University Council members criticize IBHE

By Brian Slupski

Criticism of the Illinois Board of Higher Education arose yesterday at the second University Council meeting.

Council member David Ripley said the IBHE is contradicting the sense of purpose of higher education by saying there is no more money, but creating more bureaucracy.

NIU President John La Tourette said there needs to be more “autonomy on our campus and across the state, and less bureaucracy.”

Council member Eleanor Godfrey raised the question of whether it was logical to assume the state was putting more emphasis on funding private education than public.

La Tourette said there needs to be a balance within the state of Illinois between providing funds for choice and funds for affordable education.

The purpose of state higher education is to provide quality, yet affordable education, he said. The present funding situation leads in the opposite direction by providing more funds for private schools.

“People are pushing for more and better education, and at the same time saying money for public higher education is limited and not forthcoming,” La Tourette said.

Also, private schools receive aid directly from the state, and indirectly through students who receive aid, he added.

In other business, the UC passed an amendment making the periodic review of NIU athletic programs part of the bylaws.

Executive Secretary of the UC J. Carroll Moody said even though the athletic board basically stated the programs are already being reviewed, the process of review should still be part of the bylaws.