Provost requests cuts

By Paul Kirk

The dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences confirmed that the provost’s office has requested the college to remit $178,000 for other uses in the NIU budget.

Dean James Norris said the money is going toward a fund to offset a rise in the cost of benefits provided by the state to university employees. The increase will begin in January.

Norris said each college was asked to volunteer an uncertain amount of its budget toward the fund. Money was cut in LA&S which was allocated for equipment and travel.

Norris said the cut seems fair, since the university is facing a possible recision. “It’s the college’s responsibility to cut where it can,” he said.

“That $178,000 was extremely painful,” said Donald Cress, assistant dean of LA&S. “But I don’t want it to sound like we are the only ones suffering—we’re not.”

Cress said other colleges, such as education and engineering, also felt the sting of the provost’s request.

Norris said he was angered by a comment made last week by Provost Kendall Baker in The Northern Star. Baker said funds were allocated by student demand.

“Money is in no way connected with student demands,” Norris said. “If money followed the student, why would we have to limit enrollment in classes?”

Cress said there is no correlation between the work that LA&S does and the money the college receives.

The $178,000 recently cut from the college mostly will affect the science departments, Cress said.

“Students working in those areas will be using outdated equipment,” he said. “This could hinder their chances of getting into a graduate program.

Norris said LA&S has reached a point where no more money can be cut without dropping quality in the college.

Quality has already fallen over recent years, he said.

“We keep admitting students when we don’t have the money to teach them,” Norris said. “I’ve reached the limit where I’m lowering quality now.”