North Central News

North Central finds itself in the heat of the summer news

Kelly Murphy

Aug 30, 2022

North Central College embarks on a new academic year with many adventures and milestones ahead. While the return of students has brought renewed energy to campus, the College’s subject matter experts (SMEs) have continued to garner media attention across Naperville and Chicago. From stories on the interim president, to politics and economics, to a newly appointed Cabinet member, the College has generated quite the media buzz. Here is an overview of North Central in the news in August:

Aldrich’s appointment to vice president for institutional advancement makes news across Naperville

North Central College announced the appointment of Adrian Aldrich, a 2002 graduate of the College and Naperville resident, to serve as vice president for institutional advancement. As a vice president, Aldrich will continue to provide leadership and strategic direction for fundraising, and alumni and constituent engagement efforts.

Throughout his 18-year career at North Central, beginning as director of alumni affairs, Aldrich has steadily expanded the scope of his leadership and responsibilities. In 2013, he was promoted to executive director of development and alumni engagement, leading the day-to-day operations of the alumni and development area, and positioning the division for launching the $150 million Brilliant Future Campaign.

In 2021, Aldrich joined North Central’s President’s Council as assistant vice president for institutional advancement and guided the College through a successful fundraising year including a record-breaking “Day of Giving” of greater than $500,000. His continued leadership has been instrumental throughout the Brilliant Future Campaign, which has now surpassed $130 million.

Aldrich’s appointment was featured in media across the Naperville area:


North Central College’s partnership with College of DuPage featured in Daily Herald

The College of DuPage and North Central College have launched several new 2+2 programs designed to help students pursue advanced degrees in a variety of academic disciplines including literature, philosophy, religious studies, neuroscience and philosophy.

The programs are made possible through a new institutional partnership between COD and North Central laying the foundation for future pathway agreements for COD students to seamlessly transfer to North Central at the junior level.

Read more about the partnership in the Daily Herald.

Caliendo provides update on six-month anniversary of Ukraine invasion on FOX 32 Chicago

As Ukraine observed both its Independence Day and the six-month anniversary of Russia’s invasion on Wednesday, Moscow aimed a deadly missile strike at a train station in the country’s southeast, killing at least 22 and injuring dozens more, President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

Ukrainians had been bracing for stepped up strikes this week, with Zelensky warning days earlier that Russia might be planning “something particularly cruel” for a stretch that included Ukraine’s highest national holiday. A rescue team was searching through the rubble at the rail station in the Dnipropetrovsk region, and Zelensky said the death toll could rise.

Dr. Stephen Maynard Caliendo, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, interviewed with FOX 32 Chicago, where he provided an update on the six-month anniversary of Ukraine being invaded.

“The diplomacy attempts cannot cease,” said Caliendo. “I think there has to be pervasive attempts to talk, but there's no question that the Ukraine feels like it needs to defend itself; and indeed, maybe take back some of the some of the territory that they lost. Certainly, it seems like the Russians want to continue to expand and even have more aggressive military engagements. I don't think that any diplomatic solution is going to happen in lieu of fighting, but we don't see a ceasefire on the horizon.”

Watch the full interview on FOX 32 Chicago.

Caliendo weighs in on Indiana abortion ban bill on FOX 32 Chicago

Six weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court kicked the question of abortion access back to the states, Indiana became the first in the nation to sign new restrictions into law – stripping away a right afforded to Hoosier women for the last 50 years over the course of a two-week special legislative session.

Gov. Eric Holcomb signed Senate Bill 1, which prohibits abortion at any stage of gestation except in cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal anomalies or when the pregnant person’s life is at risk

Caliendo interviewed with FOX 32 Chicago, where he discussed the impact this abortion ban bill will have on generations to come.

Watch the full interview on FOX 32 Chicago.

Caliendo analyzes Justice Department’s request to unseal Mar-A-Lago warrant on WGN-TV & WGN-AM Radio

Following the federal agent raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida, Attorney General Merrick Garland made a public statement stating the Justice Department had filed a request for the search warrant and property receipt from the search be unsealed.

