IBHE to review proposal

By Audrey Weick

Under a proposed Fiscal Year 1993 budgetary plan, the size of NIU’s physical therapy baccalaureate program might be increased.

The plan, which is still in its early stages, comes in response to an Illinois Board of Higher Education suggestion asking budget requests for the expansion of existing physical therapy programs.

Under the proposal, the size of NIU’s physical therapy graduating class would double from 24 to 48 per year.

Physical therapy coordinator Mary Jane Harris said while the department has submitted a proposal, they have yet to hear whether it will be funded or not.

The IBHE will receive the plan on Oct. 1 and will have six weeks to review the proposal. The IBHE will then submit its response to the proposal in the middle or the end of November, said Assistant Provost Lynne Waldeland.

Even if the plan is approved, the department will have to wait until late spring before receiving any funding. Even then, funding could be considerably less than anticipated, she said.

Waldeland said she was supportive of the plan, as the department has had to turn away well-qualified students in the past because of the department’s size limit.

The IBHE submitted its request in response to increased demands for qualified physical therapists by prospective employers.