NIU hosts closed Regents’ meeting

By Vickie Snow

The Board of Regents spent about seven hours behind closed doors while visiting NIU this week.

The Regents gathered for a two-part executive session on Wednesday and Thursday. During executive sessions, the meeting is closed to the media, the public and the board’s advisory committee members.

NIU Student Regent James Mertes, who serves as the voice for NIU students, said he cannot divulge any information about what topics took up the most time.

owever, the agenda is open to the public.

Two agenda items were Illinois State University personnel and legal matters, he said. ISU is under police investigation for physical plant matters.

Board Chairman Brewster Parker said “substantial changes in the management of the physical plant have been implemented.” The revisions are “closely supervised … to ensure an ongoing compliance with board regulation and state law.”

He said the Board and university are “not at liberty to discuss” the executive session.

Mertes said he “is not trying to hide anything,” but simply is following the policy that keeps details of the executive session matters closed to the public.

“It’s in the best interest of everyone involved,” he said. “Students’ interests were well-represented.”

Other agenda items were an NIU collective bargaining matter, the Chancellor’s office personnel matters and a collective bargaining update and a legal matter, Mertes said.

It is routine to have the Board’s lawyer, Carol Fines, present for any meeting of the entire board, he said.

Fines makes sure the Board members keep discussion within context of the agenda, he said.

The board governs NIU, ISU in Normal and Sangamon State University in Springfield.