Garland also stated, “I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter.” Having noted that the Justice Department did not comment on the search on the day that it occurred. He pointed out that the search was confirmed by Trump that evening. Garland said that copies of the warrant and the warrant receipt were provided to the Trump lawyers who were on site during the search.

Caliendo interviewed with WGN-TV and WGN-AM Radio on how the unsealing of these documents so quickly following the FBI raid was deemed unprecedented.

“Merrick Garland indicated that he wasn't planning to do this so quickly, and that was the former president and his legal team who announced publicly that the raid had taken place at the search warrant was issued, removing the documents or from the premises,” said Caliendo. “So, as a result of that public declaration, Garland apparently felt that he needed to go public and ask for those documents be unsealed so the public could see more clearly what was really happening.”

Watch the full interview on WGN-TV.

Listen to the full interview on WGN-AM Radio.


Muck discusses political impact of the Mar-A-Lago raid on WGN-TV & WGN-AM Radio


The FBI conducted a search at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Sources confirmed to NewsNation that the execution of the search warrant was linked to an investigation into whether the former president mishandled presidential records related to the discovery of boxes full of White House records that were taken to Mar-a-Lago after Trump left office.

Dr. William Muck, professor and chair of the political science department, interviewed with WGN-TV and WGN-AM, where he addressed the political impact of the Mar A Lago raid.

“The president is facing a precarious legal situation,” said Muck. “He's facing this investigation regarding the presidential records act; he still has that investigation in Georgia as well as the January 6th investigation. So, he's got to flip the narrative. He's got to make this, as you said, a political witch hunt. And as I’m watching this—both short-term and long-term—I'm curious to see how republicans are responding. Trump is going to put a lot of pressure on them to say that you need to buy-in to the fact that this is all one big witch hunt, and then you've got to put me above the law. What we've seen over the last month or so, is some republicans are slightly pulling away from him.”

Watch the full interview on WGN-TV.

Listen to the full interview on WGN-AM.

Decker provides update on the state of the economy on WGN-TV

As interest rates continue to rise and the Federal Reserve works to slow the rising rate of inflation, it appears consumers are likely going to be paying more to borrow money. Dr. Ryan Decker, professor of economics, interviewed with WGN-TV, where he provided an update on the state of the economy. Consumers are questioning whether the state of the economy is already in a recession based on recent activities.

“Consumer spending in the labor market is usually an indicator of a recession, but the labor market is still really strong,” said Decker. “The Fed Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that the labor market is the main factor that’s keeping us out of an official recession. But again, we won’t really know we are in a recession until after it’s happened, and we have reached the point of no return.”

Watch the full interview on WGN-TV.

Announcement of North Central interim president garners significant media attention

The Board of Trustees of North Central College announced the appointment of Dr. Donna M. Carroll as Interim President, effective August 1. The acclaimed academic leader, who recently completed a 27-year presidency of Dominican University in River Forest, will guide the College until a new permanent president is appointed.

Dr. Carroll retired from Dominican University in July 2021. During her tenure there, she substantially grew the university’s enrollment, doubled the number of full-time faculty, created new schools, launched academic programs, modernized the campus, and raised more than $165 million.

The Board of Trustees implemented its transition plan when President Troy D. Hammond announced his resignation after leading the College for nearly 10 years. The Search Committee expects the board to appoint a permanent president before the start of the 2023-24 academic year.

Dr. Carroll’s interim appointment announcement garnered media attention:


Caliendo discusses political ‘news of the day’ on WGN-TV’s ‘Political Report’

In early August, Trump supporters and election deniers had been faring quite well in primaries and many people had question what this might look like come the fall. Trump himself had been making many last-minute pushes for state-wide elections. As a result, political scientists were left questions whether voters were truly locked into the issues and positions he talked about in rallies, or if this is what many call a cult of personality—people blindly accepting whatever Trump said.

Caliendo interviewed with Paul Lisnek, host of WGN-TV’s "Political Report," where he discussed these topics and more.

“It's very much more about the president personally than it is about particular issues, as is always the case,” said Caliendo. “In a primary race, for instance, there's not always much distance on the issues between the candidates, but with Trump, it's a whole different story. a lot of the rhetoric this election cycle in the primaries have been about denying the results of the 2020 election.”

Watch the full interview on WGN-TV.