Expansion plans attacked

NIU’s branch campus in Hoffman Estates is still under attack in the state legislature.

A resolution sponsored by Rep. James Keane (D-Chicago) requested the higher education committee review all public universities’ external policies. The resolution was tabled.

Sen. Virginia MacDonald (R-Arlington Heights) said she plans on sponsoring a resolution to look closer at comprehensive planning for universities.

Illinois “cannot afford to have universities making their own decisions on this (expansion),” MacDonald said. “We cannot afford all these branches.”

The Illinois Board of Higher Education agreed in January to let NIU establish a branch campus in Hoffman Estates with the help of Sears, Roebuck and Company. However, the project was put on hold by Gov. Jim Edgar because of the state’s limited funds.