Groves reacts to resolution

By Eric Krol

Board of Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves came down hard in response to a Faculty Senate resolution which questions the need for Groves’ job and support staff.

The Faculty Senate tabled a resolution at its Wednesday meeting which called for a thorough examination of the positions in the Chancellor’s Office. The resolution was sent to an ad hoc committee to turn it into what senate member Arra Garab called a “meaty expository” statement.

Groves responded to the resolution by saying the senate members could be looking for someone to blame for the state’s dire financial picture.

“We’re in tight financial circumstances, and there is an inclination to look for a scapegoat,” Groves said.

“It’s as if they’re circling the wagons and shooting inward,” he added.

Groves also questioned statements made earlier by the sponsor of the resolution, Rodolphe De Seife, NIU law professor and senate member.

De Seife questioned why the Chancellor’s Office needs $2 million to function. Groves said the actual budget of his office is $1.3 million.

De Seife also said the Chancellor’s Office started out with two employees and has grown to its present size with various vice chancellors and support staff.

“I don’t believe the office ever had two employees,” said Groves.

The office had no employees when it started in the late 1960s, but the staff members were there from the beginning, he said.

At the October Regents meeting, Regent Joe Ebbesen asked for a list of jobs that were duplicating efforts already done at the campus level. Such a list could possibly call into question the necessity of the Chancellor’s Office.

However, Groves said he did not think there was a growing trend to eliminate the Chancellor’s Office, instead categorizing it as a response to the state’s financial woes.

“People’s nerves are rubbed raw,” he said. When people begin to get irritated, they tend to “rather indiscriminately shoot at one another,” Groves added.

Groves defended the Chancellor’s Office by saying the office requires the least amount of state money of any system office.

Groves cited the Board of Governors and the Illinois Community College Board as examples of system offices with greater overhead costs.

The senate has not yet adopted a formal resolution, but the ad hoc committee is scheduled to bring one forth at the next senate meeting Nov. 27.