Faculty apathy a letdown

We all have busy lives, but many more NIU faculty should have made time to evaluate President John La Tourette when they had the chance.

A mandatory five-year evaluation of La Tourette is being carried out by the Board of Regents and NIU faculty input was asked for. But according to University Council Executive Secretary J. Carroll Moody, the response has been negligible.

Carroll said he thought the small response might be due to the pay freezes and climbing insurance premiums the faculty have been saddled with. The low morale these factors engendered could have kept some faculty from bothering with the survey, he said.

Certainly these are legitimate causes of discontent, but that should be all the more reason to evaluate La Tourette’s handling of the situation.

Is this incident just a temporary lapse of interest? More likely, it is another example of the widespread apathy at NIU—also demonstrated by poor sporting events attendance, meager SA election voter turnout and the high number of students who spend weekends away from DeKalb, among other things.

And how embarrassing it is to have another university president serving on the Regents’ review committee see such poor cooperation demonstrated.

NIU faces an uncertain period of increased student interest and campus expansion coupled with continued downstate foot-dragging on funding. Strong leadership is essential for NIU in the next few years.

The faculty had the chance to send a clear message as to whether La Tourette should continue to be that leader, but squandered it. The president and the university both deserved better.