Northern Illinois University (ECWd) –
Peoplesoft Financials software is part of the enterprise software solution used by Northern Illinois University under a contractual agreement with ORACLE for NIU’s business operations, such as accounts payable, accounts receivables, student services, and human resources. In their contractual agreement, NIU has agreed to only use the software for their use and nothing else.
According to the ORACLE agreement, NIU cannot assign, give, or transfer the programs or services or an interest in them to another individual or entity.
The university has given the NIU Foundation access to the Peoplesoft software thru NIU’s license with ORACLE, and the data is housed on an NIU server.
NIU explains this in their August 30, 2017, letter to the Illinois Attorney General trying to keep the records secret. NIU also claims the university does not possess the data (even though it is on their servers and using their software license) – makes me wonder if that would work in a traffic stop where drugs were found: “Officer, those 20-pound bags of weed you found in the trunk of this car I am driving, that is licensed to me and under my control, are not mine because that weed is not in my possession or under my control – it belongs to someone that fund raises for me.”
So even though NIU has physical possession and the physical license, NIU does not have possession of the records (according to its legal counsel).
Derek Van Buer wrote a lengthy response to NIU’s claims that they do not possess the records in question and why it would take so long to retrieve the records when NIU did so before for approximately 12 times the number of records contained in NIU’s database.
In another request for review related to this matter (Van Buer’s 3rd RFR), the PAC specifically asked NIU to explain how they didn’t have physical control or custody of these database records, which brought the additional NIU response dated 8-30-2017 (above). Derek Van Buer has until September 11 to submit his reply to the PAC.AG-8-30-2017
NIU is attempting to have it both ways: 1.) that the foundation is not part of NIU and their records are not records of the university, and, 2.) that the foundation is part of the university for the purposes of use of the Peoplesoft software.
It doesn’t work that way, especially after the Appellate Court decision in Chicago Tribune v. College of DuPage Foundation.