Evaluations underway

By Eric Krol

Despite several snags, the evaluation process for NIU President John La Tourette is underway.

The Joint University Advisory Committee (JUAC) met with Joe Kauffman, a consultant hired by the Board of Regents to help with the five-year evaluations of the three Regency university presidents and Chancellor Roderick Groves.

Kauffman, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said how he would evaluate university presidents at a special JUAC meeting Thursday at Springfield’s Sangamon State University.

The first snag came when JUAC members from NIU were late. The meeting only lasted for one hour, which some JUAC members felt was not enough time.

NIU JUAC member Norman Magden said JUAC only has three weeks before campus visits by the evaluators begin. This was the first time the members had met Kauffman.

The second snafu came when SSU member Douglas Anderson protested the presence of Groves at the meeting.

Anderson said that since Groves was one of the persons being evaluated, he should leave “in order to facilitate an open and frank discussion.”

Groves countered by saying the meeting was only procedural and “would not contain any substantive discussion.”

Kauffman began by outlining his evaluation plan. “My approach is improvement-oriented instead of a letter-grade approach,” Kauffman said.

However, he said about one-third of his evaluations have resulted in having the president of the university let go, but maintained that he can only make recommendations.