UC questions programs

By Brian Slupski

Concern was raised at Wednesday’s University Council meeting over what some members termed as a “Hit-list” of programs.

The cause of concern is a list of 26 programs which NIU developed, based on guidelines created by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

NIU Provost Kendall Baker said the “Quern letter” raised concerns about productivity of programs and about university priorities.

He said since the letter, the IBHE has come up with a table to judge the productivity of programs at the university level. The table established by the IBHE evaluated all levels of programs for three years 1988-90. The number of degree’s given as acceptable for a program at the undergraduate level was 15 for three years, or about 5 a year, he said.

NIU President John La Tourette said after receiving the table, NIU examined its own programs and, according to the IBHE table, made its own list of programs which didn’t meet the productivity levels established by the table.

La Tourette criticized the table saying it “only looks at the degree level of a program while completely ignoring the service aspect.”

Of the 26 programs, La Tourette said five programs were presently being deleted by NIU, while six programs were newly introduced ones.

He said when the three-year time period was changed to 1989-91, five programs being depleted had decreasing graduate levels as would be expected for programs which were to be deleted. The six new programs had increasing graduate levels as also would be expected, and there were four programs which weren’t on the original list of 26, but would be if the three different years were looked at, he said.

“This should be a clear indication of the changing of our programs,” La Tourette said.

Baker said presently the IBHE has not stated what the purpose of the table will be, but as for evaluating programs and redefining priorities, NIU already seems to do that.