BOR committee meetings suggest revisions

By Eric Krol

The Board of Regents kicked off a cleaning of its bylaws at Wednesday’s committee meetings.

The Regents Personnel and Operations committee, meeting at Illinois State University in Normal, began a month-long revision process of the way it runs its meetings.

Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves said the Regents’ bylaws are very brief. “Our laws are brief because they have long been neglected,” he said.

Groves said the Regents are supposed to review their bylaws on a biannual basis, but the revision has not been done since the Board’s inception in the early 1970s.

Although the process will take several months before final approval is granted by the Board, the Regents began by looking at operating procedures and types of meetings.

Groves started the discussion by suggesting a change in the order of business procedures. The proposal would update the way meetings are run by merging some parts of the meeting with other parts.

For example, long range planning would be covered in the individual university reports.

The only major debate on the bylaws discussion concerned individuals appearing before the Board. Groves suggested the bylaws specifically state both the Chancellor and university president be notified within 10 days before a meeting of any request to speak to the Regents.

Regent David Murphy suggested the Regents provide an open section for anyone wishing to address the Board to eliminate paperwork.

NIU Student Regent James Mertes then said this proposal might not allow students to speak before the Board if there were too many requests for the allotted time period.

NIU President John La Tourette said the deadline for submitting materials is already too early and should be kept the same. “If we move the date up, it causes more walk-in items,” he said.

Committee Chairman Carol Burns originally requested the review of bylaws at last month’s meeting.