Northern Illinois University (NIU) is a public research university in DeKalb, Illinois, United States, with satellite centers in Chicago, Hoffman Estates, Naperville, Rockford, and Oregon. It was founded as Northern Illinois State Normal School on May 22, 1895, by Illinois Governor John P. Altgeld as part of an expansion of the state's system for producing college-educated teachers. Lisa Freeman was named the university's thirteenth president, and first female president, in July 2017.
The university is composed of seven degree-granting colleges and has a student body of 25,000 with over 240,000 alumni. Many of NIU's programs are nationally accredited for meeting high standards of academic quality, including business, engineering, nursing, visual and performing arts, and all teacher certification programs. NIU is one of only two public universities in Illinois that compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the highest levels of all sports, Division I. The University's athletic teams are known as the Huskies and compete in the Mid-American Conference (MAC).