

The 20-acre site will focus on food systems, water resources and environmental change and will include greenhouses, an environmental policy institute and an environmental law clinic.

See the NIU Newsroom report for more details: NIU joins U of I System-led Illinois Innovation Network


  1. For those who are so against post-secondary education, which is the impression I am getting, what is your proposal to have a well-educated populace? Or do you think that a high school diploma is sufficient. And that public education system is a HUGE burden on taxpayers. Why don’t we eliminate that while we’re at it. And please stop dragging crime and downtown businesses into your arguments. Take that up with the City Council. This development is a state supported initiative to bring more of the limited population of eligible students (families don’t have 7 or 8 kids anymore…that demographic is and will continue to decline) to NIU. Maybe attract more international students who will take what they learn back to their country and make ecological improvements. Also, the staff and faculty and students all pay rent or prop taxes, buy food, entertainment, gas etc. If more people are employed by this, the local economy benefits.

  2. I have not read where they plan to put this… Too disgusted I guess. In between the homeless shelter and boarded up buildings across from Greek row? Or amid all the “substandard” apartment buildings and rooming houses surrounding the entire campus? Because students don’t live in those dwellings… So what happens to the actual people who do live in those dwellings?

  3. I don’t understand. R&D for corporate gain is well paying career. Why are college students doing it? If these kids are learning how to do to R&D for a career in corporate R&D, aren’t they cutting their own throats by donating their results to the 1%?

  4. While research is need, the current president will put a stop to it and not recognice any report. This is why people are leaving dekalb and Il taxes to high. Any already built building would be cheaper. should have been a all state and even global effort to share the cost.

  5. This is great! It will draw students and faculty who are and will be leaders in the environment and food production systems…I think people should be aware of how much this could benefit our farming community. NIU has to innovate and grow if it wants to stay alive. I can think of a lot worse things tax money could (and does) go toward.

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