Two IBHE proposals cause controversy

By Eric Krol

Members of the Board of Regents system came down hard against two Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) recommendations at a Wednesday committee meeting.

The Academic and Student Affairs Committee discussed a report from last week’s IBHE meeting which outlined proposals for workforce preparation and underserved areas.

The first concern involved an IBHE recommendation that will give money to establish regional consortia to try and determine where higher education is needed.

Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves said the proposals will let community colleges and universities work together.

Groves also encouraged all three Regency schools to work aggressively with community colleges “since we are going to be saddled with it.”

Illinois State University President Thomas Wallace said the proposals are unfortunate because they will give money to private institutions while public schools are forced to reallocate.

NIU President John La Tourette gave a historical perspective on the matter. He said the state should put its money where the delivery of instruction is—public institutions—instead of wasting it on an area which has not provided course delivery in the past.

Committee Chair Sylvia Nichols said, “It sounds cumbersome at best.”

Executive Secretary of the University Council J. Carroll Moody addressed the committee on the controversial IBHE recommendation of guaranteeing graduate skills to prospective employers.

Moody told the committee that the Faculty Senate adopted a resolution against the proposal.

Wallace also questioned how, in light of many recent issues, the Regents could get their views aired to the IBHE before decisions are made. “I think maybe we’re missing an opportunity to be a little more forceful,” he said.

In other Regents committee action, the Personnel and Operations Committee met Wednesday to continue its discussion of bylaw revision.