Northern Illinois University Complaint - NIU Doesn't Care About Their Visiting Students! Rudest Department Chairs Ever!

Review by Johanna on 2008-12-04
DEKALB, ILLINOIS -- My husband applied and was accepted to Northern Illinois University as a visiting student. He is trying to complete a Chemistry degree through another university via long-distance, but needed to take a specific course through a local 4-year school.

When the time came for him to register for this one class, we found out it wasn't offered this semester, even though I had called the Chemistry Department 2 months earlier and they had confirmed that they were offering this particular course in the Spring semester. No matter, they had another course that was just the next level up. The problem was that if you didn't have the required prerequisites, you would need the permission of the department chair to take this class.

Fast forward to last week. My husband received a call from the chair of the department of Chemistry. He told my husband that he wouldn't allow him to take this particular class because he said that my husband "didn't have a snowball's chance in hell" of passing it. He would not allow my husband to defend himself or give a reason why he should be allowed to take it. If you were to look at my husband's transcript from his university, yes, it looks really terrible. He left school 4 years ago with several incomplete courses. After 6 months, those classes received F grades, which dropped his GPA. However, my husband is extremely intelligent and didn't believe that this person should make an arbitrary decision based on the less-than-stellar choices he made as an immature 22 year old.

After this phone call, my husband called me at work to tell me what happened. I called the university president's office to make an complaint about the conduct of the chair (my husband was too upset to discuss this calmly with anyone). I was transferred to the provost's office. Unfortunately, because of the Thanksgiving Holiday, no one was in the office at 3:45pm on Wednesday. I left a message asking for this issue to be addressed with either myself or my husband. No one ever called.

My husband wasn't looking for preferred treatment. Had the chair spoken to him in a respectful manner and explained the situation, this would have all blown over and I wouldn't be posting this. But, now he is stranded in terms of completing his degree because the deadline for most of the other colleges has passed more than a month ago. My husband is planning on attending grad school in a few years and NIU was one of the schools he would have considered. But, if this is the way that the university behaves towards students who weren't attending from day one of their freshman year, forget it!
Comments:4 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-12-06
Posted by jktshff1 on 2008-12-04:
Sounds as if the Prof was just being honest. Prereqs are a must. The Prof saved you a bundle of money....use it wisely, get "caught up" and go on.
Posted by Johanna on 2008-12-05:
The professor didn't save us jack. He still has to take the class, just at another school. We just got an email from his professor at his university tonight that said that he could take the class independently since this all happened. We had no problems with the professor saying that he couldn't take the class. It was the way he said it and the fact that they told us this so late in the process. If they had told us this when he applied back in September, it wouldn't have been a problem.
Posted by Johanna on 2008-12-06:
You just wish you had a wife who would do something like that for you. Where I'm from we say that if you hurt one of our own, you hurt us all. My husband has done it for me a number of times over the years. It was just my turn to defend him.
Posted by D. on 2008-12-06:
There's nothing wrong with defending your husband or any of your loved ones...more people should try it.

Good luck to your husband...

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